Peter Byrne DeGale: Won 116-112, 117-111 and 117-111 on the judges' cards (file photo).
# And Still...
Fury v Klitschko wasn't the only big world title fight last night
James DeGale defended his IBF super-featherweight with a unanimous decision against Lucian Bute.

FORMER OLYMPIC GOLD medallist James DeGale successfully defended his IBF super-middleweight title for the first time with a unanimous decision over Canada’s Lucian Bute overnight.

DeGale’s defense came just hours after Tyson Fury became the 11th Briton to hold a current world title by upsetting long-standing WBA, IBF and WBO champion Wladimir Klitschko in a 12-round heavyweight fight in Germany.

DeGale, who is the only British boxer to have won an Olympic gold medal and a world title, said British fighters are on a roll.

“Great Britain we are flying. We got 11 world champions so we are definitely flying,” said DeGale, who beat Andre Dirrell to win the title in May.

DeGale, 29, warned before the fight in Quebec City that he would come out swinging and that is exactly what he did at the opening bell.

He hit Bute with everything he had, but the 35-year-old former champion weathered the early assault and made it a very entertaining slugfest.

DeGale was cut over the left eye by an accidental head butt in the fifth round, and was given a warning by the referee in the ninth for illegal use of his shoulders.

With blood flowing from the cut, DeGale went toe-to-toe with Bute in the 12th and final round as the crowd stood and roared at the recently-opened Centre Videotron arena.

Bute had the home crowd on his side throughout, but he also earned some respect for a display of sportsmanship — which is rare in boxing — in the 11th round when he stepped back and stop throwing punches to allow DeGale to retrieve his mouthguard which had popped out.

Bute (32-3, 25 KOs) was seeking to reclaim the 168-pound title he lost to Carl Froch by knockout in May 2012.

“I did my best. It was close,” said Bute. “He is the Olympic and world champion so if the judges give him decision then I respect that.”

The Romanian-born Bute, who lost by scores of 116-112, 117-111 and 117-111, said he was too passive in some rounds.

“In a few rounds I waited too much and didn’t put the punches together. When I put on pressure and pushed back then I won the rounds.”

DeGale, the 2008 Olympic gold medalist, said his confidence is sky high and he is looking forward to defending his crown and adding more titles over the next few years.

“I am young, I am fresh and I am peaking now,” said DeGale, who improved to 22-1 with 14 knockouts. “In the next three or four years I am going to be at my best.”

DeGale is hoping this win lands him a shot next April at a unification fight against WBC super middleweight champ Badou Jack.

“Let’s do it. Let’s unify the title,” he said.

© – AFP 2015

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