Olympic champ DeGale wins British super-middleweight belt

London: Olympic gold medallist James DeGale claimed the biggest scalp of his professional career with a ninth-round stoppage of Paul Smith to win the British super-middleweight title in Liverpool on Saturday.

The 24-year-old Londoner, contesting only his ninth pro fight after winning gold in Beijing, produced some classy punching against the home favourite and the fight was stopped after a flurry of blows in the ninth.

Holder Smith, beaten only once previously, was cut in the fifth round by a clash of heads but fought on grimly but without ever really shaking his opponent.

"I was too good and always felt in control," DeGale, tipped to follow in the footsteps of former British world super-middleweight champions Chris Eubanks and Nigel Benn, told the BBC.

Bureau Report