By Terence Dooley
James DeGale’s mooted December 8 meeting with Kenny Anderson is dead in the water.
As reported on Boxingscene yesterday, Anderson agreed to the fight in principle yet the Edinburgh fighter had hoped that DeGale’s EBU belt would be on the line. This was not the case, “Chunky” was instead offered up as challenger for the Edinburgh fighter’s British super middleweight belt.
Still, it looked a done deal on Monday only for Anderson to turn the fight down, with his trainer, Kevin Maree, citing the lack of the European title as a factor. However, John Ingle, the matchmaker for Mick Hennessy, DeGale's promoter, has told BoxingScene that Anderson was aware that the EBU title would not be on the line when agreeing terms, due to the EBU's refusal to sanction it, only to turn his back on a contest that had been signed and sealed, but will not be delivered in time for Christmas.
Anderson, 18-1 (13), is now likely to wait for the BBBoC to mandate a defence against former British titlist Paul Smith while DeGale, 13-1 (9), is still set for an outing in Hull on December 8 before forging ahead with a January 26 meeting with Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye, the mandatory challenger for his EBU title.
Kevin Maree, the trainer of Anderson, hopes that the fight can be placed on the backburner rather than scrapped altogether.
“I’d love this fight,” said Maree. “I think DeGale’s style suits Kenny because he doesn’t have the power to keep him off. People are making a big deal about Kenny’s performance against [Robin] Reid, where he was boxing to orders. I knew Kenny would be frustrated, nervous, anxious and angry after a year of waiting for his chance, if he flew into Robin then it would have been a stupid move and he could have been stopped.
“Now you’ll see a new Kenny once he has regular fights and can show his confidence. I’ll be disappointed if DeGale doesn’t come off for the 8th, but if they want to defend the European then or any other time then we will be there.”
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