By Terence Dooley
BoxingScene understands that James DeGale will be unveiled as a Matchroom fighter at a press conference in London tomorrow. The 2008 Olympic Middleweight Gold Medalist served notice of the termination of his contract with former promoter Mick Hennessy on Friday night and is now being lined up for a slot on the undercard of the IBF and WBA world title rematch between domestic rivals Carl Froch and George Groves, which takes place at London's Wembley Stadium on May 31st.
DeGale's free agent status attracted attention from around the globe, with U.S. outfits also interested in securing the services of the two-time ABA titlist, but Matchroom have beaten their rivals to the signature of the highly-rated contender, who will be added to their packed Super middleweight roster.
DeGale, 18-1 (12), defeated Gevorg Khatchikian by 11th-round TKO last month, he was named as the mandatory contender for WBC boss Sakio Bika, 32-5-3 (21), shortly afterwards and is rated at number two by the governing body—Julio Cesar Chavez occupies the #1 spot.
The 28-year-old southpaw contender has notched up eight wins since dropping a majority decision defeat to Groves at the O2 in London in May 2011. "Chunky" picked up the EBU and WBC Silver 168lb title during this run, as well as featuring prominently on Channel 5 since joining Hennessy in 2012 following a split from former promoter Frank Warren. DeGale, though, has decided to move on from Hennessy Sports and outlined his position via a statement from Ambrose Mendy, his boxing adviser, on Friday night.
It leaves Matchroom with an embarrassment of riches at 168lbs. They have Froch, Groves, Rocky Fielding, and Paul and Callum Smith on their books—DeGale's inclusion means that they have sewn up the top spots in the domestic division. Over the next few years, they could create a host of potential rivalries and domestic dust ups, especially if their current contenders pick up other major titles.
DeGale Ends Hennessy Pact.
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