By Elliot Foster
James DeGale put himself in line for a third showdown with bitter rival George Groves by becoming a two-time world champion.
The 32-year-old super-middleweight outpointed Caleb Truax in a rematch at The Joint at The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas on Saturday to reclaim the IBF world title.
DeGale avenged his shock loss to the American, which came on points at the Copper Box Arena in London last December, by margins of 113-114, 110-117 and 113-114.
And 2008 Olympic gold medal winner ‘Chunky’, from Harlesden, is now in pole position to fight ‘The Saint’ Groves should the WBA champ win his World Boxing Super Series final against Callum Smith this summer.
The final is awaiting a new date –– and potentially a new venue –– after Groves was given time to recover from shoulder surgery.
The Hammersmith man suffered a right-sided dislocation in his semi-final victory against Chris Eubank Jr., with Comosa AG, the World Boxing Super Series organisers, granting an extension for the final to ensure that the two finalists actually end up in the ring together.
For his part, ‘Mundo’ Smith won an unanimous decision against Nieky Holzken in Germany to book his place in the showpiece for the multi-million pound tournament.
But DeGale, after reclaiming the belt and in-turn once again having a bargaining chip when it comes to sitting at the negotiating table, will be hoping Groves can win to set up the mouthwatering trilogy fight, given that they’ve fought once as pros and once in the unpaid code.
“[I’m a] two-time world champion and it feels great,” beamed the road warrior, who has twice won the IBF title in America.
“When I’m fit and injury free, people are going to find it hard to beat me. Me on my day, I’m switched on and very hard to beat.
“Two-and-half years I had that belt for and I lost it to Truax last December. He embarrassed me and I’ve come back and I’ve got back my title.
“I’m a proud IBF world champion and I’m back, I’m back, Team Chunky, we’re back!”
Details surrounding the rearrangement of the final of the World Boxing Super Series super-middleweight tournament will be revealed in due course.