DeGale toughs it out
James DeGale retained his European super-middleweight title but was pushed to his limits in a unanimous decision victory over Hadillah Mohoumadi at the Glow Arena in Kent.
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DeGale, fighting for the first time this year under new promoter Mick Hennessy, took some heavy punishment from his French opponent but the 2008 Olympic middleweight champion upped the tempo in the closing stages.
The 26-year-old improved his record to 13 wins with one defeat thanks to scores of 119-109, 117-111 and 116-112.
DeGale admitted he had contemplated retiring but has re-discovered his love for the sport after splitting from former promoter Frank Warren and aligning himself with Hennessy.
He started well, landing some crisp combinations against Mohoumadi in the first round and then showing his versatility with a range of shots in the next.
The tall southpaw seemed content to fight off the ropes, a position he would find himself throughout the fight, although DeGale did not seem too troubled by the barrage.
He continued to invite the pressure in the fourth, but exploded off the ropes in the fifth and a snapping left hook found its mark, rocking back Mohoumadi's head.
The 32-year-old, who had been beaten twice in his 16-fight career before tonight but had never been stopped, continued to pin DeGale on the ropes, and was successful in landing a couple of decent right hands.
Mohoumadi was very aggressive but was coming off second best when DeGale boxed at range.
The Londoner exploded into action in the 10th with several powerful punches that wobbled his opponent and another burst in the 12th saw him stun Mohoumadi once more in a very strong finish that would see him to victory.