DeGale breezes past Zuniga
James DeGale produced arguably the performance of his fledgling professional career with a classy unanimous decision victory over veteran Fulgencio Zuniga to win the lightly regarded WBC silver super-middleweight title in Hull.
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DeGale, who has struggled to match expectations in the paid ranks that were placed on him after winning a gold medal in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, took the fight to his opponent from the opening bell and knocked him down with a beautifully timed left in the third round.
The Colombian barely survived and although DeGale could not finish the job, he was rarely troubled as all three judges scored the contest 118-109 in his favour.
DeGale (14-1) knew he had to impress after a rather uninspiring points decision victory over the little-known Hadillah Mohoumadi two months ago.
The reigning European super-middleweight landed several decent shots in the first and had his man down with a glorious uppercut in the third.
Despite surviving the count, Zuniga, who has challenged for world titles at three different weights, was on shaky legs as DeGale went in for the kill.
Referee Luigi Muratore may have inadvertently given Zuniga valuable seconds to recover after thinking he had heard the bell to end the round but after realising his mistake, allowed the fight to continue.
Zuniga was rocked once more but the end of the round prevented DeGale from an early win.
The 26-year-old continued to use his impressive hand speed to excellent effect and Zuniga was visibly stunned in the sixth round but managed to stay on his feet.
Zuniga was looking increasingly clueless against DeGale's speed but valiantly kept ploughing forward as his opponent's work-rate dipped slightly.
He did land a decent right in the 11th but it was too little, too late as DeGale continued his march towards a world title shot.
In Saturday's other action, Chris Eubank Jr continued his burgeoning career with a second-round technical knockout of Olegs Fedotovs to improve his record to nine wins from as many fights.
Eubank Jr, son of the former two-weight world champion, was competing in his second bout in eight days after defeating Bradley Pryce on points last Saturday.
Kid Galahad was also impressive as he racked up his 13th professional win, stopping Ivan Ruiz Morote inside four rounds.