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(UK time) 10:01:13

Boxing

20 April 2012

DeGale ignores Steiglitz approach in preparation for title defence

British fighter turns down the chance to fight for WBO title ahead of European defence

DeGale ignores Steiglitz approach in preparation for title defence

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James DeGale will head into his bout with Cristian Sanavia at 1/10 to claim victory in this mandatory defence of his European super-middleweight crown he earned last October.

The British fighter this week turned down the chance to fight for the World WBO super-middleweight belt against Robert Steiglitz on the 5th May.

Steiglitz was set to face DeGale’s bitter rival Geroge Groves, who defeated the Olympic gold medallist in May 2011, but Groves was forced to pull out of the fight after suffering an undisclosed injury in training.

Sanavia, his challenger here, is 6/1 to spring an upset and has done very little since holding the WBC super-middleweight title for only one fight in 2004, after he defeated Erik Beyer in a surprise result.

A rematch saw Beyer reclaim his belt with a sixth round knockout.

The 37-year old Italian has a wealth of experience with over 50 fights to his name but it is hard to see him causing his much younger opponent any real issues when they meet in Denmark.

The draw is available here at 33/1, but with DeGale eager to exorcise the ghosts of his loss to Groves and fire himself to the top of the boxing world, it is likely that the 26-year old will go out to make an early impression.

Taking into consideration the Nottingham southpaw’s urge to entertain, punters may be tempted to get behind the Brit flooring Sanavia in the first to take the win at 18/1.

DeGale has been the victor by knock-out in eight of his 12 professional contests, and he is an 8/15 chance to win by TKO or disqualification in Scandinavia.

However, the 2004 champion is determined to put on a show for his fans and take the younger man the distance to prove he belongs at the top of the boxing game, and he is expected to put up a stern test, anyone believing he can go the distance and win on points can get behind the veteran at 9/1.

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