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DeGale dominates Khatchikian in stoppage win

ESPN staff
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James DeGale was rarely troubled by Gevorg Khatchikian © PA Photos
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James DeGale successfully defended his WBC silver super-middleweight title with a hard-fought 11th round knockout win over Gevorg Khatchikian on Saturday.

DeGale dominated proceedings at the City Academy Sports Centre in Bristol but struggled to find the final blow needed to finish his opponent off.

The Brit found his flow in the opening five rounds but looked troubled in the sixth as Khatchikian landed several powerful efforts to keep DeGale on the ropes.

However, DeGale worked his opponent's body to the core during the latter stages of round six and seven before severely rattling his opponent with a multitude of head and body shots in round nine.

Khatchikian was down early in the 11th as DeGale caught him with a huge, winding shot before the champion had his opponent down for a second time shortly after. This time, though, Khatchikian had no answer and the referee called the stoppage.

DeGale told Channel Five: "I knew I was wearing him down.

"I knew the first couple of rounds would be difficult. He wanted to fight, but I broke him down. The better the opponent, the better I box.

"I could see at the press conference that he really wanted it. I've done 11 rounds and ended up stopping him, I'm pleased.

"It's about moving on now and just getting that world title. That's what it's all about."

The WBC had previously called for DeGale to face his mandatory challenger Badou Jack, but he suffered a first round knockout loss to Dereck Edwards on Friday night. As a result, DeGale could now get a shot at WBC champion Sakio Bika.

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