James DeGale became world champion by beating Andre Dirrell on points in their IBF super-middleweight title clash in Boston.Harlesden’s 2008 Olympic gold medallist floored the highly regarded American twice in the second round, with a thunderous overhand left doing the damage.Dirrell recovered and gave DeGale plenty of problems, but a late flurry from the Londoner saw him win a unanimous decision and make history by becoming the first British boxer to win Olympic gold and a professional world title.He faced a talented opponent in Dirrell, whose only previous defeat was a split points decision against Carl Froch in 2009 – a fight many observers believed the man from Michigan had won.But DeGale, 29, grasped his opportunity to secure the vacant title that was up for grabs after Froch opted to relinquish the belt.And he paved the way for a potential rematch with arch rival and fellow West Londoner George Groves, who won a close points decision when the pair met in May 2011 – DeGale’s only loss.Groves, twice beaten by Froch having been knocked out in their rematch last year after being controversially stopped while ahead in their first encounter, is in line for another world title shot.Hammersmith’s former British, European and Commonwealth champion is expected to challenge WBC champion Badou Jack later this year and a victory could lead to a unification showdown with DeGale.Dirrell did well to make it past the second round after being sent to the canvas by a vicious shot.The 32-year-old touched down again as DeGale followed up but he made it to the end of the round and appeared to have the upper hand in some of the subsequent rounds, although they seemed tough to score.Canadian judge Alan Davis had the bout 117-109 in DeGale’s favour, which seemed somewhat bizarre, while Daniel Fitzgerald of the United States and Britain’s Howard Foster both scored it 114-112.See also:DeGale ‘too fresh and too good’ for ButeDeGale to defend title against Medina next monthFollow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebook
Suspended Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leader and former Lok Sabha member from Koraput, Jayaram Pangi, joined the BJP here on Tuesday.Mr. Pangi, who was suspended from BJD after the recent panchayat polls over “anti-party activities”, joined the BJP in the presence of Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and others. Former Congress leader Giridhar Gamang, who had joined the BJP two nearly two years ago, was also present.While Mr. Pradhan said that Mr. Pangi joining the BJP will be a boost to the party in tribal-dominated areas, senior BJD leader from Koraput, Rabi Narayan Nand, said it will not make any difference to his party.Murder caseMr. Pangi’s name had figured in the case relating to the murder of primary school teacher Itishree Pradhan at Tikiri in Rayagada district in 2013. The BJD had denied a party ticket to the tribal leader in 2014 elections Meanwhile, a tweet by Baijayant Panda, BJD MP from Kendrapara, created a flutter in political circles during the day. “One gone yesterday, another today. Yet when I cautioned last week, was contradicted. Now large sections unrepresented, resentment everywhere,” he tweeted. He was referring to BJD leader Amar Nayak joining the BJP in Jajpur district on Monday and Mr. Pangi joining the saffron party on Tuesday.Reacting to Mr. Panda’s tweet, BJD spokesman Pratap Keshari Deb said the MP should have asked the BJP how they accepted Mr. Pangi, whom they had accused of having a role behind the killing of Itishree Pradhan. “The BJP was accusing the BJD of shielding Mr. Pangi in the murder case, but how did they accept him now,” he asked.
In a blow to Olympic Games 2012, Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal has been ruled out of the upcoming sports extravaganza due to injury. The World No 3 was one of the title favourites at London and was expected to give Wimbledon champion Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic a run for their money. However, sadly for Nadal and his fans, the Spaniard has failed to recuperate from his knee injury and has been forced to withdraw from the games. Nadal, who won the singles gold medal at Beijing 2008, was clearly disappointed at being robbed off the opportunity of defending his title at London. Revealing his failure to recover in time, Nadal lamented the decision as one of the saddest moments of his career.