DeGale overpowers Sanavia to retain title

James DeGale successfully defended his European super-middleweight title, stopping former world champion Cristian Sanavia in the fourth round of their fight in Frederikshavn, Denmark.

The Olympic champion from Harlesden controlled the opening couple of rounds but a wobble after he was caught by a shot at the end of the third should arguably have been counted as a knockdown.

DeGale touched down with one glove and grabbed the ropes with the other in order to keep himself upright.

But he showed his superiority in the following round, when he floored his Italian opponent four times.

The first knockdown looked like a slip, but when Sanavia was sent back to the canvas with a nice left-right combination it was clear he was in serious trouble.

Sanavia got to his feet but was soon down again – once more after what looked looked like a stumble – before DeGale emphatically brought the fight to an end.

He pinned the 37-year-old on the ropes and a thunderous body shot followed by a stiff left put Sanavia back on the ground, prompting the referee to stop the contest.

It was DeGale’s first defence of the belt he won by beating Poland’s Piotr Wilczewski on points in October.

The victory leaves him on course for a possible world title shot or a rematch with arch rival and fellow West Londoner George Groves, who edged a close fight when the pair met last year.

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