I proved a point – DeGale

James DeGale believes he proved his doubters wrong by overcoming tough Pole Piotr Wilczewski to become European super-middleweight champion.

DeGale was rocked in the fifth round and absorbed a number of other heavy shots before winning a majority points decision at the Liverpool Echo Arena.

Having narrowly lost on points to George Groves in May, this time the Harlesden fighter’s work in the second half of the bout was enough to convince the judges.

DeGale said: “I proved a point in there. It was one of the toughest fights of my career. The guy was very tough but I did the job and proved a lot of things.

“The fight against Groves made me more determined than ever that nobody is going to do that to me again.

“I wasn’t at my best and I’ve still got a lot to learn. But I showed a lot of qualities against a very strong opponent.”

Saturday’s victory gives DeGale a top-10 world ranking, paving the way for a possible world title challenge in 2012.

There could also be a rematch with fellow West Londoner Groves, who defends his British and Commonwealth belts against Paul Smith at Wembley Arena next month.