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James DeGale vs Jose Uzcategui imminent.

The IBF will order the mandatory defense of the IBF super-middleweight title today.

By Aaron Cooper   - @intuboxingfm

IntuBoxing has learned that the International Boxing Federation (IBF) will order the mandatory defense of its super-middleweight title today.

It's champion, James DeGale (24-2-1 14 KOs) re-gained his title against Caleb Truax (29-4-2, 18 KOs) in Las Vegas last month on April 7th. The 32-year-old DeGale held the IBF world title at 168lbs for two and a half years before losing it to the 34-year-old Truax in his hometown of London in December of last year. In what was one of the biggest shocks the boxing world has seen in over a decade. DeGale clawed his belt back from the Minnesota man on the undercard of the WBA & IBF super-welterweight unification clash between Jarrett Hurd and Erislandy Lara. The three scoring judges awarding scores of 114-113 twice and 117-110.

DeGale's mandatory challenger is the hard-hitting Venezuelan, Jose Uzcategui (27-2, 23 KOs). Uzcategui achieved his mandatory status against Andre Dirrell at the Barclays Centre in Brooklyn in March. This fight to a rematch.  Their first fight ended in controversy. With the referee calling ten seconds to the bell, Uzcategui was raining shots down into the face of Dirrell. Now, what happened next still splits boxing pundits and fans alike today. Uzcategui landed a hard shot that dropped Dirrell. Some say it was on the bell, others say it was shortly after. Dirrell went down, only to rise, look at his corner and lay down again. Uzcategui was disqualified and took a punch from Dirrell's uncle and trainer Leon Lawson Jr, which at one point saw him facing felony charges of 25 years! However, the rematch was a different story, with Uzcategui putting on the performance of his life, forcing Dirrell to retire on his stool at the end of the eighth round.  

DeGale's options of a unification are slim at present. WBO champion, Gilberto Ramirez, WBC champion David Benavidez and WBA 'Super' champion, George Groves all have bouts scheduled. So Uzcategui will be next. Many in the boxing world see DeGale as a fighter on the way down. But James DeGale has never backed down from a fight!

Write him off at your peril ...