James DeGale could face mandatory EBU challenger Cristian Sanavia in December

18 Oct

Tommy Barber – London

European super middleweight champion James DeGale, who decisioned former EBU titlist Piotr Wilczewski on October 15 in a competitive match-up at the Echo Arena in Liverpool, could defend the honour before the year’s end as the Londoner himself has stated he wants to remain an active fighter. Cristian Sanavia, a 36-year-old from Veneto, Italy, will be the likely opponent as he is the official mandatory challenger to the blue belt (pictured below).

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December defence for DeGale?

Bouncing back from an emotional-sapping loss in May to bitter rival George Groves, DeGale (11-1-0, 8ko) was made to labour for victory against Wilczewski (29-2-0, 10ko) in a bout where he absorbed numerous straight right shots from the Pole.

In return, though, DeGale’s combinations, inside fighting and general work-rate are what perhaps swayed the majority of the rounds to be struck in his favour: two of the ringside judges witnessed a 115-113 fight which offset the tie score of 114-114.

A fight against Sanavia (45-5-1, 13ko) in December would represent a battle of the lefties as both fighters are southpaws, however, DeGale would firstly need to recover from a torn eardrum – he lost his hearing in the fifth round against Wilczewski.

Sanavia has great continental experience with his most notable contests being two fights with Karo Murat, both of which were unsuccessful (2008: UD loss, 2009: 10Rd TKO). Other notable fighters on the EBU rankings include Arthur Abraham (1) and George Groves (2).

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