Boxing

Remembering James DeGale's Beautiful Tribute To Darren Sutherland

Remembering James DeGale's Beautiful Tribute To Darren Sutherland

Today marks the ninth anniversary of Darren Sutherland's untimely death at the age of just 27-years. Having boxed for Ireland in the Beijing Olympics in 2008, Sutherland was a bronze medal winner in the middleweight category.

An Olympic games that demonstrated the prowess of Ireland's amateur boxing tradition, Sutherland was joined by the likes of Kenneth Egan and Paddy Barnes among the medal winners from our boxing ranks.

Yet, while Barnes would go on to box at two further Olympics before turning pro, and Egan contributed some stellar work in raising the awareness of mental illness and addiction, Sutherland's short life is commemorated in the memories of those who knew him best.

James DeGale, the former IBF super-middleweight champion is one who was both foe and friend of the Dublin boxer. Having faced off against each other in the semi-final of the Beijing Olympics, DeGale ultimately came out on top and went on to claim gold for Great Britain.

Although not particularly liked during the early stages of his professional career, DeGale earned himself a lot of admirers in 2015 when he discussed the impact Sutherland's passing had him. Prior to claiming his world title for the first time, DeGale explained the touching tribute he paid to his fallen opponent:

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It was so sad to hear about it. To put his initials on my shorts was just a bit of respect for him and his family who must have found it so hard.

We were rivals as amateurs but we had a lot of respect for each other. When I'm going to be World champion, he is going to be World champion. We are going to lift this together. Maybe it is just his initials on my shorts but we will do it together.

A beautiful tribute, when DeGale overcame Andre Dirrell to claim the IBF title in 2015, 'D.S' was emblazoned the shorts of the new World champion.

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