James DeGale won the IBF super-middleweight title in Boston on Saturday night. The Englishman defeated American Andre Dirrell by unanimous decision.
Afterwards, DeGale dedicated the victory to the late Irish boxer Darren Sutherland who tragically took his own life nearly six years ago.
It's for Darren Sutherland aswell, of course. My late rival. When he took his life back in 2009 it was horrendous. From when he passed, I've always had 'DS' on my shorts. And this world title is for him aswell. Please believe me.
A great guy. A great fighter. Unbelievable fighter. We've had some great, great scraps. It's for him.
In an interview with the Daily Star a fortnight ago, DeGale revealed the 'DS' tribute. One of the most notable things about the gesture was that he had never publicised it. There was no element of self-promotion. In fact, interviewer Chris McKenna said that he was the one who had brought it up.
DeGale and Sutherland fought each other six times as amateurs with the most significant victory for the English fighter being in the semi-finals of the 2008 Olympics when he won gold and the Irishman took bronze.
h/t Aaron Clarke
Video: iFL TV