Remembering James DeGale's Beautiful Tribute To Friend Darren Sutherland

Remembering James DeGale's Beautiful Tribute To Friend Darren Sutherland

Today marks eight years since Irish Olympian Darren Sutherland passed away, aged just 27.

Having boxed for Ireland in the Beijing Olympics in 2008, Sutherland claimed a bronze medal in the middleweight category.

During a games in which our boxers were responsible for all three of the medals won, Sutherland, Kenneth Egan and Paddy Barnes were roundly lauded for their achievements.

Yet, while Barnes would go on to box at two further Olympics, 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 IBF Super Middleweight Champion of the World 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 the 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, DeGale paid a touching tribute to his fallen opponent:


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.

In what amounts to one of the most touching sporting tributes you are likely to see, DeGale was true to his word.

When he overcame Andre Dirrell to claim the IBF title in 2015, 'D.S' emblazoned the shorts of the new World champion.

DeGale remains a World champion and has successfully defended his title on three occasions.

Arthur James O'Dea

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