James DeGale wasn't at his best tonight, but he gutted out a 12-round decision win over France's Hadillah Mohoumadi in his Channel 5 and Hennessy Sports debut. Official scores were 116-112, 117-111, and a silly 119-109. Bad Left Hook had it 115-113 for DeGale.
DeGale (13-1, 9 KO) found himself in a fight from the get-go, as the unheralded Mohoumadi (13-3-1, 9 KO) came to fight and came to win despite the big underdog role. DeGale had a sometimes bizarre approach to the fight, giving Mohoumadi a ton to work with, constantly putting himself on the ropes, and eating more shots than anyone would really like to see from him.
After the fight, DeGale admitted he "gets lazy" and goes to the ropes, and gave his opponent a lot of credit for his toughness. As a fan watching, it was a far better fight than expected, but DeGale didn't look in totally top shape, and that can probably be blamed on his inactivity. He'd fought just once in the last year and that one didn't last long, and he's had disputes with now-former promoter Frank Warren taking up a lot of his attention.
The best thing DeGale can do now, of course, is stay active. There is some talk of him fighting again in December, and if he's physically up for it, it's the right idea. He needs to get going again, as his career stalled on the sidelines a bit and didn't allow for any progress.