James DeGale was too tall, too fast, too strong, and too young for Italian veteran Cristian Sanavia today in Denmark, retaining his European super middleweight title with a fourth-round stoppage victory to wrap up the Nordic Fight Night card in Frederikshavn.
DeGale (12-1, 9 KO) was met by a spirited Sanavia (45-6-1, 13 KO) in the first couple of rounds, as the shorter veteran showed little fear of his blue chip, former Olympic gold medalist foe, but DeGale kept a cool head and seemingly simply waited for talent to inevitably take over, as it did. Well, talent and some good, hard body shots, which started to creep up and take Sanavia's fighting will in the blink of an eye.
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In the fourth, Sanavia was ruled down on what appeared to be a slip, but before there was much time to complain about a bad call, DeGale floored him for real almost as soon as the fight restarted. Moments after that knockdown, another one came in from DeGale, and then just after that one, a Sanavia was down for a fourth and final time. He didn't seem badly hurt on any of them, really, but he was overwhelmed and just didn't look as though he had the heart to keep on.
It's a good win for DeGale, not because Sanavia figured to be a dangerous opponent, but because he did what he should have with an opponent like this. DeGale could stay at European level for about five more fights and probably do himself no harm, but he's been a swift mover so far in his pro career, and he may want a crack at a world title sooner than later.
Patrick Nielsen KO-10 Gaston Alejandro Vega
This was a rather sloppy, ugly fight, but not altogether dull. Nielsen didn't show tremendous promise or anything, but he's still young and learning, and he closed this fight well when he got a chance. His biggest issue is obviously defense -- he's wide open for shots with a stance that leaves him vulnerable, and he just looks frail, really. Vega floored Nielsen in the ninth round, but Nielsen came back and landed a beautiful, clean left hand counter punch that ended a fight filled with flops and trips and slips. Nielsen has a lot to work on, but he stays unbeaten at 14-0 (8 KO).
Andreas Evensen MD-12 Willie Casey
I missed most of this one, but reports were that it was a good fight. Evensen got a win on scores of 115-113 twice and 114-114, with Casey closing hard down the stretch and giving it a serious effort. Those who saw the whole fight said the scores were entirely fair, with Casey given a fair shake.
Other Results: Reda Zam Zam TKO-5 Bronislav Kubin ... Erik Skoglund KO-2 Alberto Antenucci ... Simen Smaadal TKO-1 Pavel Staravoitau (Smaadal's pro debut) ... Torben Keller TKO-5 Aliaksandr Abramenka.