sport

DeGale sees off Khatchikian

James DeGale claimed an 11th-round stoppage of Gevorg Khatchikian in Bristol on Saturday night.

The 28-year-old Londoner did not have things all his own way at the City Academy, but floored the gutsy Armenian twice in round 11 en route to a successful defence of his WBC silver super-middleweight belt.

Khatchikian quickly got up from both knock-downs, but on the second occasion the referee did not allow him to continue and DeGale was declared the winner.

DeGale was bleeding from a cut above his left eye from the second round, but was generally showing the greater aggression and troubling his opponent with his combination punches and hand-speed.

The 2008 Olympic gold medallist had a scare in round six when he was on the ropes, but soon reasserted his authority and looked close to finishing things off in rounds eight and nine before finally doing the job in round 11.

Khatchikian slumped to the canvas as a result of a fierce body-shot from DeGale and, although he got back to his feet and resumed battle, a similar blow soon after swiftly ended proceedings.

"I knew I was wearing him down," DeGale said on Channel Five. "I knew the first couple of rounds would be difficult. He wanted to fight, but I broke him down. The better the opponent, the better I box."

DeGale denied ever having been in trouble, saying: "Because it's so easy, I switch off. It's stupid."

He added: "I could see at the press conference that he really wanted it. I've done 11 rounds, ended up stopping him... I'm pleased.

"It's about moving on now and just getting that world title. That's what it's all about."