DeGale and Selby to defend titles in December

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Super middleweight world titleholder James DeGale and featherweight titlist Lee Selby will both defend their belts on the same card on Dec. 9 at the Copper Box Arena in London, promoter Frank Warren announced on Wednesday.

The opponents for both men are slated to be announced at a news conference on Monday.

DeGale, a 31-year-old southpaw from England, will be making the third defense of his 168-pound world title, but it will be his first defense in his hometown. DeGale (23-1-1, 14 KOs) will also be returning from a severe shoulder injury suffered in a majority decision draw against Badou Jack in their Jan. 14 slugfest.

“To be defending my world title in my home city is a dream come true,” said DeGale, the first British boxer to both an Olympic gold medal for England (in 2008) and a professional world title. “I have made my name as a road warrior but now it is time to remind everyone at home who the best super middleweight in the world is.”

DeGale won a vacant title in Boston by decision against Andre Dirrell in May 2015 and has defended in Quebec City against Lucian Bute, against Rogelio “Porky” Medina in Washington, D.C., and in Brooklyn, New York against Jack.

“I haven’t showcased my skills in the U.K. since 2014 and I’m looking forward to putting on a memorable performance for the people of London and everyone tuning in,” Jack said. “I’m back in full training and feeling fit and ready to go on Dec. 9. Fans can look forward to an explosive performance. I’m itching to get under those bright lights again.”

Selby (25-1, 9 KOs), 30, of Wales, will be making the fourth defense of the 126-pound world title that he won from Evgeny Gradovich in May 2015. He is coming off a one-sided decision win against mandatory challenger Jonathan Victor Barros on July 15 in London.

After his fight on Dec. 9, Selby wants to face his next mandatory challenger, England’s Josh Warrington, with whom he has a running war of words.

“I can’t wait to return to the ring on a huge night of boxing,” Selby said. “There’s some terrific fighters featuring on the bill but I’ll be stealing the show and ending 2017 in style. I will definitely be fighting my mandatory challenger Josh Warrington after I come through this fight. To me he is just another opponent, but I think he’s got emotionally attached to me. I will give him an educated lesson and then move on.”

Warren said he is pleased to put both title fights on the same card.

“I am delighted James and Lee are showcasing their talents on our last big show in London this year,” Warren said. “I expect it to be a special night for James, defending his world title in his home city for the first time. Selby is a class operator and should he come through this fight, we will be looking to make the long-awaited fight with Josh in 2018.”

Warren said the undercard will also include light heavyweight up-and-comer Anthony Yarde (13-0, 12 KOs), 26, of England, and 20-year-old British heavyweight prospect Daniel Dubois (5-0, 5 KOs).

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