Just as quickly as James DeGale announced he is vacating his IBF super middleweight title, a new champion was crowned.
DeGale surprised the boxing world when he wrote on Twitter that he would be vacating his title in order to have the biggest fights possible in what he calls the final chapter of his boxing career. DeGale was scheduled to have a purse bid with interim champion Jose Uzcategui on July 5, but now with the IBF title vacant, Uzcategui has been elevated to full champion, according to Michael Benson.
Of course with Uzcategui being elevated to IBF champion, the purse bid has been canceled, but Uzcategui may have his first title defense lined up. Although not officially announced, Uzcategui would be ordered to fight No. 2 ranked IBF Caleb Plant, who won a fight against Rogelio Medina for the No. 2 spot in the rankings earlier this year.
Uzcategui’s journey to the IBF title has been an unorthodox one. After DeGale had to take almost the entire year of 2017 off due to his fight against Badou Jack, an interim title was created with Uzcategui and Andre Dirrell ordered to fight for that title. Uzcategui's 2017 bout against Dirrell ended in controversy when Dirrell was knocked out by Uzcategui after the eighth round bell had sounded. In the rematch, which took place earlier this year, Uzcategui defeated Dirrell inside eight rounds to win the interim title.