Boxing: DeGale and friends join forces with Warren

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The Independent Online

There will be no fantasy defence of the Olympic title at the 2012 Games in London for James DeGale after he finally and officially turned professional at a swanky restaurant in London yesterday.

DeGale has agreed terms to fight for Frank Warren, starting in February next year, and he will be joined each time he fights by Warren's two other Beijing Olympians, B J Saunders and Frankie Gavin. The three friends have shared rooms in a dozen countries at international boxing events during the last two years and it was expected that they would turn professional together. "I have been in the business a long time and this is, for me, a very exciting day," Warren said. "It has taken a lot of work to make this happen and I truly believe that all three boxers can change the landscape of the sport."

Warren is also on a personal mission to become the first promoter to turn a British gold medallist into a world champion. In Beijing DeGale shocked the amateur boxing experts with a series of stunning wins in the difficult side of the draw to win the middleweight title and set in motion the bidding war that ended yesterday.

"Winning the gold medal was part of a journey and winning a world title is the next part of the same boxing journey for me," DeGale said.