Carl Froch congratulated James DeGale on becoming the new IBF super-middleweight world champion, but conceded that he nearly let it slip against Andre Dirrell.
DeGale beats Dirrell: (Video) Big knockdown in second round made all the difference.
DeGale reacts to becoming champion: (Video) New champ ready for anyone in division.
Why DeGale will become world champion: Chunky was destined to become titleholder.
DeGale defeated Dirrell by a unanimous decision in Boston on Saturday, as he made history by becoming the first British Olympic gold medallist to become a world champion as a professional.
While the 29-year-old was naturally delighted with the win after the fight and called out any rival in the super-middleweight division, Froch admitted that he was a little disappointed with how his fellow Brit almost let it slip.
“It was a great win. I was very concerned from [round] four or five onwards,” he told Sky Sports.
“I was concerned he would chuck it away and couldn’t come back enough to me, letting Dirrell take the centre of the ring and look like he was in control.
“It was difficult to score because not much was landing either way but I saw the fight slipping away from him. I wanted more from DeGale.
“I was disappointed with the fact he didn’t throw enough shots or look like he wanted the world title. But he did enough. He just did enough on my card.”
Froch certainly had a point as after sending Dirrell to the canvas in the second round, DeGale had the opportunity to put the fight away as the American was in trouble.
However, from the sixth round onwards, ‘the Resurrected’ proved his doubters wrong as he showed grit and determination to get himself in the fight and ensured that at least two of the judges scorecards were close.
While he didn’t do enough to overturn his early deficit, Dirrell ensured that it was a nervy ending before DeGale took the last two rounds and even the new champion conceded that he started to coast in the middle rounds in a post-fight interview with iFL TV.
DeGale says it was good experience and insisted that he shouldn’t have to coast given that he is capable of going 15 rounds in sparring, and so the new IBF champion will learn his lesson and hope to ensure that he doesn’t repeat his mistakes in the future.