James DeGale stayed firmly on course for a crack at the world-title by scoring an 11th round tko win over Gevorg Khatchikan at the City Academy Sports Centre in Bristol, England on Saturday night fight.
Although DeGale looked to be in control for most of the fight Khatchikan had his moments and proved more than capable of holding his own against the WBC silver super middleweight champion.
DeGale finally got the job done after 2.58 of the 11th round when a sustained combination of punches to the body forced the stoppage after Khatchikan dropped to the canvas,twice.
DeGale, who was cut above the left eye in the second round, spoke to Channel 5 sport after the fight, saying: "I knew I was wearing him down. 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.’’
Regarding some scary moments in the fight where he looked in trouble DeGale added: "Because it’s so easy, I switch off. It’s stupid. I could see at the press conference that he really wanted it. I’ve done eleven 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.’’
DeGale had planned to fight Badou Jack in May in a final eliminator for the WBC super-middleweight title but Jack lost in the first round to Dereck Edwards on Friday night.
On the undercard, local bantamweight Lee Haskins looked good in stopping Luke Wilson in the second round. The win could now open up a possible world title challenge against fellow Briton and IBF bantamweight champ Stuy Hall.
middleweight Lee Noblew pts 6 Dan Blackwell
super featherweight Harvey Hemsley drew 4 Ben Morrish
cruiserweight Scott Westgarth w tko 2 Lee Nutland
bantamweight Ashley Lane w pts 4 Anwar Alfadli
middleweight Luke Osman w pts 4 Liam Hunt debut
light middleweight Dan Sarkozi w pts 4 Ben Robinson