Boston — James DeGale became the first British fighter to win an Olympic gold medal and a professional world title Saturday, unanimously outpointing Andre Dirrell at Boston University's Agganis Arena to take the vacant International Boxing Federation super middleweight title.
The London boxer improved to 21-1, receiving winning scores of 114-112 from judges Dan Fitzgerald and Howard Foster, and 117-109 from Alan Davis.
Dirrell, from Flint, dropped to 24-2.
"I am speechless," said DeGale, the 2008 Olympic champion. "My whole career has been leading up to this, winning a world title. It's an unbelievable feeling. I made history."
Cut next to his right eye early in the second round, DeGale floored Dirrell twice in the round. The first time, he landed a right hook, putting Dirrell on his seat. After Dirrell got up, DeGale crowded him and forced him to a knee with a left hand to the body.
In the third, DeGale landed another right hook that forced Dirrell to hold. Dirrell avoided any big shots in the fifth, landing a straight left hand to DeGale's chin with no effect.
In the final seconds of the sixth, DeGale landed a right hook to the head and a left to the body, causing Dirrell to double over. Earlier in the round, Dirrell was cut on his left cheekbone.
Dirrell landed combinations in the seventh and forced DeGale to take a step back on three occasions after landed straight left hands.
Toward the end of the ninth, both fighters taunted each other after each fought the round defensively. They briefly exchanged words after the bell.
Near the end of the 10th Dirrell landed a right to the body while pushing DeGale into the ropes.
Fighting for the first time in the United States, the 31-year-old DeGale landed 115 of 400 punches. Dirrell connected on 111 of 488.
Dirrell's only other loss was a split decision against Carl Froch in 2009 in a bid for Froch's World Boxing Council super middleweight title in Nottingham, England.
"They say I ran from Froch and they took it away from me," Dirrell said. "(DeGale) ran from me and they gave it to him."