DeGale vs Bute: How have James DeGale's fellow Beijing Olympic gold medallists fared?
Last Updated: 25/11/15 11:04am
James DeGale beat all other British boxers to the punch by becoming the first Olympic champion from these Isles to win a world title, but he wasn't the first of the Beijing boxing gold medallists to be crowned a world professional champion.
That honour went to Vasyl Lomachenko, who won the WBO world featherweight title in June 2014 in his third professional fight.
DeGale does hold an edge over the Ukrainian in one respect. While 'Chunky' won a world title at his first attempt, Lomachenko's victory over Gary Russell Jr was his second world title tilt, following his defeat to Orlando Salido.
IBF super-middleweight champion DeGale defends his belt against former champion Lucian Bute in Quebec City, Canada this weekend, live on Sky Sports.
Here we look forward to DeGale's first defence by looking back at each of the 2008 Beijing boxing champions and how they built on their Olympic success.
Super-heavyweight - Roberto Cammarelle (Italy)
The man who beat David Price in the semi-finals did not turn professional following his success but was an outstanding amateur, winning the World Amateur Championships the year before and after the Olympics. Cammarelle also reached the super-heavyweight final at London 2012 but had to settle for silver at the hands of Anthony Joshua. He is now a member of the Italian State Police.
Heavyweight - Rakhim Chakhkiev (Russia)
Chakhkiev came close to being the first of the Beijing gold medallists to become a world champion. He took on Poland's Krzysztof Wlodarczyk for the WBC world cruiserweight title in his 17th pro fight in June 2013 - a year ahead of Lomachenko - and had him down in the third, only to be put down three times himself before being stopped in the eighth round. He was also knocked out by Ola Afolabi in November 2015, a loss that moved his record to 24-2-KO18.
Light-heavyweight - Zhang Xiaoping (China)
Zhang was born on April Fool's Day in 1982 in Xilinhot, Inner Mongolia. Representing China, he beat Ireland's Kenny Egan to claim gold in Beijing. He did not join the paid ranks.
Middleweight - James DeGale (Great Britain)
The boy from Harlesden made British boxing history by outpointing Andre Dirrell for the vacant IBF super-middleweight crown in May 2015. He turned pro wearing gold gloves, was booed in his early fights but won the British and European title. A subsequent loss to bitter enemy George Groves irks him to this day but unlike his rival, DeGale has fought and won a world title.
DeGale will defend his title against Lucian Bute on November 28, live on Sky Sports.
Gold to world glory gaps
|Olympic gold||World title||Pro fight||Gap in days|
|Lomachenko||August 12, 2008||June 21, 2004||3rd||1,774|
|DeGale||August 23, 2008||May 23, 2015||22nd||2,464|
Welterweight - Bakhyt Sarsekbayev (Kazakhstan)
The southpaw Kazakh was 28 when he struck gold in Beijing, dominating Cuba's Carlos Banteaux to add to the World University Boxing Championships gold he won two years earlier. Unlike compatriot Gennady Golovkin, he chose not to enter the the professional game.
Light-welterweight - Manuel Felix Díaz (Dominican Republic)
Diaz turned pro after winning Olympic gold in Beijing and went unbeaten until October 2015, when he lost a split decision to Lamont Peterson. Still based in Santo Domingo, and now boasting a professional record of 17-1-6KO, the southpaw should be back in action soon.
Lightweight - Aleksei Tishchenko (Russia)
The Omsk-born star was considered one of the best amateurs around - even if Frankie Gavin denied him a second World Amateur Championship gold in 2007. The double Olympic, world amateur, European and World Cup gold medallist retired in 2011, without turning pro.
Featherweight - Vasyl Lomachenko (Ukraine)
Lomachenko tried to win a world title in just his second professional fight but lost to Orlando Salido by split decision in March 2014. He made no mistake three months later against Gary Russell Jr, claiming the WBO featherweight title on a majority decision. 'Hi-Tech' has already made three successful title defences.
Bantamweight - Enkhbatyn Badar-Uugan (Mongolia)
Badar-Uugan made history as the first Mongolian to win Olympic boxing gold. Had judo star Naidangiin Tüvshinbayar not struck gold a few days earlier, Badar-Uugan would have been Mongolia's first Olympic gold medallist in any sport. Defending his title four years later in London, he had to settle for a silver medal.
Flyweight - Somjit Jongjohor (Thailand)
Aged 33, Jongjohor became one of the oldest boxers to win gold in Beijing. He had won the World Amateur Championship five years earlier. Having promised the Beijing Olympics would be his last tournament, he remained true to his word, retiring to become a Thailand national coach.
Light-flyweight - Zou Shiming (China)
A double Olympic and triple World Amateur champion, Zou had the opportunity to win a professional world title before DeGale, only to lose on points to IBF flyweight holder Amnat Ruenroeng in March 2015, despite knocking the champion down in the second round. He has not boxed since.
Notable Beijing medalists
|David Price||Bronze||Great Britain||Super-heavyweight|
|Tony Jeffries||Bronze||Great Britain||Heavyweight|