James DeGale (19-1, 13KO’s) put an exclamation mark upon his elite level status in the super middleweight division this evening, with a massive knock out over previously battle tested Marco Antonio Periban (20-2-1, 13KO’s).

It was a vintage performance from “Chunky” who showed an array of quality shots and exploited openings in the Mexican fighter’s defence from the opening bell. Periban himself looked a little out of shape in the contest, evident by his appearance at the weigh in on Friday appearing 3lbs over the 168lb limit.

The contest was halted midway through the third round with DeGale backing Periban up upon the ropes; the Harlsden man let his hands fly with some serious venom, landing a right hook followed by a stunning left hand which sent his opponent flailing on the ropes and then to the canvas.

Never one to jump in on a fight a fraction too early, referee Howard Foster was at the scene of the action in record time, taking one look into the eyes of the away fighter and deeming him unfit to continue.

The win keeps DeGale’s position as IBF mandatory challenger to champion Carl Froch safe, with a prospective match up between the pair briefly muted for early 2015.

That fight however, is dependent  upon the availability of Mexico’s favourite son Julio Cesar Chavez Jr; Froch has been clamoring for a big fight in Las Vegas before the end of his career, with the former middleweight champion looking to be the lead contender. If that fight were to come to fruition it is likely DeGale would fight for a vacant world title against the highest available IBF ranked contender.