SAN DIEGO, January 14, 2017 – British boxing hopes IBF super middleweight champion James DeGale (23-1, 14 KOs) will continue the UK’s boxing renaissance at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn in Saturday’s super middleweight unification bout against Swedish-born WBC super middleweight champion Badou Jack (21-1-1, 12 KOs). The bout is the main event of Showtime’s first boxing card on a strong 2017 boxing calendar starting at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.
DeGale and Jack appeared in the same ring last April as part of a two-fight super middleweight tournament.
Jack, perhaps the best boxer currently in the Mayweather Promotions stable, fought to a hotly disputed draw against Lucien Bute. Bute tested positive for PEDs after the bout so Jack got a bit of a pass. Jack, who now fights out of Las Vegas, doesn’t have spectacular knockout power or dazzling defensive skills. But he does everything well with no weaknesses, and when he maintains focus he is difficult to crack in the ring.
“I’m the smarter fighter—period,” Jack said. “I believe I’m the more fundamentally sound fighter. I believe I’m the more technical fighter. It’s not just about throwing millions of combinations or looking flashy and stuff like that. It’s about winning rounds. It’s about being smart.”
DeGale, the 2008 Olympic Gold medalist and the first British boxer to win an Olympic gold and a world title, appears in his fourth consecutive fight in the United States. It’s by design. DeGale refers to himself as “The Road Warrior.” The 30-year-old southpaw is a big star at home, but he’s worked hard to extend his fame beyond Britain’s borders. Fighting in the United States gives DeGale an opportunity to build his American fan base and get the big money fights under the bright lights in big venues such as Las Vegas as well as vault him to pay per view status in Great Britain.
“As Badou Jack says, when we get in there it’s me and him,” said DeGale. “The best fighting the best, whoever comes out is the champ. That’s it.
“I won my world title in the U.S., I’ve defended it here and now I’m going to unify it here,” DeGale said. “To do what no other British super middleweight has done—and there have been numerous greats at 168 pounds—fills me with pride and will cement my legacy in the division.”
Jack is facing his second southpaw in a row, only the third fight against a southpaw in his career. He had a bit of trouble with southpaw Bute, and he’s likely to have the same sort of trouble against the nimble DeGale. Expect DeGale to come roaring out of the gate at the start of the bout, and he may be well ahead on the cards by the middle of the fight. A knockout isn’t a given, but it’s possible should either man make a mistake.
But DeGale can sometimes lose focus and motivate when he’s ahead on the scorecards and opponents can fight their way back in. This is where Jack’s steady discipline serves him well. Jack has a way of making close rounds go his way. DeGale needs to stay on his toes and fight every single round as if he was behind on the cards. With that mentality, he’s the more skilled fighter and he should win.
Should DeGale beat Jack, his next fight will be an all-British showdown against the unbeaten Callum Smith, a big money fight with huge interest among the boxing crazy Brits.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google +
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