James DeGale vs. Badou Jack Preview
In the first of 2017’s strong lineup of boxing matchups, James DeGale takes on Badou Jack in a super-middleweight title unification bout. The winner is poised for big fights down the line, but this is a tough fight for each fighter and will reveal the true top talent at 168 pounds.
James DeGale (23-1) is as skilled as any of the elite fighters of the world when he’s on his best game. The London boxer fights with an exciting, aggressive style. A pro since 2009, DeGale made British history by becoming the first British Olympic gold medalist to win a professional world title.
Since his one loss to George Groves in 2011, DeGale has grown substantially as a fighter. In May of last year he captured the vacant IBF super-middleweight belt with a victory over Andre Dirrell, and he has defended that belt twice in solid unanimous decision wins over Lucian Bute and Rogelio Medina.
With the chance to unify the IBF and WBC super-middleweight titles in Brooklyn on Saturday, DeGale rightfully enters the fight as the betting favorite. But he knows that he has no easy task when he takes on Badou Jack.
Jack (20-1-2) has held the WBC super middleweight belt since April of 2015 and has also made two defenses. He beat Groves — the man that handed DeGale his only loss — and then went to a debatable draw with Lucian Bute last April.
The Swedish boxer has been the underdog in many of his contests, but that hasn’t stopped him from winning and retaining his super-middleweight title. Backed by the promotional push of Floyd Mayweather Jr., Jack has the opportunity to further establish the strength of his name in boxing if he can upset DeGale.
After a down year for boxing in which many of the top fighters coasted through uninspiring matchups with outmatched opponents, James DeGale vs. Badou Jack represents the beginning of a promising 2017 for the sport of boxing.