Britain’s James DeGale fights Sweden’s Badou Jack in a unification clash at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York on Saturday night.
DeGale is putting his IBF super-middleweight title on the line in the fight whilst Badou Jack throws his WBC super-middleweight title into the ring. The winner will unify the belts and also claim the vacant ‘The Ring super middleweight title’ which was vacated by Andre Ward after he stepped up a weight division. The chance to unify the division makes this fight one not to be missed, as both fighters boast impressive records.
DeGale has suffered just the one defeat since claiming gold at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and turning professional in December of that year. DeGale’s rise has been followed closely by the British media despite losing a majority decision to fellow Brit George Groves in 2011, thus losing his British super-middleweight title. That defeat proved a catalyst as DeGale claimed the European super-middleweight title in his very next fight, defeating Poland’s Piotr Wilczewski in a majority decision at Liverpool’s Echo Arena.
In 2015, DeGale finally became world champion after beating American Andre Dirrell to claim the vacant IBF super-middleweight title. Two successful title defences have since followed with the winner takes all clash against Badou Jack up next.
DeGale has 23 wins 14 by KO and 1 loss fight record.
Similar to DeGale, 33-year-old Jack has suffered just the one defeat but does have two draws on his career card.
Jack turned professional a year later than DeGale and claimed his first victory in his first fight defeating Russian Maxim Nikonorov by a unanimous point’s decision. Jack suffered his only loss to American Derek Edwards in February 2014 to stall his career slightly before getting his title shot 14 months later when he defeated Andre Dirrell (similar to DeGale) to claim the WBC super-middleweight title.
Jack has done what DeGale couldn’t and that was to defeat George Groves. Badou Jack’s first title defence was against the Englishman where Jack won a controversial split decision at the MGM Grand.
Jack has 20 wins, 12 by KO, 1 loss, 2 draws.
The fight on Saturday night will be a close affair and is expected to go the distance at 4/19. Although it might be worth getting on the fight to under 10.5 rounds at 27/10 with us. Both fighters have similar records but Jack will take some confidence into the fight having beaten George Groves where DeGale failed.
However, DeGale does boast the slightly longer reach at 74 inches to Jacks 73. The Londoner is also three years Jack’s junior with a southpaw stance.
DeGale also boasts a better KO record having won inside the distance two more times than Jack. These are all narrow margins but could be a telling factor in determining which way this bout goes.
Comeon.com point the favourite as Jame DeGale at 2/7. However, don’t expect DeGale to have it all his own way. Jack offers more value at 43/20 to unify the division.