By Ian S Palmer
Badou Jack vs James De Gale Preview January 14th
There’s a Super Middleweight Championship unification bout at the Barclays’ Center in Brooklyn, New York this Saturday, January 14th as Badou Jack of Sweden will be laying his WBC title on the line against IBF Champion James DeGale of England. The 12-round bout can be seen live in the U.S. on the Showtime network while fans in the UK can catch all of the action live on Sky Sports. Jack’s last fight was a 12-round majority draw against former champion Lucian Bute of Romania last April while DeGale beat Rogelio Medina by unanimous decision the last time out, also in April.
Jack, who now fights out of Las Vegas, won the title from American Anthony Dirrell in April of 2015 via a majority decision and then defended it with a split decision against England’s George Groves five months later. The 33-year-old Jack enters the ring with a record of 20-1-2 with 12 Kos and has won four wins and a draw in his last five outings. He possesses a good jab, decent power and is a good counterpuncher. He’s not a spectacular boxer, but is a solid one. The only loss on his record came at the hands of Derek Edwards via a first-round stoppage in February of 2014.
His other draw was a 10-found majority decision against Marco Antonio Periban in September of 2013. Jack has as habit of dropping his hands and sometimes lunging in and he’ll need to keep these traits to a minimum against DeGale. Jack is 6-feet-1-inch tall and has a 76-inch. He’s a former Olympian who has boxed 130 rounds since turning pro in 2009. Jack has average power and a solid chin as well as plenty of heart and determination. He’s not a huge puncher and his current knockout ratio stands at 52 per cent. Jack will have to fight at his best and to his potential if he hopes to add the IBF belt to his collection.
DeGale won the vacant IBF title in May of 2015 when he beat Andre Dirrell by unanimous decision and then defended it against Bute by unanimous decision in November of 2015. DeGale is a 30-year-old southpaw from London. He’s a former 2008 Olympic gold medalist and is the first boxer in British history to win both an Olympic gold medal as well as a pro world championship. He climbs into the ring with a record of 23-1 with 14 Kos. He’s 6-feet tall with a 74-inch reach and has fought 159 rounds since turning pro in 2009.
DeGale’s current knockout ratio stands at 58 per cent. Other than facing Dirrell and Bute he’s also beaten the likes of Paul Smith, Marco Antonio Periban and Fulgencio Zuniga. His lone defeat was a 12-round majority decision against fellow Englishman George Groves in May of 2011. DeGale is a pretty solid boxer with good speed and decent power even though he’s had to go the distance in his last three fights now, the same as Jack.
This is a very close fight to call. It’s basically an even matchup when it comes to size, power, experience, and chins and DeGale’s age advantage is just three years younger. They’ve also had several common opponents. I guess the winner will come down to heart, determination and whoever takes the bull by the horns and lets his hands go the most. Don’t be surprised be any outcome here whatsoever, including a draw. After tossing a coin I’ll go with DeGale in a very close tussle.