By Ian S Palmer
James DeGale of England will be defending his IBF Super Middleweight Championship against Rogelio Medina of Mexico at the DC Armory in Washington D.C. this Saturday, April 30th. 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. DeGale won the title last May when he beat American Anthony Dirrell by a unanimous decision and then defended it against former champion Lucian Bute of Romania by unanimous decision in November. Medina was last in the ring back in May of last year and he recorded a second-round stoppage over Samuel Miller.
The 30-year-old southpaw DeGale of London is 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. DeGale climbs into the ring with a record of 22-1 with 14 Kos. The champion is 6-feet tall with a 74-inch reach and has fought 47 rounds since turning pro in 2009. His current knockout ratio stands at 61 per cent and 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.
The 27-year-old Medina has a record of 36-6 with 30 Kos. He stands 6-foot-1,but has an unlisted reach. Medina has pretty good power though with a current knockout ratio of 71 per cent. He turned pro back in 2007 and has 154 rounds under his belt since then. His chin is questionable though since he’s been stopped three times in his six losses. He went three years before suffering his first loss when Gilberto Sanchez stopped him in the sixth round in 2010. Luis Ramon Campas did the same thing to him a year later as did Badou Jack in 2013. Medina’s on a hot streak right now with four straight stoppages. Prior to that, he had lost four out six fights.
Medina’s had 42 pro bouts already at the age of 27 so he has quite a bit of experience against some decent boxers. He needs to make DeGale feel his power early on if he hopes to keep the champion off of him. Medina has the power to do some damage and DeGale’s no slouch either so the fans could be in for an entertaining battle here. However, Medina may have a bit of ring rust to shake off.
DeGale is a pretty solid boxer with good speed and decent power even though he had to go the distance in his last two bouts. Medina has some momentum behind him, but his chin is still a weak spot. He tries to make up for it with his power and DeGale will have to be weary of it and not get lured into a slugfest. The champion should be able to do enough here to take the bout by a late stoppage or a decision as long as his chin can take Medina’s best shots. DeGale will need to stay busy all 12 rounds instead of cruising part of the way like he did against Dirrell though.