James DeGale Vs Andre Dirrell – Preview and Prediction

James-Degale-vs-andre-dirrell

James DeGale looks to make history by becoming the first Britain to win an Olympic gold medal and a professional world title as he take on American Andre Dirrell for the IBF Super Middleweight title, in Boston, Massachusetts, USA this weekend.

If DeGale wins the belt this weekend it leads the way for a super fight against George Groves in a unification bout down the line, if Groves can get past Badou Jack later on this year that is.

James DeGale in training

THE STORY ON – JAMES DEGALE

An Olympic gold medallist in Beijing 2008, DeGale turned professional a year and after compiling a record of 10-0-0, including a 9th round TKO win against Paul Smith to win the British title, he would face amateur rival George Groves in 2011, his biggest test to date.

As favourite DeGale would lose a controversial majority decision to his rival and under Hennessey Sports promotional banner seemed to almost regress for 3 years before he signed for Matchroom in 2014, since then he has looked a different fighter.

DeGale by his own omission admitted to suffering with depression and being unmotivated for fights, now he has everything to fight for with a world title within touching distance this weekend.

2014 was by far DeGale’s best year as a professional to date, he looked sharp and motivated but make no mistake Dirrell is a big step up in class to the opposition DeGale has been facing.

This weekend we will really find out what James DeGale is made of.

andre-dirrell

THE STORY ON – ANDRE DIRRELL

Andre Dirrell also a standout amateur who won an Olympic bronze medal in Athens 2004, most UK boxing fans will remember him best for his fight against Carl Froch in 2009, a close encounter in which some felt he won.

Dirrell is an incredible talent but has been criticised in the past looking for a back door when the going has got tough and a pot shotting style that isn’t always pleasing on the eye.

In terms of his talent and ability it’s unquestionable however, and with a world title on the line if Dirrell is mentally ready, then he will be sure to give DeGale some major issues this weekend.

PREDICTION – DEGALE SD

This really is a 50/50 fight for me and bookmakers see it the same, both fighters have quite similar styles except DeGale is a bit looser and free flowing while Dirrell is more compact, quick, sharp and accurate. It really is a pick em fight for me.

This fight may come down to who is going to take it by the scruff of the neck and make it their fight, both have enough power to hurt the other but ultimately I think we have distance fight on our hands here.

It could be tough for DeGale on the cards in the US, but I believe he has matured since the days of his brash talk antics and has dedicated his life to the sport, I get the feeling DeGale still has another couple of gears to him and there is no better time to show them than this weekend, we could actually see a DeGale we haven’t yet seen before.

However if DeGale loses it really wouldn’t shock me at all, Dirrell is a massive task for DeGale and I won’t be putting too much money on this one and I will be wagering at Bet365 where we are covered for a refund in the event a draw occurs.

This is certainly not one of my most confident picks.

BETTING TIP  

£20 on Degale to win 10/11 Bet365