James DeGale Vs Badou Jack – Preview and Prediction

James DeGale and Badou Jack will unify their super middleweight titles this weekend at the Barclays Centre, Brooklyn, New York. The winner of this contest will most certainly make an argument for being number one in the division.

Currently the super middleweight division is not as strong as it has been in recent years, however it remains intriguing and in DeGale vs Jack we have a solid match up which will see one walk away with the WBC (Currently held by Jack) and IBF (Currently held by Degale) super middleweight world title belts.

Both fighters have taken similar paths to this present moment, both have good amateur pedigree and both are former 2008 Olympians, the difference being DeGale won a gold medal whereas Jack was eliminated in the first round in Beijing.

Both fighters have also had to overcome the adversity of defeat to become world champions, DeGale lost to bitter domestic rival George Groves by split decision early in his professional career in 2011 whereas Badou Jack was iced in a round by Derek Edwards in 2014.

Further to this the fighters have a total of four common opponents between them on their records, George Groves, Lucian Bute, Rogelio Medina and Marco Antonio Periban.

In terms of the fighters skillsets DeGale is clearly the more gifted fighter, he has natural skill and speed on Jack, if DeGale performs to all his ability it should be enough to beat a guy like Badou Jack, however it never ever seems to be that simple with DeGale.

DeGale has notoriously taken rounds off in fights and his stamina has been questioned over the 12 round distance, however with a new strength and conditioning coach DeGale looks in the best shape of his career, he is chiseled and ready.

Jack may not have the same natural ability and skill-set as DeGale but he is one of the most improved fighters over the past few years, his jab is a decent weapon and his timing is good, he does all the fundamentals well without exceeding in any particular area.

Jack is used to being the underdog not many gave him a chance when he fought Anthony Dirrell to win the world title, and it was the same when he fought George Groves in his first defence.

For me this fight depends on DeGales ability to go the 12 rounds and remain completely focused throughout, if he puts in a performance like he did against Rogelio Medina in his last bout then I think he is in real danger of losing this, as that is the kind of performance Jack will punish.

If DeGale can put in a performance like he did in the first six rounds against Andre Dirrell but sustain it for 12 rounds then he wins this hands down. It all depends on what DeGale turns up for me, and that is not discrediting Jack I just feel skill for skill DeGale is the superior fighter, its his momentary lapses of focus, stamina and spending too much time on the ropes that will cost him if he loses this

The bookmakers have DeGale clear favourite at 2/5 with Badou Jack available at 5/2. I think this is a fight that goes the distance with DeGale doing enough to win on points, while a DeGale decision at 8/11 does not scream out value I think its by far the most likely outcome in this bout and that is what I will be backing this weekend.


BETTING TIP: 2 pts on DeGale by decision 8/11 Coral