Britain’s DeGale makes Medina defence, Jack battles Bute in US


Lee Gormley | April 29, 2016

James DeGale v Rogelio Medina

  • IBF super-middleweight title fight
  • Sunday, May 1st
  • Scheduled for: 02:00 BST
  • D.C Armory, Washington, D.C
  • Live on Sky Sports 1

DeGale makes second defence against Medina

Britain’s James DeGale makes the second defence of his IBF super-middleweight title this weekend at the D.C Armory in Washington, as the Londoner prepares for his latest test against Mexican challenger Rogelio Medina.

The 30-year-old secured a unanimous decision victory over Lucian Bute in Canada last November, having claimed the IBF strap by outpointing Andre Dirrell in May to become the first fighter to win both a professional world title and an Olympic Gold medal.

DeGale (22-1, 14 KOs) has been in deadly form in recent outings, storming his way to super-middleweight supremacy and the Hammersmith-born champion is seeking high-profile unification match-ups in the near future, but he is first 9/4 with Coral to outpoint Medina in the early hours of Sunday morning.

‘The Road Warrior’ takes to Washington

Britain’s talented super-middleweight has given himself a new alias ahead of his latest appearance in America, ‘the Road Warrior’, having made several successful trips on the road, and he is aiming for a unification bout on home soil at some stage.

“I won my Olympic Gold medal away from home. I won my world title away from home. I’m actually getting used to it,” stated DeGale.

“This is why I keep on telling you people, I’m a road warrior because I’m willing to go anywhere to fight anyone and to prove I’m the best.

“But listen, my homecoming is coming as well. Yes that’s coming very soon. Once I beat Medina on April 30th, I want the unification belt in London in front of my home people.”

DeGale will take to the ring in America’s capital at 9/2 to end proceedings early in rounds 1-3, while the defending champion is 9/1 to face a shock defeat, which would be his first since being outpointed by George Groves back in 2011.

Unification a priority

The IBF title holder isn’t taking ‘Porky’ Medina lightly, but he is confident of producing the goods and wants a unification match-up afterwards, with the main event in D.C seeing Badou Jack compete too, a potential opponent later this year.

“Fight time is here, I’m feeling good, feeling fresh. I’ve trained extremely hard. ‘Porky’ Medina is a good fighter in his own right, a very good fighter, but there are levels to professional boxing and I feel as though I am levels above him,” added the Londoner.

“On Saturday night I am going to show you a real performance. My last two performances have gone the distance, this time it won’t.

“Best of luck to Badou Jack and Lucian Bute, that’s a great top of the bill, trust me, but I am coming for the winner. I want to unify the division.”

In a bout between ‘Porky’ and ‘Chunky’ that is 2/1 to go the distance, it’s the latter Brit who will seek to shine once again, with a big name unification showdown potentially set to be his reward further down the line.

Badou Jack v Lucian Bute

  • WBC super-middleweight title fight
  • Sunday, May 1st
  • Scheduled for: 03:00 BST
  • D.C Armory, Washington, D.C
  • Live on Sky Sports 1

Jack ‘the Ripper’ enters Bute battle

After the dust settles on DeGale’s latest performance, WBC super-middleweight champion Jack will also take to the D.C Armory ring searching for a second successful defence of his belt, against experienced Romanian-Canadian Bute.

The Swedish champion secured his strap last April when he overcame American Dirrell in Chicago, then earned a split decision over Britain’s Groves to retain it in September, on the undercard of his promoter Floyd Mayweather Jr’s final fight against Andre Berto.

Jack (20-1-1, 12 KOs) suffered his only career setback to Derek Edwards in 2014, enduring a stunning first-round KO, meaning the 32-year-old was seen as the underdog for his eventual bouts with both Dirrell and Groves. Though, he now finds himself as favourite here, and is 15/8 to stop Bute (32-3, 25 KOs).

Champion excited for future unification bout

The Mayweather Promotions fighter admitted he is looking forward to a high-profile unification bout later this year, but the Swede isn’t taking anything for granted against an established contender who is 3/1 to triumph.

“It’s something to look forward to, but you have to respect your opponent and you have to respect what’s in front of you,” stated Jack.

“Lucian Bute is very tough, so I’m thinking about him right now, that’s all. I’m focused on him. But after that we can talk about the next fight.”

“He’ll bring out the best in me…”

Having already overcome the threats of Dirrell and Groves, Jack has hailed Bute as a much better challenger, one that will bring the best out of him, for a meeting he is 11/2 to end within rounds 7-9.

“This is the toughest fight of my life. I’m a little bit younger and a little bit fresher, but he’s got a lot of experience, and I think he’ll bring out the best in me,” he continued.

“As far as accomplishments, Bute is way better than Dirrell and Groves, because Groves has never been a world champion, and Anthony Dirrell, he won a vacant title. So Bute’s beaten better fighters, and in his last fight against DeGale, he showed that he still has a whole lot left.”

With a unification showdown looming large, Jack will look to get through his test with Bute unscathed, on a night that his potential opponent DeGale also looks to steal the headlines in Washington.


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Coral’s top tip: Back James DeGale to secure a points victory over Rogelio Medina in Washington at 9/4.

See who else is in action this weekend.

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