British public finally warming up to James ‘Chunky’ DeGale

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James DeGale defends his IBF Super-Middleweight title in Washington DC this weekend and he’ll do so with a growing amount of support from his home fans.

Chunky has failed to catch the imagination of British boxing fans in the same way as the likes of fellow champions Anthony Joshua, Lee Selby and Kell Brook but is starting to win the crowds over, according to one industry expert.

Ladbrokes Senior Sports Trader Charles Mcdougall believes the way Chunky has gone about his business in recent months means fans are starting to forget about his original bravado and are now recognising him for the latent he is.

“The British public think a whole lot more of him now that he has actually proved himself in the ring,” he explained.

“The current crop of Olympians from London who are all coming through the professional ranks are doing so with humility and respect, whereas DeGale and to a certain extent Audley Harrison before him entered the professional ranks with a huge fanfare and almost an expectation that they would just go on and rule the world – their arrogance and brashness didn’t sit well.”

Mcdougall believes that in going to America to win his world title and making his first defence in Canada, DeGale has shown a certain maturity and willingness to go out and get the best fights available rather than wait for them to come to him.

“British boxing fans have shown him a great deal more respect and were he to beat Rogelio Medina this weekend and then Badou Jack after that, I would only see this increasing.”

Should Chunky pull off those two victories a domestic dust-up with Callum Smith would likely follow and despite DeGale’s rising popularity Mcdougall believes there would be “very few DeGale fans” in the arena.

Chunky is 1/20 to beat Molina this weekend, with the Mexican ODDS to cause an upset.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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James Curtis

After studying for a degree in journalism and gaining his NCTJ, James contributed to a wide range of papers, online publications and broadcasters including the South London Press, Press Association and Sky Sports News before joining the Ladbrokes News team.