James Degale’s long road to a world title bout continues tonight as he faces tricky American Dyah Davis in front of the Channel Five cameras on Saturday evening in Kent.
WBC silver super-middleweight belt holder DeGale is the firm 1/9 favourite heading into the fight against a 32-year-old opponent who suffered a final round loss to WBC champion Sakio Bika last year.
Watching his old foe George Groves line up a title fight with Carl Froch next week has been a tough pill for DeGale to swallow, having narrowly lost to Groves in a British title fight two years ago.
With his career further stalled by injuries, DeGale is now fit, primed and driven by a desire to be given the title shot he feels he deserves.
Only this week he spoke of his fear of “treading water” and insisted that he was desperate to box for a world title, goading the winner of Froch and Groves by suggesting either would be too afraid to face him.
But both the 2008 Olympic gold medallist and his promoter Mick Hennessy know that the only factor that will guarantee a dream bout is more wins in the ring, and he’ll be targeting an impressive performance for a seventh win in a row at Bluewater on Saturday evening.
But while opponent Davis is knocking on, the son of 1976 Gold medallist Howard Davis Jr will prove no walkover. Davis has vowed to ruin DeGale’s title ambitions and has suggested that the boy from Harlesden has fought only “limited opposition” and made slow progress since Beijing.
With just three career losses in 26 fights, his defeat to Bika last June remains the only time he’s been stopped inside 12 rounds. Davis is 6/1 to cause a shock in DeGale’s own back yard.
But with the crowd behind him, and with only one loss in 17, DeGale should still have enough to topple the American. Both come in at 6ft but the hometown lad has five years on his opponent, while his Olympic pedigree should see him able to dictate the pace against an opponent often criticised for not being busy enough.
And having previously shown he’s capable of going the distance in recent fights against Fulgencio Zuniga and Hadillah Mohoumadi, DeGale to win on points therefore looks the pick of the bunch at 7/4.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.