Will James DeGale notch a career-defining win against Badou Jack?
He’s the only British Olympic gold medallist to win a professional world title but there remains an underlying feeling that IBF Super Middleweight champion James DeGale still doesn’t enjoy the full adulation of his home public.
However, that could all change this weekend when ‘Chunky’ takes on WBC belt-holder Badou Jack at the Barclays Center in New York.
DeGale is a big 2/5 favourite to see off the US-based fighter in their unification bout.
And should the Harlesden native get the job done Stateside, he’ll go some way to cementing his boxing legacy.
The odds on him doing so are certainly skinny enough with DeGale (23-1, 14KO) also just 8/11 to win by decision or technical decision.
But not all fight fans on Social Media are quite so convinced that this fight represents a gimmee.
@CounterPunchPC It’s an interesting fight. Think Degale wins if he’s mentally there and up for it. Anything less and Jack could win it.
— Iain Hamilton (@IainRWHamilton) January 1, 2017
@shedend9 if I’m honest I only see jack winning if DeGale has an off night
— Josh (@ohhmanemane) January 11, 2017
Jack (20-1-2,12KO) will certainly be no pushover and at 33 is seasoned and experienced enough to repel any onslaught from his opponent.
Like DeGale, the 6ft 1in fighter has also battled his way to the top and the pair’s respective career plotlines have often dovetailed.
Both fought at the 2008 Beijing Games – albeit Jack was eliminated in the first round of competition – and they’ve faced four familiar foes.
Arguably the most high-profile of those is George Groves, DeGale’s bitterest rival.
The Londoner lost by majority decision to ‘The Saint’ back in 2011 with Jack beating Groves by split-decision four years later.
Granted, even DeGale’s harshest critic would admit that a lot has changed since he suffered that only defeat of his career and his rise to world champion since has been admirable.
Indeed, DeGale’s subsequent achievements are perhaps even more impressive given the fact that he’s never really had a raucous support to see him through tough moments.
The 30-year-old has even gone so far as to call himself ‘The Road Warrior’, with this latest contest the fourth away from DeGale’s native land.
Beat Jack and he may well be labelled a homecoming hero should we eventually see him back on British shores.
Click here for the latest James DeGale v Badou Jack odds.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing