Fight fans have a real treat to look forward to this weekend with James DeGale and Badou Jack set to go head-to-head in New York.
Plenty has been written about the upcoming world Super Middleweight unification clash with many pundits finding it a tough bout to call.
And to sort through the many permutations and plotlines we’ve called upon our very own expert to give us the lowdown on what to expect when the two champions collide.
Here’s Boxing trader Charles McDougall on how he’s calling DeGale v Jack…
Ladbrokes News: What’s your view on how the fight could pan out?
Charles McDougall: Badou Jack is the WBC world champion and should not be underestimated. On pure skill alone, James DeGale is streets ahead. But sadly he has a tendency to be lazy and take rounds off here and there. If this is in any way close, then he cannot afford to do that.
However, if DeGale can concentrate for the full 12 rounds (because it looks likely it will go all 12), then he should be able to get a reasonably wide winning margin on the scorecards.
But, the fact that Jack is in the Mayweather stable suggests he is a decent enough fighter and he will more than fancy his chances on Sunday morning.
Should he manage to catch DeGale at any point, then the evening could get a whole lot more interesting than the IBF belt-holder would like.
LN: How do you see the Super Middleweight division shaping-up post this fight?
CMc: Callum Smith is the mandatory challenger for Jack’s WBC belt. So, providing we don’t get a draw then he will be fighting the winner with the possibility of two world titles on the line.
As for George Groves, I think DeGale enjoys having him sit on the sidelines without a world title while he parades his belt. Should Groves get the fight he wants against WBA champion Fedor Chudinov, it would become a bit more interesting if they both brought a world title to the ring.
DeGale v Groves is a fight that will happen in the future – whether it’s in the near future or not remains to be seen. If they can hype it up for another year or so, then it would be worth a whole lot more to both of them.
LN: How do you rate Jack’s chances of causing a betting upset?
CMc: Jack is a fighter of limited ability, who is making the most of his talent. He is more than happy to take the fight to his opponent and with DeGale’s ability to switch off, he may well catch the judges’ eyes in doing so. He has got power but four out of his last five fights have gone the distance.
So, he is obviously not a concussive puncher, but if he gets on top of DeGale he will have the confidence that he can wear him down.
LN: How do you think both of these fighters are perceived?
CMc: When DeGale was highlighted in the crowd before a fight at the O2, he probably got the biggest cheer of the evening. It seems like the British public are warming to him now that he is doing more of his talking in the ring.
Badou Jack is not a big enough name to have either the Great British or boxing public behind him but if he were to fight and beat Callum Smith next, then he would earn a whole lot more admirers than he ever has had.
LN: And finally, what’s your best bet?
CMc: I see very little else other than 12 rounds with this one and sadly it might not always be pleasing to watch. The 1/3 to go the distance seems a bit short to be put up as bet of the fight so instead I will go for the 8/1 on DeGale to be knocked down and win the fight.
Jack had enough about him to catch Groves early on and put him on the floor and I reckon he will fancy his chances of doing the same here. Groves got back up but didn’t quite have enough about him to get the victory, whereas I think DeGale is more than capable of being spurred into action by an early knockdown.
Agree or disagree with Charles?
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing