A proud Olympian
But can James DeGale get the job done as he headlines a stacked weekend of boxing?
It’s big time boxing in capitals this weekend. Sky Sports brings the action from Washington, D.C. where super-middleweight champs James DeGale and Badou Jack defend their titles against Rogelio Medina and Lucian Bute respectively. While over in London, Hughie Fury headlines his first major event on Boxnation, ably supported by twin British champions Liam and Ryan Walsh.
James DeGale vs Rogelio Medina- BET NOW
For a world champion and Olympic gold medallist, DeGale is a bit unloved by the British public. But rather than crying into his fish ‘n’ chips the Londoner has gone on tour in North America to clean up the super middleweight division. First he grabbed a vacant strap against former champ Andre Dirrell, and then he saw off the challenge of Bute. Next up is Mexico’s Medina in the US capital.
‘Chunky’ vs ‘Porky’ may not sound like an elite sporting contest but Medina has dropped the piggy fat and shown he is a well-schooled contender. The challenger’s resume doesn’t do him justice. As an apprentice, Medina was pitched into a few bouts at the last minute and suffered six defeats, three by KO, but he’s won his last four fights inside the distance. This contest could go one of two ways.
DeGale dropped all four foes prior to Bute, yet they were some of the best he has faced. 12 of the Londoner’s 14 stoppage wins have come before the end of round six and, when he’s faced opponents with three career stoppages or more, DeGale has always won early. Backing the switch-hitting title-holder to win in rounds 1-6 is .
If DeGale makes a pig’s ear of the first few rounds it is likely the fight will go the distance. In front of him is a 27 year old with veteran experience and enough power to get the champ’s attention, and the Brit is known for struggling the longer the fight goes on. A decision victory for DeGale is and I reckon that’s worth a meaty bet.
Badou Jack vs Lucian Bute – BET NOW
The co-feature fight at the same event in D.C. is also for a super-middleweight bauble. Jack may not be a bitter rival of DeGale’s but both have talked up a unification show down. To get to the carrot the Swede has to beat Bute, and he’ll want to improve upon DeGale’s unanimous points win against the Romanian in 2015.
‘The Ripper’ has already bettered DeGale once, by beating George Groves on a split decision back in September last year. At 36 years old, Bute may be slowing down but the hope for the veteran challenger comes from Jack’s only defeat, a first round KO by the ordinary Derek Edwards in 2014. ‘Le Tombeur’ has put away 71% of his opponents before the final bell.
The southpaw has lost three of his last five bouts but Jack isn’t a step up. Predictably, the champ from the Mayweather gym is only to win on points, the shortest odds for method of victory, but if you want a bigger price why not back Bute to win. At there is value in an old pro with power and plenty of gas in the tank.
Hughie Fury vs Fred Kassi – BET NOW
In the UK, Fury is moving up a level in his 20th pro contest. Fred Kassi may be coming off the back of three fights without a win but the short, stocky Cameroonian was facing fringe world-level contenders, and the judges still probably robbed him in the last two.
Scoring Big Fred’s fight with Chris Arreola a draw was unfair and the decision loss to Dominic Breazeale, Anthony Joshua’s next opponent, could have gone either way. Those opponents really struggled the stance-switching Kassi, who has quick hands for a big man.
Kassi was knocked out cold in one previous fight but Fury doesn’t have the required power or aggression. The 21 year old will need to use all of his skill and height advantage to win the fight on points, which is , but Kassi by KO could also be worth a small bet at .
Top of the undercard in London are the Walsh twins, and those brothers don’t do dull. All-action Liam is the British super featherweight champ, while combative Ryan holds the equivalent featherweight belt. And the Walsh pack always bring their super support from home in Norfolk, the Farmy Army
Liam Walsh vs Troy James – BET NOW
Liam is ready to step up to European or even world level but this Saturday he meets Troy James. ‘Terrifying’ Troy is short in stature but not in confidence, and he believes he can win. It’s bound to be an entertaining contest but expect Walsh’s work to produce the KO and land us on our money
Ryan Walsh vs James Tennyson – BET NOW
Ryan’s opponent, James Tennyson, has generated a decent record and a bit of hype against a slew of Eastern European journeyman, but the 22 year old from Belfast has also been KO’d by a nobody. Ryan has only lost once, to world champ Lee Selby, and he is great value to get the stoppage at