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DeGale looks to set up British battle against Smith or ‘GGG’ meeting with Jack success

Lee Gormley | 14 January 2017

Jack test next for DeGale

Since securing the IBF super-middleweight strap with a comfortable points success over Andre Dirrell in May 2015, Britain’s Jame DeGale has continued to make his mark in the division and will soon try to unify it on January 14th.

The Londoner will take to the Barclays Center in New York to tackle reigning WBC champion and Floyd Mayweather promoted fighter Badou Jack, with 168lbs supremacy on the line on American soil.

The DeGale v Jack odds edge towards a success for the reigning IBF champion in New York.

The DeGale v Jack odds edge towards a success for the reigning IBF champion in New York.

DeGale (23-1, 14 KOs) has twice successfully defended his current strap with unanimous decision victories over both Lucian Bute and Rogelio Medina, but Swedish title holder Jack (20-1-2, 12 KOs) provides a new, more sterner challenge in the Big Apple.

The 30-year-old will enter the ring as the odds-on 2/5 favourite with Coral to unify the belts with victory over Jack, and the confident Briton is already looking ahead to potentially huge match-ups with the likes of compatriot Callum Smith and Kazakh bulldozer Gennady Golovkin later in 2017.

DeGale targeting Smith or ‘GGG’ in 2017

With a host of intriguing match-ups already confirmed to be taking place early in 2017, boxing looks to be regaining its credibility after what was a turbulent year for the sport, and DeGale will feature in one of the most eye-catching.

DeGale can unify the super-middleweight division with victory over Jack.

DeGale can unify the super-middleweight division with victory over Jack.

With plenty at stake on January 14th in New York City, WBC champion Jack is 15/8 to hand DeGale a huge setback in his recently rocketing career by prevailing in their awaited showdown.

Such a result would likely scupper any possible crack at ‘GGG’ in the near future, as well as a clash with hard-hitting Merseysider Smith, though DeGale remains extremely confident in his abilities ahead of his latest outing.

“I would say it would make me number one [in Britain], to unify the titles in New York, it doesn’t get better than that,” declared ‘Chunky’.

“Hopefully, I will get the respect I deserve…”

“It would make me top of the pile after becoming Olympic gold medallist, then becoming the first Olympic gold medallist from Britain to become a world champion.

“Then I will be making another bit of history by becoming the first super-middleweight who has gone across the pond and unified the division. ­

A win for DeGale would edge him closer to further big bouts against the likes of Golovkin or Smith.

A win for DeGale would edge him closer to further big bouts against the likes of Golovkin or Smith.

“Hopefully, I will get the respect I deserve after beating Jack and people will realise what an achievement it is.”

Despite Jack posing a serious threat to DeGale, he has outlined intentions of taking on heavily avoided middleweight kingpin Golovkin, even at 160lbs.

“I want to fight Golovkin. We can do that. I’ll come down in weight. We can box at middleweight,” outlined the Hammersmith-born fighter.

Smith scrap on the horizon?

A win over Jack would see DeGale potentially set up an interesting all-British bout against Liverpool’s Smith too, with the latter undefeated prospect having been named as the IBF mandatory challenger.

With ‘Chunky’ having been battling it out across the pond in the United States in his recent bouts, a homecoming clash with Smith would represent a huge opportunity to strut his stuff back on British soil and give fans a great match-up to witness.

DeGale has been on a strong run since becoming world champion.

DeGale has been on a strong run since becoming world champion.

The defending IBF title holder will have an abundance of career options ahead of him in 2017 if he can produce another solid showing in New York on January 14th, and he is ready to prove his worth on fight night.

“The best facing the best. Number one against number two. Jack is a great fighter a very competitive one,” added the Londoner.

“Yet, I’m very confident on my abilities, I think I’m the best in the division and I’m going to prove it inside ring.”

With so many possible big-name opponents on the horizon, a slip up against Jack could be costly, but DeGale has showed in previous outings that he is more than capable of rallying to top of the pile.

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