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Britain’s DeGale seeks unification success against Jack, Davis challenges Pedraza in New York

Lee Gormley | 14 January 2017

James DeGale v Badou Jack

  • IBF and WBC super-middleweight title fight
  • Sunday, January 15th
  • Scheduled for: 03:00 GMT
  • Barclays Center, New York City
  • Live on Sky Sports 1

DeGale v Jack tips for fight night

IBF super-middleweight champion James DeGale will look to unify the division when colliding with reigning WBC title holder Badou Jack at the Barclays Center in New York City this weekend.

Britain’s DeGale (23-1, 14 KOs) is attempting to continue his impressive rise through the 168lbs division and victory over Swedish opponent Jack (20-1-2, 12 KOs) would see him take another huge career step on American soil.

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.

The Londoner is hoping to follow in the footsteps of compatriots Naseem Hamed and Amir Khan in winning numerous titles in the United States, and will enter proceedings at 9/2 with Coral to stop Jack in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Floyd Mayweather promoted fighter Jack boasts a points win over former DeGale rival and conqueror George Groves, having defended his current crown against him in 2015, and is seen as the 2/1 outsider to prevail in his latest outing.

Confident DeGale raring to go

DeGale became the first-ever British fighter to win both an Olympic Gold medal and a professional world title in May 2015 when he outpointed Andre Dirrell to claim his current strap.

The Hammersmith-born switch-hitter has since recorded two comfortable title defences over both Lucian Bute and Rogelio Medina in Canada and America respectively, and the IBF champ is confident of getting the job done again this time around.

Our DeGale v Jack tips point towards a victory for the Londoner and reigning IBF champion in New York.

Our DeGale v Jack tips point towards a victory for the Londoner and reigning IBF champion in New York.

“I’m in fantastic shape and I’m feeling great. It’s been a long camp and I just can’t wait to get in there now,” said DeGale, who is odds-on 8/11 for a fourth straight decision success.

“This camp and the way I’m feeling now reminds me of when I won the world title in Boston, but this is champ v champ and there’s a lot on the line.

“I’ve done all the hard work. Mind, body and soul, I feel great. I’ve whipped myself into fantastic shape after putting myself through hell. I’m over the moon, I’m really pleased with myself and I’m just ready to go now.”

Jack wants no excuses after fight

Stockholm-born WBC champion Jack has also enjoyed a surge in form in recent ring outings, going unbeaten in five consecutive bouts since his first and only ever defeat at the hands of Derek Edwards back in February 2014.

Mayweather promoted fighter Jack is aiming to unify the super-middleweight division by beating yet another Briton.

Mayweather promoted fighter Jack is aiming to unify the super-middleweight division by beating yet another Briton.

Jack ‘the Ripper’ was stunned inside the opening round in that loss, but quickly recovered to overcome American Dirrell and become world champion. A split decision triumph over Groves followed before retaining his crown via a draw with Lucian Bute last April.

The now 33-year-old has next promised to disappoint the UK fans by dethroning 2008 Olympic Gold medallist DeGale in the Big Apple and wants to hear no excuses from his opponent afterwards.

“I’m going to win the fight, no matter what it takes,” declared Jack, who is 7/2 to earn a points coup.

“It’s business and I have to beat him…”

“I know it will happen. I love the UK fans – I’ve got a lot of fans in the UK – but I’m sorry, it’s nothing personal, it’s business and I have to beat him.

DeGale has been enjoying a rampant run of form in recent outings and will aim to take another massive career step.

DeGale has been enjoying a rampant run of form in recent outings and will aim to take another massive career step.

“I rate him as a great fighter. His herky-jerky style might not be so pretty, but he’s an Olympic gold medallist. He’s gone to people’s hometowns and deserves more credit than he gets, because he is a great fighter.

“I want him to be in the best possible shape so we can put up a great fight for the fans and after the fight I don’t want to hear no excuses.”

DeGale has already set sights on potential meetings with middleweight kingpin Gennady Golovkin or a rematch with Groves, while Merseysider Callum Smith lies in wait as mandatory. Though ‘Chunky’ will first have to deal with the threat that Jack poses to him as they square off for super-middleweight supremacy in New York.

Pedraza will defend his strap against Mayweather protege Davis on the undercard.

Pedraza will defend his strap against Mayweather protege Davis on the undercard.

Meanwhile, an intriguing match-up also takes place on the undercard as IBF super-featherweight champion Jose Pedraza defends his strap against Mayweather promoted fighter Gervonta Davis.

The reigning titlist outpointed Liverpool’s Stephen Smith in an exciting scrap last April and is odds-on 4/6 favourite to oust Davis. Although, the latter Baltimore southpaw enters at 6/5 to dethrone the champion on the back of a quick-fire 41-second knockout of Mario Rorozco last year.

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