James DeGale vs. Badou Jack Boxing Preview, Pick, Odds, Prediction - 1/14/17
Jack vs. DeGale
Boxing: Saturday, January 14, 2017 (Barclays Center)
The Line: DeGale -300 / Jack +250 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
James DeGale and Badou Jack fight Saturday at the Barclays Center for the IBF super-middleweight title.
James DeGale enters this fight with a 23-1 record that includes 14 knockouts. DeGale has won 13 straight fights and is coming off a April win over Rogelio Medina. DeGale continues to impress during his winning streak and will defend his belt for the third straight fight. DeGale is a smart boxer who does a nice job of cutting off the ring and is aggressive with his offensive attack that wears down his opponent. DeGale has won his last three fights by decision, but he does have some knockout power in both hands and a solid reach of 74 inches. DeGale has also never clearly lost a fight, as his one loss came to George Groves in 2011 and it was a controversial majority decision. As he approaches 31 years old, DeGale has established himself as one of the top boxers in the world. This will be DeGale’s first fight in New York. This is also just the third time DeGale fights in the United States.
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Badou Jack enters this fight with a 20-1-2 record that includes 12 knockouts. Jack has won four of his last five fights and is coming off a April draw against Lucian Bute. Jack gets another big fight and will be putting his WBC super middleweight title on the line for the third time. Jack is a well balanced fighter who has a great jab and knockout power that’s ended seven of his last 14 victories. Jack does have a bad habit of lunging forward when punching, which can leave holes in his defense, but he’s fun to watch and tough to beat when he’s comfortable and his offensive game is connecting. The concern with Jack is that he has not won a clear fight since his 2014 win over Francisco Sierra, as his last three bouts have been split or majority decisions. This will be Jack’s third time fighting in New York.
This is going to set the tone early for the 2017 boxing season and is a must-watch for all boxing fans. Jack is the bigger boxer at 6’1” and has an impressive jab that’s sure to keep DeGale honest. However, DeGale is the more complete boxer overall, as he has the IQ, combination of offense and defense and has been far more consistent over the years. DeGale hasn’t shown a chink in his armour yet, while Jack has been knocked out and two fights since 2013 have resulted in draws. You have to give a considerable edge to DeGale winning this fight.
I like DeGale to win another belt.