IBF super middleweight champion James DeGale (23-1, 14 KOs) expects to shock WBC super middleweight champion Badou Jack (20-2-2, 12 KOs) with his hand speed when the two fighters start trading blows in their long overdue fight this month on January 14 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
DeGale isn’t known for being a particular speedy fighter. He’s got decent hand speed, but nothing too fast that someone like Badou hasn’t seen before. DeGale wins his fights mostly on being tricky with the awkward angles he throws his punches, and the way he avoids shots.
DeGale, 30, is also quite good at moving around the ring to keep from being pinned down. Although he does have a problem with his stamina at times, and that’s one of the reasons why he gets trapped against the ropes in some of his fights. DeGale can’t let himself get caught against the ropes too often on Jan.14, because Badou Jack is good at taking advantage of his opponents when they back up against the ropes.
“I’m number one in the division and Badou Jack wants the spot,” said DeGale. “We’ll have to see if he can take it…He’s pretty basic, good at everything but doesn’t have any special effects, just straight forward…speed, movement, I’m faster than Badou Jack. He’s going to be shocked.”
What makes Jack such a hard fighter to deal with is the pressure he puts on his opponents. He comes at them full bore, attacking the body with major power. Jack is good at walking his opponents down, forcing them into situations where they struggle. Jack, 32, has got good boxing skills as well. If DeGale is going to simplify Jack’s game and dismiss him as a threat, then he could be in trouble in this fight.
“I’ve been training really hard,” said Jack. “I can’t wait for fight night to prove that I’m the best…my fight with Bute wasn’t a draw. But come fight night it’s just me and James DeGale, the past don’t matter. It’s going to be a war.”