James DeGale is still licking his wounds from his recent 12 round draw against former WBC super middleweight champion Badou Jack, and he won’t be able to defend his IBF 168 pound title against mandatory challenger Jose Uzcategui until he’s healed. DeGale has gotten a medical exception to buy him more time to heal up before he has to face the big punching Uzcategui.
That’s good for DeGale, because he just went through a grueling 12 round contest against Jack, which saw him get a tooth knocked out last January. DeGale was also dropped heavily in round 12 of the fight by a sledgehammer right hand from Jack.
DeGale is going to be under the gun when he does eventually get inside the ring with Uzcategui, because this guy can really punch like no tomorrow, and he’ll be looking to take his head off with every shot he throws. If DGale thought he had it tough in his fight against Badou Jack, he’ll have it much worse against Uzcategui. Hopefully for DeGale’s sake, the time that he’s out of the ring with his medical exception will allow him to recover from the vicious beating he took from Jack. I thought that Badou Jack was robbed of a clear win over DeGale. A lot of boxing fans felt the same way. The results of that fight were very controversial to say the least.
“They will just put a different time-scale on when the fight has to take place,” said DeGale’s trainer Jim McDonnell to skysports.com. “On paper, [Uzcategui] should be [DeGale’s next fight]. But I’m not sure, there’s a few negotiations going on in the background. There are other fights on the horizon.”
I smell fear. I get the impression that DeGale and his trainer don’t want any part of the knockout artist Uzcategui. I guess I can’t blame them if that’s the case because a loss for DeGale would wreck his chances for big payday fights against British fighters Callum Smith and George Groves.
“George Groves, there’s a possibility of Callum Smith, my mandatory, moving up in weight, moving down in weight,” said McDonnell.
See what I mean. Fighting those guys would give DeGale big cash. Fighting Uzcategui would be risky and with less sweet cash.