Jack, DeGale on collision course ahead of April 30 title defences

Lucas Noonan / Lawrence Lustig

A three-fight series to crown a unified divisional champion will begin on Saturday, April 30, when WBC 168-pound champion Badou Jack defends his title against former longtime titlist Lucian Bute, and IBF Champion James DeGale risks his belt against mandated challenger Rogelio Medina in a SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING doubleheader live on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT) from the DC Armory in Washington D.C.

The winners will meet in a super middleweight world-title unification fight later this year.

Jack (20-1-1, 12 KOs) will make his second title defense after a breakthrough 2015 campaign in which he won the WBC belt from Anthony Dirrell and successfully defended against George Groves. The southpaw Bute (32-3, 25 KOs), a former IBF champion with nine defenses between 2007 and 2012, revived his career last November with a gutsy and inspired performance against DeGale.

“I’ve been training really hard for this fight and I’m excited to get in the ring,” said Jack. “I can’t wait to defend my title once again on April 30. The fans can expect to see an explosive and skillful performance from me come fight night. I believe I’m the best super middleweight in the world and that I have the skills to beat anyone I get in the ring with. I’m fully focused on Lucian Bute, but I know that a win can set up a massive fight against James DeGale and I’m going to deliver.”

“I’m thrilled to have this tremendous opportunity,” said Bute. “I was ringside for Badou Jack’s last two fights — well deserved world title wins. He is a great champion. I plan to train hard and be in the best shape of my career on April 30. It’s my chance to win the WBC belt and become two-time world champion. I will win and give boxing fans a spectacular fight.”

DeGale (22-1, 14 KOs) will make his second title defense after an impressive 2015 in which he defeated Andre Dirrell to win the vacant IBF belt and topped Bute in a Fight of the Year candidate. The hard-hitting Medina (35-6, 29 KOs), the IBF’s mandatory challenger, has knocked out three consecutive opponents.

“I am delighted to be defending my world title on another great show in the United States,” said DeGale. “I won my belt in style in Boston and I’m looking forward to moving down the East Coast to the great city of Washington, D.C. It’s going to be a defining night in the super middleweight division as Badou Jack and myself look to set up a huge fight later in the year. I’m fully focused on Rogelio Medina. He’s a tough Mexican who earned his title shot. But trust me, no one is getting my world title.”

“This is such a great opportunity for me and I can’t wait to get in the ring,” said Medina. “I’ve worked so hard for this and I am going to make the most of it. Everyone who has seen me fight knows I leave it all in the ring and you can expect to see an all-out battle on April 30. I will be the new world champion.”

Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Mayweather Promotions and Interbox in association with Matchroom Boxing, are priced at $200, $100, $50 and $25, and are on sale now. To purchase tickets visit www.ticketmaster.com, Ticketmaster locations, or call (800) 745-3000.