DeGale not keen on Bute return, wants September Jack unification
IBF super middleweight champion James DeGale has admitted that a second fight with Lucian Bute doesn’t appeal to him ahead of his own clash with Rogelio Medina this month.
The Briton faces Medina in a semi-final tournament alongside Bute’s challenge against WBC belt holder Badou Jack, with the winners set to meet in a massive two-title encounter later this year.
Having defeated Bute on points in Quebec last November to retain his championship for the first time, DeGale says the possibility of sharing the ring with the Romanian-Canadian is not one he relishes.
“If I’m being honest, I don’t really want to fight Lucian Bute again. I think I beat him last time and I beat him pretty well. It was pretty convincing. I had everything against me as well. I still beat him well,” said DeGale.
“I want to box fresh a new world champion, someone like Badou Jack. I think the clash of stars would be fantastic. We’re both hungry. We’re both here. And we’re peak. I think it would be a fantastic fight. But if Lucian Bute wins, we can do it again as I say. But this time around we’re doing it in London.”
DeGale fully expects Jack to come through Bute when the meet on the same night of April 30 in Washington, although the 30 year-old has no doubt about his ability to take the Swede’s coveted green strap should they meet.
“I think Badou Jack is a very good fighter. I think he’s come on as he’s become world champion, he’s growing in confidence. He’s become a better all-around fighter,” he stated.
“A couple fights ago, even I underrated him. I thought he wasn’t all that. But he’s proven in these last couple fights against Groves and against Dirrell that that guy is a worthy world champion and he can fight.
“But I’m the best Super Middleweight in the world and I’m willing to prove that.”
On the Jack v Bute fight itself, DeGale added: “I expect the fight to be a competitive fight. Bute is still great, as you see against me. He just came up just short. He just didn’t have it. But Lucian Bute is a very good fighter. It should be a battle. It’s Badou Jack, and I think he’s going to win. But it wouldn’t surprise me if Bute pulls it off.
“I want that WBC. It’s been around for years. It’s one of the oldest belts. It’s probably the most prestigious belt. So I want to add that to my collection. So if Lucian Bute wins, we can do it. But next time we do it in London. It’s simple.”