British super-middleweight James DeGale is set to defeat Badou Jack to become WBC champion and unify the division in January, according the oddsmakers on the Londoner’s home soil.
The 30 year-old, who won Olympic gold at Beijing in 2008, has lost just once during his career, a wafer thin split decision to George Groves but has since outshone his arch-rival immensely.
As Groves struggles to regain a foothold following losses to Carl Froch (twice) and Jack himself, DeGale has gone from strength to strength and is now on the cusp of becoming the best 168 pounder on the planet.
Looking at the gambling websites, it’s clear at 4/11 that DeGale is much-fancied to become a two-belt world champion, whilst those who take a punt on Jack can get a best-priced 21/10 – which isn’t too shabby based on the pair being so similar in stature.
Although Jack hasn’t set the world alight in conquering the World Boxing Council title, the US-based Swede knows how to dig into the trenches to grind out a result and DeGale must be weary not to fall into the wrong tactics during the fight.
The Groves win looks to be the standout when you glance at Jack’s record, although The Money Team member was a massive underdog against Anthony Dirrell and many thought he did more than enough to beat Lucian Bute last time out.
All in all, the fraction could be slightly deceptive to how close the fight could be, whilst DeGale may be looking to catch Jack cold early following similar successful tactics employed by Derek Edwards back in February 2014.
Edwards came out swinging from the first bell, landed flush on Jack’s chin and managed to end the bout in just 61 seconds to the amazement of the crowd at the Turning Stone in New York.
Jack brushed off the defeat without looking for revenge and is now unbeaten in five fights heading into his fourth world title contest.
Number one and mandatory contender to the Jack v DeGale victor is currently Merseyside prospect Callum Smith who battles Luke Blackledge in defence of his Lonsdale Belt on December 10.
Bookies see Blackledge as no threat to the lanky Smith as a price of 12/1 against suggests, whilst ‘Mundo’ is an unbackable 1/50 on in what will be the UK title holder’s final warm-up before a meeting with either Jack or DeGale in the late spring.
A win for DeGale would see a huge domestic world battle secured for two super-middleweight straps and see ‘Chunky’ return to home shores for the first time since signing with Al Haymon two years ago.
The Wladimir Klitschko v Anthony Joshua bill could be the ideal scenario for a world championship double-header and promoter Eddie Hearn will surely have his fingers crossed that DeGale can prove the bookmakers right at the Barclays Center.
Klitschko v Joshua was originally pencilled in for March, although that date is now likely to be April dependent on an official agreement between both sides.