Football Football
Horse Racing Horse Racing
Cricket Cricket
Basketball Basketball
Golf Golf

History Boy – James DeGale

20 May | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
History Boy – James DeGale

Boxing News’ Danny Flexen explains why James DeGale should be backed to make his mark

JAMES DeGALE stands on the verge of something very special. No British Olympic boxing gold medallist has ever won a professional world title and only two – Chris Finnegan and Audley Harrison – have even challenged for one of the coveted straps. Finnegan was ultimately finished by the superb American light-heavyweight Bob Foster in the 14th round of what had been a highly competitive encounter back in 1972, while heavyweight Harrison got blasted out by David Haye some 38 years later.

Audley was a big outsider, while Finnegan, buoyed by home advantage at Wembley pool, pushed Foster very close. How DeGale, from nearby Harlesden, would love that kind of edge against another talented Yank in Andre Dirrell, who took a middleweight bronze at the 2004 Athens Olympics four years before DeGale went all the way in Beijing.
DeGale and Dirrell meet instead in Boston, so the man from Flint, Michigan should command the bulk of fan support. What’s more, the match – for the IBF belt vacated by Carl Froch – is staged by his promoter. Both contenders are slick, fast, tactically astute southpaws who have lost just once each, via narrow verdicts each time, DeGale to arch rival George Groves and Dirrell to Froch. James is the busier typically, probably physically stronger and has been more active in recent years. Dirrell has flair in abundance but DeGale may be the more complete fighter and one closer to his peak, two years younger at 29 and who turned pro four years later. That Dirrell has had just four more pro fights in that time illustrates how he has allowed his career to wither on the vine.

DeGale on points looks the most likely outcome but he has fought more aggressively of late, with his power noticeably developing. He may feel he needs to utilise this new-found force on Saturday, if he is at all concerned about the 12-round bout going to the judges. “Chunky” has halted five of his last six opponents and crucially, is getting them out of there having stepped up a level. Dirrell is tricky and showed against Froch he is happy to spoil and try to nick a decision, but if DeGale can hurt the American he is a capable finisher. So while the points win is attractive at 9/5, so is DeGale within the distance at 7/2. Pick your poison or put a few quid on each – play the right amounts and, assuming DeGale wins, you will not lose money!

TAGS
Betway

Betway

Betway

Betway