Showtime World Championship Boxing Preview: Jack vs. Bute, Degale vs. Medina
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night the DC Armory in Washington, D.C. will showcase two super middleweight world title fights live on Showtime.
Mayweather Promotions, Interbox Promotions, and Matchroom Boxing have teamed up to create an eliminator style tournament to unify the WBC and IBF Super Middleweight belts. One title fight will be between Badou Jack and Lucian Bute for Jack’s WBC Super Middleweight title and the other title bout will be between James DeGale and Rogelio Medina for DeGale’s IBF Super Middleweight belt.
The winners of both of these bouts will likely face each other in the near future. The following is a preview of both the televised bouts on Showtime.
Badou Jack (20-1-1) vs. Lucian Bute (32-3); WBC Super Middleweight Title
Badou Jack is one of the stars of Mayweather Promotions and currently holds the WBC Super Middleweight title. Lucian Bute is a former IBF Super Middleweight Champion and was considered one of the top super middleweights in the world for a significant period of time. When Showtime held their Super Six Tournament that Andre Ward won, many thought Bute should have been included and was overlooked.
However, Bute is now thirty six years old and has gone 2-3 in his past five fights. He’s four years older than Jack, and will have a slight half an inch height advantage and will be giving up one inch in reach.
Bute, a southpaw, has been relatively inactive the past three years. He fought twice in 2015 and once in 2014, and he did not fight at all in 2013. In comparison Jack has been extremely active. He fought twice in 2015, three times in 2014, and six times in 2013.
Both boxers had successful amateur careers. Bute was a Bronze medalist in the 1999 World Championships and Jack competed in the 2008 Summer Olympics for Gambia.
Bute’s losses have come against James DeGale, Jean Pascal, and Carl Froch; all good losses against tough opponents. His biggest victories include Denis Grachev, Glen Johnson, Jean Paul Mendy, Edison Miranda, and Librado Andrade.
Jack’s lone loss was an upset loss to Derek Edwards in February of 2014. He has bounced back nicely since that loss and has defeated the likes of George Groves and Anthony Dirrell in two close bouts, as well as Rogelio Medina, Marco Antonio Periban, and Farah Ennis.
If this bout took place five years ago it would have been a difficult bout to pick. But Bute hasn’t looked good inside the ring since his knockout loss to Carl Froch and Badou Jack’s stock has been rising. This will likely be Bute’s last chance at a legitimate world title, and it’s unlikely he’ll be successful.
James DeGale (22-1) vs. Rogelio Medina (36-6); IBF Super Middleweight Title
This bout, by far, is the bigger mismatch of the two world title fights.
James DeGale is three years older than his opponent and they have similar measurable such as height and reach, but is a significantly better technical boxer.
Medina, however, is the bigger puncher of the two as he has thirty wins by stoppage while DeGale only has fourteen stoppage victories.
DeGale, a southpaw, won the Gold Medal in the 2008 Summer Olympics while Medina has no major international amateur accomplishments.
Medina has gone 4-1 in his past five fights, but three of his losses were by KO and one of those wins came against an opponent with a record of 0-21. Medina only major win came against J’Leon Love in 2014, which was considered a shocking upset. His losses have been to Jonathan Gonzalez, Badou Jack, Marcos Reyes, Jose Uzcategui, and Gilberto Ramirez. Medina also lost to Yori Boy Campos, who was way past his prime at the time with 113 professional bouts to his credit when he defeated Medina.
DeGale’s lone loss was the fellow countrymen George Groves by a close decision. He has since won twelve fights in a row and has defeated the likes of Lucian Bute, Andre Dirrell, Marco Antonio Periban, Brandon Gonzales, Dyah Davis, and Paul Smith.
Medina has the power to score a shocking upset victory like he did against Love, but it’s unlikely a boxer with a Gold Medal amateur pedigree will take unnecessary risks to give Medina a shot at an upset.
This is a bout DeGale should win easily, and likely set up a future bout with Badou Jack in the near future.