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James DeGale vs. Jose Maria Guerrero on December 9th: A disappointing match-up for Chunky

James DeGaleBy Scott Gilfoid: James DeGale (11-1, 8 KO’s) is being matched softly for his December 9th fight against little known 34-year-old Spanish fighter Jose Maria Guerrero (29-2-1, 11 KO’s) at the Echo Arena in Liverpool, England.


Not much is known about the 6’2 ½” Guerrero other than the fact that he’s only had four fights in the past six years against obscure opposition. Guerrero’s last opponent, Marcos Munoz, had a record of 6-33-3. Guerrero defeated him by a six round decision last July.

I think DeGale is capable of fighting better guys than this and it’s more than a little disappointing to see DeGale going backwards with his career instead of forwards, especially coming off of a really bad performance against Piotr Wilczewski last October. I think this is a really stupid fight. DeGale’s problems won’t be solved by matching him against 2nd tier guys like Guerrero. It’s sink or swim in my view. Put DeGale in with the best and if he flounders, so be it, but you can’t coddle the guy by matching him against weak fighters.

DeGale captured the European Boxing Union (EBU) super middleweight title in a close 12 round majority decision win, but he failed to distinguish himself in that fight as future threat to the top super middleweights in the division. It was as if DeGale had learned nothing from his fight with George Groves last May.

DeGale supposedly had worked on the mistakes he made in the Groves fight and was ready to show what he had learned in his fight against Wilczewski. But he looked just as bad, if not worse in that fight. And now DeGale is being matched against Guerrero. This tells me that DeGale is being brought backwards to try and fix his problems. At 25, he seems kind of set in his ways and I can’t see him improving much.

DeGale lacks fast feet and has a bad plodding style of fighting. Against slower guys, he does okay but if you put him in with fighters that move around a little, he struggles. But I think his lack of power is one of his biggest problems right now.

Without the power needed to beat the better fighters, DeGale is going to be forced to fight a lot of 12 rounds fights and absorb a lot of punishment. I can’t see him getting any stronger and he might be better off moving down in weight rather than being put in with soft opposition like Guerrero.


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