By Scott Gilfoid: EBU super middleweight champion James DeGale (13-1, 9 KO’s) could be facing light heavyweight Fulgencio Zuniga (25-6-1, 22 KO’s) in a non-title stay busy fight on December 8th, according to Corey Erdman’s twitter. This will be a fight, if gets made, that will take place at the Bonus Arena, Hull, Yorkshire, United Kingdom.
DeGale, 26, has a title defense the next month on January 26th against Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye, so it’s pretty obvious that they’re not looking for anyone too tough to put in with DeGale because that would potentially wreck his fight with Ndiaye. However, even a guy like the 35-year-old Zuniga might be too hard of a fight for DeGale if he intends on sticking with his plans to fight in January.
DeGale doesn’t have much power, and he’s not good enough to just waltz through a fight against Zuniga without getting badly marked up and possibly cut. We just saw DeGale go life and death with a very average Hadillah Mohoumadi last month in a fight that was A LOT closer than the scores that the three judges handed. Two of the judges gave DeGale a lopsided 12 round decision win in that looked like more like a draw than a win for him.
DeGale has really gone downhill since his loss to George Groves last year. He struggled badly against EBU super middleweight champion Piotr Wilczewski in beating him by a 12 round majority decision last year in July. I had that fight a draw as well. That fight, as well as the Mohoumadi fight, showed the upper limits of DeGale’s talent. Those good fighters, but not great ones, and DeGale was no better than them.
Zuniga is coming off of a one-sided 12 round unanimous decision loss to unbeaten super middleweight contender Thomas Oosthuizen earlier this month. Oosthuizen dominated Zuniga, and made it look easy.
I see DeGale struggling badly to beat Zuniga and I won’t be surprised if we see DeGale get another wide decision win in a fight where he appears to lose. I think it’s a mistake for him to be fighting anyone a month before a title defense of his European Boxing Union title, because he doesn’t have the talent to take fights that close to a title defense.