DeGale ordered to face Periban with winner to fight Chavez Jr.
By Scott Gilfoid: The Word Boxing Council has ordered British super middleweight James DeGale (16-1, 11 KO’s) to face Marco Antonio Periban (20-1-1, 13 KO’s) next with the winner of that fight to then face former WBC middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in a final eliminator to find a mandatory challenger for WBC super middleweight champion Sakio Bika, according to Dan Rafael of ESPN. Bika is already facing his first mandatory challenger in Anthony Dirrell next month on December 7th at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
It seems like a lot of trouble for DeGale, Periban and Chavez Jr. to go through just to get a title shot against the WBC champion Bika. I don’t think it’s going to play out this way at all, and it’s kind of a joke that the WBC made all these orders because I doubt any of these fights will be made. Bika would likely face Chavez Jr. in his next fight if he could get Chavez Jr. to agree to it because it would mean a bigger payday for Bika. However, I don’t think for a second that Bika will get past Anthony Dirrell next month, so you can pretty much already rule out Bika as part of these equations.
It would be interesting to see DeGale face a tough opponent like Periban because it would be a welcome relief from the poor opposition that DeGale has been dining on since his loss to George Groves in 2011. Periban is a pretty good fighter with decent power. I could see him giving DeGale all kinds of headaches.
I don’t know why the WBC went through all the trouble to set up a path for DeGale, Periban and Chavez Jr. to follow just to get a shot against the WBC super middleweight champion when it’s very likely that none of these fights will get made. I know Chavez Jr. wants the WBC title because it’s the easiest path to a world title victory for him, unless he were to go after WBO chamnpion Robert Stieglitz. He’s wise enough to know that he’d likely be waiting years to get a shot against Stieglitz with the way that him and Arthur Abraham keep going back and forth with fights against each other.
Chavez Jr. can’t beat champions Andre Ward or Carl Froch, so that kind of leaves only the WBC belt if he wants to win a title. But the way that the WBC has set it up, it’ll take Chavez Jr. close to two years before he’ll get his hands on the WBC 168 lb. title. It might not even be worth it unless Bika or Dirrell will fight him straightaway without making him way to fight the winner of the DeGale-Periban fight.
DeGale has a fight this month against Dyah Davis (22-3-1, 10 KO’s) on November 16th. Davis is the level of opposition that DeGale has been fighting most of his career, so it’s impossible for me to see DeGale all of a sudden turn around and face someone good like Periban and then Chavez Jr. just to get a title shot against the WBC belt holder. I don’t see DeGale ever agreeing to take that route to a world title.