James De Gale, future World Champion?
By Damien Dennis: Chunky, James De gale (19-1) does not think that Anthony Joshua will be the only future champion of the world on show on the unrivalled undercard of Froch vs Groves 2 at Wembley Arena on May 31st. De Gale who has been fighting through the pain of a significant groin injury during his last 5 bouts, told the Sun newspaper that he is now in the best shape possible to take on IBF no. 3 Brandon Gonzales (18-0-1) in an eliminator for the IBF title.
Undefeated Gonzales recently fought IBO super-middleweight champion Thomas Oosthuizen to a draw. He is based out of Portland, Oregon, U.S.A and regularly trains with the likes of Andre Ward and the splendid Amir Khan at Virgil Hunter’s school. Gonzales has an impressive looking resume and he was unlucky not to have got the decision in the Oosthuizen fight.
Oosthuizen like De Gale is a southpaw, which is encouraging because in that fight Gonzales seemed to be beating Oosthuizen to the punch for the first half of the fight before tiring a little towards the end. That bout was over 10 rounds and Gonzales has never fought an opponent over 12, so this could be a problem for him as De Gale has been fighting over the full distance since his controversial 2011 loss to George Groves. Further to that De Gale proved in the Groves fight and in his last fight against Gevorg Khatchikian that he gets stronger towards the end of fights. Showing that when the going gets tough the tough get going.
I expect this fight to be very close in the opening rounds as James De Gale gets used to his opponents speed. However, if the fight makes it to the championship rounds I expect De Gale to make his class show and take full control. With a knowledgeable 80,000 strong, rampant Wembley crowd it is going to be hard to see anything other than a comfortable points victory for the home fighter.
After Chunky knocks this guy into next week he will become mandatory challenger for the IBF title that will go to the winner of Froch v Groves. The stage will then be set for De Gale to achieve his long awaited spot amongst the top shelf of super-middleweight boxing in what would be another massive stadium fight. I would personally prefer to watch De Gale v Groves 2 as I believe Froch would be in a whole bunch of distress and calamity if he had to face a strong fast southpaw with good movement, like De Gale.
Either way De Gale likes his chances against Froch or Groves as he has learned from his previous loss to the Saint, particularly in terms of work-rate. In that fight De Gale started very slowly. He looked the classier technician and his clean shots looked the more powerful but ultimately he lost on work-rate in a contest that he thought he had won.
If De Gale keeps winning then he could end up fighting both Froch and Groves, or even Andre Ward because there aren’t many other fights out there for him in the division now that Andre Dirrell seems content to fight mediocre opposition since his devastating failed WBC world title challenge against Froch in 2009. In fact this loss and the long periods of inactivity kind of makes him and his inferior brother irrelevant anyway, especially as Anthony Dirrell couldn’t even beat fortunate WBC champion, Sakio Bika.
If Bika still has his belt when this epic British trilogy is over then that would be an easy fight for the victor to get their hands on another manufactured belt. Another up and coming name to watch out for in the division is Chris Eubank Jr, (15-0, 10 knockouts). He has been ripping up trees in beating inferior opposition since his debut in 2011. His legendary father seems to think that Andre Ward is the only guy at super-middleweight who is better than his son.
- Froch says he’d have smashed DeGale to bits
- James DeGale announces his retirement
- James DeGale Statement: Ten and Out!
- Eubank Jr. wants BIG names at 160 & 168