DeGale-Kessler possible for April
By Gav Duthie: After accepting that he is highly unlikely to fight Carl Froch anytime soon James ‘Chunky’ DeGale is in negotiations with great Dane Mikkel Kessler on April 25 possibly at the O2 arena. As of yet it is unclear if this would be for the IBF world title but this seems unlikely. The International boxing federation made it clear they intended to impose DeGale on Froch as their mandatory challenger. Seeing as Froch has no intention of accepting the standard protocol would be to make the title vacant and match DeGale with his closest competitor.
Champion: Carl Froch
1. James DeGale
2. Andre Dirrell
3. Gilberto Ramirez
4. George Groves
5. Julius Jackson
If the title did become vacant the logical fight would be between DeGale and Andre Dirrell who has also been chasing a bout with Carl Froch. Gilberto Ramirez fights Maxim Vlasov this Saturday so wouldn’t Be available for an April date anyway. George Groves looks set for an Anthony Dirrell showdown for the WBC crown.
It is arguable that Mikkel Kessler is a bigger name than all these fighters including DeGale but this will NOT be for a word title. If Kessler does accept this fight it will one month shy of two years since Kessler last fought in a close encounter with Carl Froch. As a result of his inactivity he is not ranked with any of the organisations at present. I can see plenty of merit in the fight given that Matchroom is looking to have very close ties to Sauerland promotions as they try to expand into Europe. Kessler is also hugely popular in the UK due to his fights with Joe Calzaghe and Carl Froch. I am surprised DeGale and matchroom would take such a risk considering a world title challenge is imminent whether it is against Froch or not.
My personal preference is too see DeGale fight Andre Dirrell. For one reason or another both fighters have had stop start careers and have yet to make the most of their talent. Whoever won a fight between these two would be a worthwhile champion in my eyes.
- Joe Calzaghe top five most impressive wins
- Froch says he’d have smashed DeGale to bits
- James DeGale announces his retirement
- James DeGale Statement: Ten and Out!