Froch wants to see DeGale to take the fight to Dirrell
By Scott Gilfoid: In reviewing James DeGale’s opposition in his current 10-fight winning streak, there really isn’t much to see in the way of talent. He’s no faced anyone of quality during the last four years, and that’s why it’s almost impossible to tell whether he’s improved or not over the fighter that lost to George Groves in 2011.
The thing is DeGale, 29, is going to need to improve in a big, big way by this Saturday night when he faces Andre Dirrell (24-1, 16 KOs) on Premier Boxing Champions on NBC from Agganis Arena, in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Anything less than a dramatically improved DeGale will likely result in him taking a lopsided defeat, and possibly a knockout loss to the highly skilled Dirrell.
Things can get out of hand very quickly when facing a talent like Dirrell. One person who believes that DeGale will find success is former IBF/WBA 168lb belt holder Carl Froch. He thinks that DeGale can win this fight if he backs Dirrell up, and keeps the pressure on for the full 12 rounds.
Froch knows Dirrell due to him having fought him in 2009. Froch won the fight, but he didn’t win it in the minds of many boxing fans. The victory will forever be a controversial one due to the large number of fans thinking that Froch got an old fashioned hometown decision in Nottingham, UK.
The pressure that Froch put on Dirrell resulted in Dirrell making Froch look really bad, as he missed repeatedly due to his slow hand speed, and clumsy movements. Flash forward to 2015, and now an equally slow DeGale will be trying this luck against Dirrell.
Things are very, very different in this fight though, starting with the venue. The fight is taking place in the U.S, not the UK, and there is a different referee and different judges for this fight. The referee that worked the Dirrell-Froch fight let Froch get away with fouling all night long. I’m not sure if this referee will let extracurricular stuff take place if the fight devolves into a crude MMA type affair.
“I hope we all see that confidence on Saturday night and he takes it to Dirrell,” Froch said via Skysports.com. “I would like to see DeGale push him back. DeGale seems to be punching harder. Hopefully he will push Dirrell back and take the fight to him and bring that IBF title back where it belongs.”
I don’t see Froch’s advice as being helpful for DeGale. If he tries to use the same game plan that he used six years ago, it’s likely to go very badly for DeGale because that game plan was a failure for Froch. He was clearly out-boxed and he resorted to roughing Dirrell up, and the referee the worked the fight failed to control the fouling. I don’t think DeGale will have any luck if he tries to fight like Froch did. DeGale could end up getting disqualified if he starts trying to rough Dirrell up in this fight. The only DeGale can win this fight is by fighting cleanly and by having the talent to win it. I just don’t think he has the talent to get the job done.
“He has improved ever since that George Groves loss,” Froch said. “He’s looking really good.”
Let’s be real here; neither Dirrell nor DeGale has faced anyone that you can call a good fighter in many years. However, I think Dirrell’s last opponent Dereck Edwards is a better fighter than anyone that DeGale has fought since his loss to George Groves in 2011, and you can make an argument that Edwards would beat Groves due to his big punching power. Edwards crushed Badou Jack in one round in 2014.
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