DeGale-Medina & Badou-Bute next Saturday

By Boxing News - 04/23/2016 - Comments

bute5By Jeff Aranow:
Next Saturday night on April 30, IBF super middleweight champion James DeGale (22-1, 14 KOs) will be defending his title against mandatory Rogelio Medina (36-6, 30 KOs), and WBC super middleweight champion Badou Jack (20-1-1, 12 KOs) will be battling former IBF world champion Lucian Bute (32-3, 25 KOs) in a doubleheader on Showtime Championship Boxing from the Armory, in Washington, District of Columbia.

The winner of these two fights will be facing each other later this year in a unification fight. Most experts expect DeGale and Badou to emerge as the winners of these two contests, but you never know. Bute, 36, showed last November that he still has a lot left in the tank in his close 12 round decision loss to DeGale in Quebec.

It was a good fight for Bute, and displayed his old punching power if not the same aggression that he once had. You have to consider Bute a live dog in his fight against Badou Jack. It won’t be surprising at all if Bute pulls off an upset in that fight. Badou is still very flawed and you wouldn’t even be able to call it an upset if he loses to Bute. A lot of boxing fans see that contest as a 50-50 fight.

Badou is a good fighter, but he didn’t look so great last September in the first six rounds against George Groves. Badou was losing the fight going into the 7th, and would have clearly lost if Groves hadn’t faded in the last six rounds of the fight. Bute has the same kind of punching power as Groves, but much better stamina.

Bute is capable of fighting hard for the full 12 rounds. The only thing we don’t know is whether Bute’s chin will hold up to Badou’s hard power shots. Badou has some pop in his punches and he could bang Bute out of there if he connects with a big enough shot.

DeGale has problems against guys that can punch hard, and Rogelio Medina is a very hard puncher. He’s turned his career around recently with four straight victories in the last two years. The 27-year-old Medina looks nothing like the fighter that was beaten by Jonathan Gonzalez, Badou Jack, Marcos Reyes and Jose Uzcategui.

Medina looks good enough to beat most if not all of those fighters now if given a second shot against them. DeGale looked vulnerable at times against Bute, especially in the second half of the fight when Bute stopped fighting passively and went after DeGale. It was like night and day in watching the two halves of the fight.

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Bute finished strong and looked to be the better fighter of the two. If Medina can fight like that against DeGale, he’ll have a great chance of scoring an upset. Medina will just need to make sure that he fights hard for the full 12 rounds of the contest because he’s not going to beat a world champion like DeGale by fighting passively and letting him take the first five or six rounds, which is what we saw with Bute in his fight against Degale.