Chunky and Porky
The headline is more appropriate for the media gang who were treated to an abundance of Domino’s Pizza and chocolate at a James DeGale open workout this week, as opposed to a reflection of the respective boxers’ current physiques. Rogelio ‘Porky’ Medina is reportedly in great shape and James ‘Chunky’ DeGale is well placed to produce his next winning performance after a great training camp. DeGale explained, “Training camp has gone really well. I’m fully focused and ready to go out there (USA) and do a job. He’s my mandatory – it’s not a massive fight. However, people don’t really know Porky Medina. They need to understand it’s still a dangerous fight.”
DeGale’s sights are firmly set on unifying the division and he is relishing the opportunity for a showdown with the WBC super-middleweight king Badou Jack. “That’s the fight that keeps me going. I want the big fights. I want the titles. I want to be the No1 168 [lbs fighter] in the world.”
Jack fights against Lucian Bute on the same bill on 30 April at the Armory in Washington, DC. DeGale set the bar to a good height by effortlessly beating Bute in a wide points victory in November last year, so all eyes are on Jack to see if he can trump the Londoner’s hand.
Should by some miracle Bute win, DeGale would have a straightforward rematch and pick up another world title for his troubles. The other main title-holders are German-based Arthur Abraham (WBO world champ) and Felix Sturm (WBA – ‘Super’ title holder). DeGale (22-1, 14 KOs) is confident in his ability to take on anybody in his division. However, he lacks belief in his opponent’s willingness.
“100% I’d take these guys on,” said DeGale. “I know I’m the best super-middleweight in the world. I can easily prove it. But would they fight me? Felix Sturm I deal with – no problem. And Abraham – same story. I spoke with [promoter] Eddie [Hearn] and the possibility of having three belts by the end of the year is realistic. One fight later in the summer and one maybe in December. Let’s see.”
In terms of how long DeGale intends to stay in boxing? “As soon as I’ve made enough money that I don’t have to work again. It’s a simple question to answer.”
DeGale made history by becoming Britain’s first Olympic boxing gold medallist to win a professional world title. Can he continue to raise his game by unifying the division? It’s an exciting journey unfolding.