March 24, 2016
March 24, 2016
James DeGale vs Lucien Bute

Action Images/REUTERS/Christinne Muschi

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JAMES DEGALE will make the next defence of his IBF world super-middleweight title against Rogelio Medina at the DC Armory in Washington on April 30.

On the same card, Badou Jack defends his WBC title against former DeGale victim Lucian Bute, and the winners of both fights must then fight each other in a unification showdown later in the year.

DeGale is confident of seeing off his mandatory challenger before committing to a marquee fight in the summer.

“The unification fight will be immediately after. I should come through against Medina – no disrespect to him but I should look good,” he told Boxing News.

“If I’m being honest, I don’t really want to box Lucian Bute again as I’ve already beaten him. For another title, to get another title I obviously would but I’d like to fight someone new like Badou Jack, that would be perfect. It’s a fight I’m confident I’d win, I think I’d look good and it’d be a competitive fight.

“I see Jack beating Bute, he’s a slight favourite for me. Bute surprised me when I fought him, he came again, he was fit and up for it. It’s a good show that’s been put on, it’ll be at the DC Armory in Washington.”

In their summer Schedule, broadcasters SHOWTIME noted the stipulation that the Jack-Bute and DeGale-Medina winners must face each other, though it was not clear when.

With DeGale revealing it will be an immediate unification fight, that could delay Callum Smith’s hopes of fighting for the WBC belt. The Liverpudlian fights in a final eliminator to become mandatory challenger next Saturday [April 2], but looks likely to have to wait for a unification contest (which takes precedence) to take place.

“I’m jumping ahead I know, but when I beat Medina and I beat Jack in September, that’s a massive fight for both of us,” DeGale said of a fight with Smith.

The Harlesden switch-hitter has not fought in England since winning the title last year and has previously expressed his desire to box in London soon.

“I’ve told Al Haymon [his adviser] I want it [the unification fight] in England. I think it sells better,” he revealed.

“But we’ll have to see what SHOWTIME offer, whether they want it there [in America]. But I think that would be the perfect homecoming for me, unifying the division in such a big fight. Hopefully in September it’ll be over here.”