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Staff Predictions Badou Jack vs. James DeGale

On Saturday, January 14, 2017, Badou Jack vs. James DeGale square off in a 12-round Super Middleweight world unification fight.

The bout, which features the top two 168-pound fighters in the world, is promoted by Mayweather Promotions and DiBella Entertainment and takes place from Barclays Center in Brooklyn and air live on Showtime.

Opening the Showtime Championship Boxing telecast at 9:30 pm, EST, will be Junior Lightweight world champion Jose Pedraza and unbeaten contender Gervonta Davis.

Read on for Round By Round Boxing‘s staff predictions for Jack vs. DeGale and Pedraza vs. Davis and let us know who you think will win.

Round By Round Boxing Staff Predictions - 2020

NameWinLossTotal FightsWin Percentage
Alex Burgos3360.5
Hans Themistode4260.66666666666667
R.L. Woodson4150.8
Robert Contreras6061


Jose Pedraza
vs.
Gervonta Davis

Jack vs. DeGale

Photo by Brant Wilson/RBRBoxing

Liam Brady, Graphic Designer/Staff Writer

From what I have seen of both, it promises to be a good fight. Jose Pedraza’s awkwardness, movement, and ability to switch stance, against the hellacious, powerful, and dynamic style of Gervonta Davis. Davis is undoubtedly a highly-regarded prospect, believed to be destined for success, but I am leaning towards Pedraza in this one.

I feel Pedraza will nullify the aggression of Davis by keeping it long range, in conjunction with using his movement to prevent being stationary, which lessens his chances of being caught by Davis’ tenacious hooks to the body and head. Davis will probably be chasing Pedraza a lot, while Pedraza unloads his shots on the back foot.

Of course, the fight will not always stay long range, so I foresee some uncomfortable moments for Pedraza when there is an onslaught from Davis on the inside. But he can definitely compete at close range, too, with his hooks to the body.

Another factor to mention is the judging, with Barclays Center being a venue for some controversial fights over the years, such as Ruslan Provodnikov-Chris Algieri, and Keith Thurman-Shawn Porter.

The ever-present debate of defense vs. aggression cannot be avoided, so we may see some controversy surrounding the scorecards for Pedraza-Davis. Nonetheless, it may be close, but I see Pedraza retaining his belt by decision.

Prediction: Pedraza

 

Joseph Rodriguez, Staff Writer

I believe if Jose Pedraza invests in the body, boxes on the outside and chooses his spots to engage rather than being lured into brawl, he will come away with a close decision.

Despite possessing the faster hands and more explosive power, Gervonta Davis will begin to tire in the later rounds.

Pedraza’s experience and boxing ability is a little too much for Davis to overcome at this point in his career.

Prediction: Pedraza

 

Mike Burnell, Staff Writer

Undefeated IBF Super Featherweight champion Jose Pedraza steps into the ring this weekend in hopes of defending his title for the seventh time.

He will face a likewise undefeated challenger, the southpaw knockout artist Gervonta Davis who has stopped 15 of 16 opponents.

A gaudy record is impressive at first blush however the difference in quality of opposition will make itself apparent after the first few rounds.

Pedraza will start cautiously so to not errantly run into any artillery that Davis lobs his way. As the fight progresses expect to see the champion feather the gas pedal and pull away from his ambitious rival.

By the late rounds Davis will be showing the effects of Pedraza’s efficient attack and be rescued by the referee.

Prediction: Pedraza

 

Amber Williams, Photographer

Prediction: Davis

 

Sarah Gruber, Staff Writer

I think Gervonta Davis is good. In fact, I am sure he is really good. I just worry this stage may be too big for the young Davis at this time.

Jose Pedraza looks sharp, his punches are long, powerful and very snappy.

I think this should be a great fight but I have to go with the more proven veteran on this one.

Pedarza by decision.

Prediction: Pedraza

 

Alex Burgos, Editor-in-Chief

Gervonta Davis is a hell of a talent. But, Jose Pedraza is an experienced champion and throwing Davis in against him at this point in time is asking a lot of the young kid from Baltimore.

There is obviously a huge elephant in the room when it comes to Floyd Mayweather and Davis’ relationship, so when you add that stress plus the actual difficulty of facing a champion like Pedraza in your first step up fight, getting a win might not be in the cards for Davis.

Is Davis ready to go 12 hard rounds with a champion? Again, that’s a lot to ask of a guy who has never been in a scheduled 12-round bout or even past Round 9.

If Davis overwhelms Pedraza early with his speed and combinations I certainly thing he has enough power to get a stoppage win. But if Pedraza is smart and crafty enough to extend the fight to the later rounds, I think he’ll drown Davis.

Tough call but I’m going with Pedraza by late stoppage. Either way, this one should be a real fun fight to watch.

Prediction: Pedraza


Badou Jack
vs.
James DeGale

Badou Jack vs. James DeGale

Photo by Tom Casino/Showtime

Liam Brady, Graphic Designer/Staff Writer

Going with James DeGale. Badou Jack is solid all-round, but DeGale has far more dynamism, variety and is less conventional as a boxer, which is shown by using unorthodox angles and movement to land punches.

I think the speed advantage goes to DeGale, too. I see DeGale beating Jack to the punch in the early rounds, leading Jack to be dumbfounded.

Though, DeGale is questionable in the later rounds, so this can provide an opening for Jack to have momentum, and make the final scores a lot closer. There may be some close scorecards, due to this, but I see DeGale walking away with a decision win, courtesy of his work in the first half of the fight.

Prediction: DeGale

 

Joseph Rodriguez, Staff Writer

I expect both fighters to come out cautious for the first few rounds and I foresee long gaps in between with little action.

In the end, James DeGale’s speed will allow him to land the cleaner, score-counting blows to take the close rounds on to a unanimous decision.

Prediction: DeGale

 

Mike Burnell, Staff Writer

2017 is starting off with a bang as Badou Jack and James DeGale clash in a very evenly matched bout. The two combatants will meet at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York to unify the WBC and IBF straps in the Super Middleweight division.

The fighters are very similar in size, age, weight and experience with Lucian Bute as a recent common foe with whom Jack battled to a majority draw and DeGale clearly decisioned over 12 rounds.

To add an interesting dynamic, Jack “The Ripper” is an orthodox fighter who came to the forefront in an upset victory over then undefeated champion Anthony Dirrell while southpaw “Chunky” DeGale earned his title with a victory over Andre Dirrell.

Expect a pitched battle that will by definition see the fighters exchange momentum during a close, competitive 12-round affair with DeGale tapped as victor by decision.

Prediction: DeGale

 

Amber Williams, Photographer

Prediction: Jack

 

Jack O’Connell, Staff Writer

This is a tough one. Badou Jack is reliable and rocksteady, while James DeGale has the potential to be dominant, but lacks the consistency.

Jack won his WBC title in a gutty upset over Anthony Dirrell. He has since made strong defenses against an incredibly game George Groves and Lucian Bute.

DeGale won the IBF title against Andre Dirrell, in a tight, competitive bout. DeGale has made two title defenses against, again, Bute and Rogelio Medina. DeGale looked absolutely flat against Medina, and took an awful lot of punishment.

The idea behind DeGale is that he fights to the level of his opponents. While this makes for great fights, he has taken a fair amount of punishment in those two bouts. While on the other hand, Jack has looked stronger and stronger since winning his title.

I’m looking for Jack to control the fight by walking DeGale down, beating his body, and timing him as he comes in. The fight should be competitive, but Jack will leave a unified champion and number one at 168. Jack by clear decision.

Prediction: Jack

 

Sarah Gruber, Staff Writer

I think Badou Jack is a very well-rounded fighter, a solid boxer-puncher type. Jack is not flashy, but he is a highly efficiently fighter with great conditioning and composure.

James DeGale, in short, is the opposite. DeGale is a little flashy, with quick hands and he moves around the ring a lot. Also, people sometimes forget that DeGale has power too, he even dropped Andre Dirrell in their fight.

For this fight, I believe DeGale’s speed will be the “it” factor. I feel DeGale can use his quick legs to move in and out of range quickly, while also landing the faster combinations and continuously moving around the ring. This should score more points and also frustrate Jack at times.

In order to be successful Jack will need to corner DeGale by cutting off the ring and finding ways to keep DeGale in his punching range. This task is much easier said than done.

But look for Jack to try put DeGale on the ropes as often as possible by cutting off the ring and also attempting to walk him down.

I think DeGale will execute his game plan more effectively by using his speed to his advantage but I don’t see his power hurting Jack at all. This fight should go the distance.

DeGale by decision.

Prediction: DeGale

 

Alex Burgos, Editor-in-Chief

Unification fight to start off the year? Sign me up! I love this fight. I was ringside for their last fights in Washington DC, where Badou Jack drew against Lucian Bute and James Degale edged Porky Medina.

Both men showed flaws in those fights and they were exciting as hell. I think they’ll each be ready to step their game up on Saturday at Barclays, but there are certainly weaknesses that each man can try to take advantage of.

I like DeGale’s quickness and combinations and I think he’ll be able to frustrate Jack early on. I think something within the first five rounds will set the tone for DeGale–like his early knockdown against Andre Dirrell–and Jack will be forced to press the action more than he wants as he plays catch up.

It’ll be interesting down the stretch but I think DeGale will hold on for a tight decision victory.

Prediction: DeGale

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