James DeGale and Badou Jack will be aiming to stay on course for a super middleweight world championship showdown on Saturday when they put their respective titles on the line in Washington.
Sweden’s Jack defends his World Boxing Council belt against former world champion Lucian Bute of Canada while Britain’s International Boxing Federation title holder DeGale takes on Mexico’s Rogelio Medina.
“Anything can happen, but I want to fight James DeGale,” said Jack, who brings a record of 20-1 with 12 knockouts to the fight against Bute. “Both of us are in our primes. We’re young and confident, and it would be a great fight.
“But first, I have to take care of this former champion. He’s a really good fighter. Some people say it’s a 50-50 fight, so I have to take this very seriously. Both of us can punch. Both of us can box. Anything can happen inside of that ring.”
Bute, 32-3 with 25 knockouts, could be looking at a last world title shot. The 36-year-old lost to DeGale in November.
Bute says that defeat re-energized him, and he’s prepared to take down Badou.
“Badou is a world champion, but he has nothing special,” Bute said. “He does everything good, but not exceptionally. I have more experience, more speed.”
DeGale, a former Olympic gold medallist making his second defence of the IBF title he claimed with a unanimous decision over Andre Dirrell in 2015, says Medina is just another step on his road toward total domination of the division.
“I’ve seen his record and I know he is a tough nut,” DeGale said of Medina, who is 36-6 with 30 knockouts. “He’s a Mexican, so he will come to fight as well. I don’t think he will stand there and wait to be beaten. He will trade with me, and that’s what I want.
“I’m just too good, too fast and too strong,” the Briton added. “It might take until the middle rounds, but I’ll stop Medina.”
And then, DeGale said, he wants a unification bout in front of his home fans.
“Best of luck to Badou Jack and Lucian Bute,” DeGale said. “But I am coming for the winner. I want to unify the division.”