James DeGale vs Lucian Bute Preview November 28th
Britain’s James DeGale travels to Quebec City, Canada this Saturday, November 28th to defend his IBF Super Middleweight Championship for the first time against former IBF titleholder Lucian Bute of Romania at the Videotron Center. However, since Bute fights out of Montreal, this is basically a hometown bout for him. The 12-round contest can be seen live on Showtime in the U.S. while British fans can catch it on Sky Sports 1 and Canadian fans will have to shell out for the pay-per-view telecast.
DeGale vs Bute Betting Odds
- Lucian Bute +550
- James DeGale -750
The 29-year-old DeGale is a former 2008 Olympic gold medalist who won the belt by beating America’s Andre Dirrell by unanimous decision in Boston back in May. He’s the first boxer in British history to win both an Olympic gold medal as well as a pro world championship. Bute, a 35-year-old southpaw, held the title for five years, but lost it on the road to England’s Carl Froch in when he was stopped in the fifth round in May of 2012. He then moved up to the light heavyweight division to take on former champ Jean Pascal, also of Montreal, and dropped a 12-round decision in January, 2014.
Bute enters the fight with an impressive record of 35-2 with 25 Kos. He’s just over 6-feet-1-inch tall with a reach of 72 inches. He has 226 pro rounds under his belt since 2003 and has quite a bit of power as his current knockout ratio is 74 per cent. Bute has defeated some good boxers over the years including Sakio Bika, Alejandro Berrio, William Joppy, Librado Andrade, Fulgencio Zuniga, Edison Miranda, Jesse Brinkley, Jean-Paul Mendy, Glen Johnson and Denis Grachev. Bute’s last bout was in August when he stopped Andre Di Luisa in the fourth round at 170 lbs.
DeGale of London is also a southpaw and climbs into the ring with a record of 21-1 with 14 Kos. He won his title in America and has fought in Quebec before when he beat Sebastien Demers by second-round stoppage in 2013. The champion is 6-feet tall with a 74-inch reach and has fought 135 rounds since turning pro in 2009. His current knockout ratio stands at 64 per cent and other than facing Dirrell, Paul Smith, Marco Antonio Periban and Fulgencio Zuniga; he hasn’t really fought anybody of high quality. His lone defeat was a 12-round majority decision against fellow Englishman George Groves in May of 2011.
Bute is an underrated boxer with good power, but he’s on the downside of his career at this point. Still, he’s fighting in Quebec where hometown favoritism is a common occurrence. This may mean DeGale needs to dominate or score a knockout. DeGale has the speed and age advantage to utilize his boxing skills and he may also have the power to drop the former champ. Bute’s pretty durable though and he can’t be taken lightly by the visiting champ. In addition, although DeGale dropped Dirrell twice during the second round he only won the title by a pair of points on two of the judge’s scorecards. Many fans felt he just caught Dirrell on an off-day.
This is tough to call since DeGale hasn’t really proven he’s a solid champion yet. He has the edge in speed and is younger than Bute, but is fighting on the road and doesn’t really have a power advantage. This is DeGale’s opportunity to show that he should be considered an elite boxer, but he will need to stay busy all 12 rounds instead of cruising part of the way like he did against Dirrell. I can see this fight going either way to be honest. If Bute’s at his best he should regain the title, but that’s a big if.
This is a close call, but I wouldn’t hesitate to back Bute at these odds for an upset.
Play: Bute +550 @ BetOnline.ag
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