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DeGale-Jack appears headed to U.S., Vegas or NY

Photo courtesy of Matchroom Boxing.
Fighters Network

The 168-pound unification match between Badou Jack and James DeGale on Jan. 14 appears headed to the U.S. in either Las Vegas or New York, Showtime boxing head Stephen Espinoza told on Tuesday.

DeGale once spoke of having the bout with Jack in his hometown of London but that doesn’t seem to be the case. “It could be Vegas, it could be New York City at Barclays Center (in Brooklyn),” Espinoza said in a phone interview. “I could see it at either one.”

The bout was targeted for September but unresolved negotiations pushed the date into 2017. Both haven’t fought since April 30, when Jack (20-1-2, 12 knockouts) suffered a controversial draw against Lucian Bute and DeGale won a decision against Rogelio Medina at the Armory in Washington, D.C. on the same Showtime card. (Bute later tested positive for a banned substance.) Showtime announced the fight for supremacy at 168 pounds on Tuesday, one of seven compelling fights it unveiled. Jack and DeGale are regarded my most as the top two super middleweights in the division.

“It was a little bit money, a little back-and-forth about if it would be in the U.S. or in the UK,” Espinoza told of the delay in announcing the bout. “Ultimately, although we don’t have a specific venue, we understand the fight will be in the U.S. That it will be over here. We expected to get to that fight three or four months earlier but we’re thrilled we can get to it the first thing after the New Year.”

DeGale (23-1, 14 KOs) represented Great Britain at the 2008 Olympics and won gold at middleweight. He’s the first British boxer to win both Olympic gold and  a professional world title, claiming the vacant IBF super middleweight belt in 2015 against Andre Dirrell. Coincidentally, the Swedish Jack, who now lives in Las Vegas and is promoted by Floyd Mayweather Jr., won a WBC 168-pound title against Andre’s brother, Anthony Dirrell via majority decision a month earlier that same year.