James DeGale vs. Lucian Bute

By Robert Ecksel on October 9, 2015
James DeGale vs. Lucian Bute
“Money, money, money,” said James DeGale unabashedly. “I'm making a lot of money.”

Boxing’s byzantine politics and the diktat of capital make a super middleweight unification bout unlikely any time soon…

On Saturday, November 28, at Centre Videotron in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada, IBF World super middleweight champion James DeGale (21-1, 14 KOs) the clever southpaw from Harlesden, London, United Kingdom, defends his title against former IBF World super middleweight champion Lucian Bute (32-2, 25 KOs), from Laval, Quebec, Canada, by way of Pechea, Romania.

The recently crowned champ won the IBF title with a wonderful performance in his last fight against Andre Dirrell. With the exception of a razor thin majority decision loss to George Groves in 2011, DeGale’s record is pristine, and by fighting Lucian Bute he looks to keep it that way.

Bute has lost two of his last four fights, a beheading to Carl Froch in 2012 and a UD to Jean Pascal in 2014. He did TKO Andrea Di Luisa in his last fight, which presumably makes “Le Tombeur” a suitable opponent for DeGale.

There are of course other titleholders who would provide stiffer competition. Badou Jack (WBC), Andre Ward (WBA), and Arthur Abraham (WBO) may one day tangle with DeGale, but we shouldn’t hold our collective breath. Boxing’s byzantine politics and the diktat of capital make a unification bout unlikely any time soon.

“Money, money, money,” said DeGale, according to the Daily Star. “I’m making double what I would make, probably treble. I’m making a lot of money. In the next couple of years, if I carry on being dedicated, carry on being focused, then in my next six fights I could earn enough money where I could retire. My family would be all right and we will live a happy life. This is pretty serious now. You know I am just a normal boy from north west London wanting to make lots of money and achieve a lot in boxing, I think I am doing that.”

There are those who might beg to differ, but the fact that they’re begging tells you all you need to know.

“I’m not going to do a Mayweather,” he continued. “Don’t ever think this is just about money. Everyone wants to get paid a lot more. I start looking at people that are on £40,000 for a world title fight and I’m privileged and I’m thankful. I’m just happy I’m not getting screwed over and getting stupid little change to box for a world title and defend world titles. I’m just grateful. The legacy is the most important, trust me.”

DeGale will earn £1.5m ($2,296,800.00 USD) to make the first defense of his title in Canada. It’s not Mayweather money, nor is it anything to sneeze at. But being a boxer is hard work. The more they earn the better.

At yesterday’s press conference in London to announce the fight, DeGale said, “I am excited to face an elite fighter like Lucian, who was champion for five years. He is still a good boxer and he told me he wants the belt back. But trust me; I am too young, too fresh and just too good. The way I’m feeling, mentally and physically, I’m in fantastic shape. It’s going to be very hard to beat me. My journey is only just starting, his is about to end in November. The way I am training, nobody will beat me. You can see my character just by the fact I accepted to come here and take that fight. Be ready for a furious and spectacular fight. There is no one in this division who can beat me. I’m willing to box anyone. I want to fight all the big fighters in the biggest fights.”

First he must defeat Bute, who said, “DeGale is a great champion, but to come here to face me in my hometown, in front of 15,000 people, it won’t be easy for him. I am the challenger, I am the underdog, and he is the champion, but the pressure is on him. The past is in the past. I feel fresh. I have a new team and different people behind me. This opportunity is huge for me. I had the belt for five years and on November 28, I will be the new world champion. I am very confident about this. I dealt with this when I faced Carl Froch in England. My dream is to regain my world title. I always believe in myself and in my tools. The belt will remain in Quebec.”

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FULL FIGHT: James DeGale vs Andre Dirrell - 5/23/15 - PBC on NBC

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  1. nicolas 05:52am, 10/10/2015

    HIs comments regarding the amount of money that he is going to get, and I presume what he might get if he fought in England is of interest I remember being in Austrailia in 87, and shocked when I read that Jeff Fenech was getting for a match down there only around I think 80,000 American dollars. Ruben Olivares I has remember reading in the early 70’s got that much for fighting at the Forum in Inglewood CA. So are British fighters when defending world titles, not getting the pay they should get when fighting in Great Britain. Also I found it recently very curious that in Chicago, Koei Kono I think, will defend his Super flyweight title against fellow country man Koki Kameda. This should have been a big fight in Japan, but they will fight in Chicago, go figure.