Super middleweight champion Badou Jack spoke to media in Las Vegas Thursday, just days before he travels across the country for his world title unification showdown against James DeGale on Saturday, January 14 from Barclays Center in Brooklyn and live on SHOWTIME®.
Televised coverage on SHOWTIME begins at 9:30 p.m. ET/6:30 p.m. PT with super featherweight world champion Jose Pedraza defending against undefeated contender Gervonta Davis.
Joining him at the workout at Mayweather Boxing Club was former title challenger Thomas Dulorme, who opens up action on SHOWTIME EXTREME in an eight-round welterweight bout against Brian Jones. Televised coverage on SHOWTIME EXTREME begins at 7 p.m. ET/PT and is headlined by junior featherweight world champion Amanda Serrano against former world champion Yazmin Rivas and also features Ievgen Khytrov battling Immanuwel Aleem in a 10-round matchup of undefeated rising middleweight contenders.
Tickets for the event promoted by Mayweather Promotions and DiBella Entertainment, start at $25. They can be purchased online (www.ticketmaster.com, www.barclayscenter.com) or by calling 1-800-745-3000. Tickets are also available at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center. Group discounts are available by calling 844-BKLYN-GP.
Here is what the participants had to say Thursday:
“I feel really good mentally. I’m excited. All the hard work is done and now we’re just cruising. One more week and it’s on.
“This has been the best camp of my career. There’s been no distractions, no arguments just working hard and having fun while getting better.
“I had a better meal plan to cut weight leading up to this fight and it’s helped me out in training. I’m going to be 100 percent ready on fight night.
“The guy that wants it the most and whoever is the smartest in the ring will be the winner. I plan on being both.
“I know DeGale wants to be great too. He’s going into people’s backyards and searching for glory. But I can’t speak for him. All I can do is speak with my actions.
“I’m not expecting an easy fight. I’ve been the underdog before. People have written me off forever. It’s nothing new to me. DeGale is a good fighter, but I believe in myself.
“I’m going to have a good jab, use my range and be smart in there. I think my skillset can take away any advantage he thinks he has. Timing kills speed.
“His awkward style can make him tough to fight. He’s not by the book. He’s not very technical but he’s an excellent fighter. I don’t want any excuses from him when I beat him.
“We have a good game plan and I have a good team behind me. I won’t get frustrated in there. I believe in my team and I believe in myself. I’m not worried about anything.
“I’m going to win the fight. That’s the main thing. We’ll see how I get it done. If it’s a knockout, it’s a knockout. If I have to win a close decision, it doesn’t matter. I’m going to win no matter what.”
“I feel very excited to fight under the support of Mayweather Promotions for the first time. I’m happy with the decision I made and where my career is going.
“New York is my city and it’s my favorite place to fight. There are a lot of Puerto Ricans and I can’t wait to perform in front of them.
“I feel very strong physically. I had a great training camp and have worked hard every day and listened to my coaches. I can’t wait to get in the ring and break my opponent down.
“This is a very good show with a lot of exciting fights. All the fans should come out because it’s going to be a great night from start to finish.”
LEONARD ELLERBE, CEO of Mayweather Promotions
“A lot of things have contributed to Badou becoming the fighter who he is today. I think that he’s improved as a champion. A lot of the times people don’t understand what fighters have to go through early in their careers. Badou has overcome a lot of adversity, including evolving from his loss. There are very few fighters who become better fighters after they become champions. Badou is living the American Dream and Floyd and myself are very proud of him.
“I predict that Badou is going to deliver a knockout. I envision him taking a handful of rounds to figure out DeGale’s style, while still being aggressive. In the later rounds, I think that he’s unstoppable.
“James DeGale is a tremendous fighter. I’ve followed his career for quite some time. He’s a very flashy and creative fighter. He kind of makes it up as he goes. His style is unique, but there are some things that Badou and his team have put into place to disrupt DeGale. Badou Jack has seen every style out there. He’s mentally and physically prepared to take care of his opponent.
“The advice I’ve given Badou is to stay focused and stay in the moment. Don’t worry about anything other than what is in front of you. You can’t look forward to the next fight or let anything throw you off. He’s put in the work. Most importantly, his mental state is right where it needs to be.
“Mayweather Promotions is ready to invade Brooklyn. We were able to work everything out and bring the first fight of the New Year to the city. We’re very excited to go and help Badou and the rest of our fighters put on a great show.”
Get To Know James DeGale
IBF Super Middleweight World Champion James DeGale has already made his name as a road warrior and will look to put on another great performance away from his London home when he takes on fellow super middleweight world champion Badou Jack in their 168-pound unification showdown on Saturday, January 14 from Barclays Center in Brooklyn and live on SHOWTIME.
DeGale arrived in the U.S. on Friday, December 30 and will finish up his training at the famous 5th Street Gym in Miami ahead of the matchup in Brooklyn.
“It’s great to be back in America again for the biggest fight of my life,” said DeGale. “Everything has gone fantastically in my training camp in England and now we’ll spend these last 10 days down here in Miami before heading up to New York for fight week.
“Now I’m focused on getting in the zone for Jack and priming my mind to win. I won my world title in the U.S., I’ve defended it here and now I’m going to unify it here. To do what no other British super middleweight has done — and there have been numerous greats at 168-pounds — fills me with pride and will cement my legacy in the division.”
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Mayweather Promotions and DiBella Entertainment, start at $25. Tickets are available now and can be purchased online by visiting www.ticketmaster.com, www.barclayscenter.com or by calling 1-800-745-3000. Tickets are also available at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center. Group discounts are available by calling 844-BKLYN-GP.
Take a look below at some interesting facts that have led DeGale to his January 14 showdown:
1. DeGale was born in London to an English mother and British-
born black father whose parents originate from Grenada. He has three siblings, all older than him — two brothers and a sister. He also has a nephew and niece.
2. DeGale was a mischievous child and would get into all kinds of
trouble especially at school. His grandfather suggested to his parents to let him take up boxing to channel his energy.
3. At the age of nine, DeGale walked into his first boxing club (Trojan in
Harlesden), took up boxing and he has never looked back.
4. He was given his nickname “Chunky” from day one when one of the
trainers looked at him (as he was a bit overweight) and said “alright Chunky” and the name has stuck ever since. Everyone in amateur boxing only knew him as “Chunky.” If someone asked about James DeGale, people would look strangely as everyone in amateur boxing only knew him as “Chunky.”
5. DeGale was a student at the renowned Barbara Speake Stage School
in London and showed promise in singing and dancing, but his bad behavior got him expelled.
6. DeGale had a tough stretch at about the age of 13-14 when he went off the
rails and did not go to the gym for months. This all changed when his parents had enough of his wayward behavior and told him if he didn’t change his ways and go back to boxing he would go to Social Services.
7. Since that day he has gone from strength to strength. He was chosen for
Young England at 14-years-old, won major amateur tournaments and after the NABCs DeGale was chosen from the England Podium Squad. He traveled the world competing in major competitions winning bronze in the 2006 Commonwealth Games and in 2006 was chosen for GB Podium squad to represent his country at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
8. He was the sole member of the 2008 boxing team to return with a gold
medal and was awarded the MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) by Her Majesty The Queen for his remarkable achievement.
9. DeGale turned professional in 2009 and quickly captured the British,
European, WBA International, WBO Intercontinental and WBC Silver titles.
10. DeGale then made British history by becoming the first British Olympic
gold medalist to win a professional world title.
Super middleweight world champion Badou Jack has endured a long road on the way to his highly anticipated super middleweight world championship unification showdown against James DeGale taking place Saturday, January 14 from Barclays Center in Brooklyn and live on SHOWTIME.
Jack comes from a unique background for a boxer but has persevered through the same struggles that professional fighters face every day. He’s faced obstacles that few are able to overcome and now, with a huge SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING main event looming, Jack is on the cusp of stardom.
Get To Know Badou Jack
Take a look below at some interesting facts that have led Jack to his January 14 showdown:
1. Jack was born in Sweden to a Swedish mother and Gambian father. He has
six siblings — two older sisters, two younger sisters and two younger brothers.
2. He started boxing on his own curiosity and has already gotten some of his
younger siblings interested in training. Professional boxing was banned in Sweden from 1969 through 2007
3. Began boxing in 2000 and took quickly to the sport before starting his
international amateur career.
4. Qualified for the 2008 Olympics for Gambia. He remains the only boxer to
ever represent the country in the Olympics and was the flag-bearer and one of three athletes to represent Gambia at the Beijing games.
5. Jack is the first Swedish-born man to hold a boxing world title since
Armand Krajnc held a middleweight title in 2001. The only other Swedish-born world champion was Ingemar Johansson, who famously won the heavyweight world title by knocking Floyd Patterson down seven times in one round on his way to a stoppage in 1959.
6. Came to the U.S. to pursue boxing after the Olympics and first began
training at Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn.
7. Was discovered by former heavyweight world champion Shannon Briggs
and he temporarily moved to Miami to work with Briggs. He maintains a close relationship with Briggs today.
8. After moving to Las Vegas, Jack met Floyd Mayweather in 2012 while
sparring Andre Dirrell and eventually signed with Mayweather Promotions.
9. After winning his world title in 2015, he was a finalist for the Swedish
Athlete of the Year.
10. He traveled to Gambia earlier this year and last year, along with Ishe Smith,
to deliver training equipment and other donations to the country.
The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® doubleheader begins at 9:30 p.m. ET/6:30 p.m. PT with junior lightweight world champion Jose Pedraza taking on undefeated contender Gervonta Davis.
Additional action is featured on SHOWTIME EXTREME®and headlined by junior featherweight world champion and Brooklyn-native Amanda Serrano battling former two-division world champion Yazmin Rivas. The telecast begins at 7 p.m. ET/PT and features Ievgen Khytrov battling Immanuwel Aleem in a 10-round matchup of undefeated rising contenders.