Former British Olympic gold medal winner James Degale clashes with dangerous Mexican, Marco Antonio Periban, at the Liverpool Echo Arena, UK on November 22nd and plays chief support on the undercard to the Cleverly v Bellew match up.
Despite already possessing status as mandatory challenger for the IBF world title currently held by ‘the Cobra’ Carl Froch the fight has failed to materialise perhaps due to Degale’s Promotional team Matchroom Sport’s vested interest in the champion Froch who they also promote. Froch has openly stated his disinterest in a match up with another up and coming British rival in the form of James Degale after already seeing off George Groves and is more captivated by a final swansong under the lights of Las Vegas, even if it is a less lucrative deal that denies fight fans of another all British, champion versus challenger showdown.
This all means that the magnitude of this fight has increased significantly as it has effectively become another final eliminator but ultimately the fact Degale is willing to jeopardise his mandatory status in a fight with a well rated fighter like Periban not only illustrates his self confidence in his own ability to win but also his attitude to impress the boxing fans. If he can’t beat Marco Antonio Periban he is probably unlikely to be able to overcome Froch and as long as he wins it will be good experience to take forward for a shot at world title glory which could well be for a vacant IBF strap.
However a win is certainly not a given. Marco Antonio Periban has already demonstrated his credentials on the world level albeit falling just short against Sakio Bika in a majority decision loss in a bid for the WBC title. Since that fight in June 2013 he has both drawn and lost against two TMT prospects in Badou Jack and J’Leon Love respectively and despite having the latter in all sorts of trouble could not find the punch required to halt him on a way to a unanimous points loss over ten rounds.
Degale by nature is a slick skilled boxer but in his most recent outing he dispelled any doubts about a possible lack of power by demolishing well respected American Brandon Gonzalez at Wembley on the Froch v Groves undercard with a ruthless conviction that he had not shown often prior to that fight. If he can win in a similar manner in this encounter against a man who has not been stopped he will send out a big statement to the rest of the division. However with advantages in both hand and foot speed he has the attributes to win the fight on points without taking too many risks against an opponent who has decent power and reach at his disposal.
Degale: W19 (KO13) L1 (KO0) D0 KO%65
Periban: W20 (KO13) L2 (KO0) D1 KO%56.52
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