A three-fight series to crown a unified divisional champion will begin on Saturday, April 30, when WBC 168-pound titlist Badou Jack defends his belt against former longtime titlist Lucian Bute, and IBF beltholder James DeGale risks his title against mandated challenger Rogelio Medina in a Showtime doubleheader from the DC Armory in Washington D.C. The winners will meet in a super middleweight world-title unification fight later this year.
Jack (20-1-1, 12 KOs) will make his second title defense after a breakthrough 2015 campaign in which he won the WBC belt from Anthony Dirrell and successfully defended against George Groves. The southpaw Bute (32-3, 25 KOs), a former IBF champion with nine defenses between 2007 and 2012, revived his career last November with a gutsy and inspired performance against DeGale.
“I’ve been training really hard for this fight and I’m excited to get in the ring,” said Jack.
“I can’t wait to defend my title once again on April 30. The fans can expect to see an explosive and skillful performance from me come fight night. I believe I’m the best super middleweight in the world and that I have the skills to beat anyone I get in the ring with. I’m fully focused on Lucian Bute, but I know that a win can set up a massive fight against James DeGale and I’m going to deliver.”
“I’m thrilled to have this tremendous opportunity,” said Bute.
“I was ringside for Badou Jack’s last two fights — well deserved world title wins. He is a great champion. I plan to train hard and be in the best shape of my career on April 30. It’s my chance to win the WBC belt and become two-time world champion. I will win and give boxing fans a spectacular fight.”
DeGale (22-1, 14 KOs) will make his second title defense after an impressive 2015 in which he defeated Andre Dirrell to win the vacant IBF belt and topped Bute in a Fight of the Year candidate. The hard-hitting Medina (35-6, 29 KOs), the IBF’s mandatory challenger, has knocked out three consecutive opponents.
“I am delighted to be defending my world title on another great show in the United States,” said DeGale.
“I won my belt in style in Boston and I’m looking forward to moving down the East Coast to the great city of Washington, D.C. It’s going to be a defining night in the super middleweight division as Badou Jack and myself look to set up a huge fight later in the year. I’m fully focused on Rogelio Medina. He’s a tough Mexican who earned his title shot. But trust me, no one is getting my world title.”
“This is such a great opportunity for me and I can’t wait to get in the ring,” said Medina.
“I’ve worked so hard for this and I am going to make the most of it. Everyone who has seen me fight knows I leave it all in the ring and you can expect to see an all-out battle on April 30. I will be the new world champion.”
“Mayweather Promotions is proud to bring another exciting night of boxing to the great boxing fans in my hometown of Washington, D.C.,” said Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions.
“I’m really excited about the Badou Jack vs. Lucian Bute fight. It’s going to be a great fight. We know Bute is tough as nails and he’s coming to take the title away from Badou. Badou is going to have to be at his best to be able to beat Bute that night. The winner of that fight will set up a spectacular unification fight with the winner of the fight between British champion James DeGale and Mexican brawler ‘Porky’ Medina. DeGale can’t take Medina lightly if he wants the unification bout. It’s going to be a thrilling night of action at the DC Armory and on SHOWTIME.”
Tickets for the live event promoted by Mayweather Promotions and Interbox are priced at $25-$200 and are on sale now via Ticketmaster.