IBF super middleweight champion James DeGale (23-1, 14 KOs) says promoter Floyd Mayweather Jr. wants him part of his ‘Money Team.’ DeGale is facing Mayweather’s fighter WBC 168lb champion Badou Jack (20-1-2, 12 KOs) on January 14 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Mayweather has already picked Jack to beat DeGale.
It’s unknown why Mayweather would want to add DeGale to his team if he feels that he’s going to lose to Jack. The 168lb division isn’t a popular one right now after Andre Ward moved up to light heavyweight, and Carl Froch and Mikkel Kessler both retired.
DeGale said this to skysports.com about Mayweather:
“After the last press conference, it was a bit busy and a bit hectic, but my mum got a text from his PA and it said: Floyd didn’t get the chance to catch-up with James, can Floyd have James’s number, please,” said DeGale. “He wants me to be part of the Money Team, I’m telling you. He’s got a soft spot for me, I’m telling you. But skills pay the bills and that’s that.”
DeGale could hit a dead end if he beats Jack, because there’s not a lot of great fights for him in the division other than a rematch against George Groves and a match against #1 WBC Callum Smith. After those two fights are out of the way, DeGale is going to need to make a decision about whether it’s in his best interest to move up to 175 to go after the likes of Sergey Kovalev, Andre Ward, Adonis Stevenson and Artur Beterbiev.
DeGale can’t complain that he’s too small to fight in those division, because Stevenson and Ward started their careers out at 168. They only moved up to light heavyweight because they couldn’t get any big fights at super middleweight.
“It’s a bit weird because every time I meet Floyd Mayweather, it seems like he likes me,” said DeGale.
DeGale should be less worried about whether Mayweather likes him or not and more worried about getting past Jack. If he loses that fight, then it’s going to be difficult to chart a course for where to go from there with his boxing career. The results of the Jack fight are going to give a future course for DeGale. If he loses to Jack, then he’s going to need to his the reset button on his career. DeGale can work his way back to a title shot, but it might take him awhile.