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DeGale faces toughest challenge but should become British champ

| 07.12.2010

James DeGale faces easily his toughest challenge since joining the professional ranks as he attempts to win the British super-middleweight title from Paul Smith.

It is unsurprising that the boxing betting odds have DeGale as the 1/5 favourite given his Olympic credentials, but he is taking an early big step up in class against Smith, who is a veteran of 30 contests.

DeGale has won his eight fights to date, six of which by knockout, but his stamina may come into question against Smith as he is yet to be in a fight that has lasted longer than five rounds.

Smith has won 29 of his 30 bouts and will have the added benefit of home advantage against DeGale in Liverpool.

The Liverpudlian is 10/3 to beat DeGale in the boxing betting market and much will come down to whether he can work out the right strategy to nullify the Olympian’s ability to throw punches from a variety of angles.

With Smith showing heart and grit in his last two victories, the best betting opportunity could be DeGale to take the title by decision at 7/4.

Matthew Macklin is also in action on the Liverpool card and he should have little trouble in seeing off Ruben Varon.

Varon may be a previous world title challenger, but European middleweight champion Macklin should have the necessary skills to take the victory and the boxing betting odds suggest this as he is 1/33 to win.

Macklin harbours hopes of getting a world title shot next year, most likely against IBF champion Sebastian Sylvester, and a knockout victory against Spaniard Varon would be beneficial in supporting this ambition.

It is 1/9 that Macklin wins by knockout to claim an 11th successive victory, although the better value may be found in the 13/2 that he triumphs by decision.

A £10 bet on Macklin beating Varon in the sixth round could see a return of £70. New Ladbrokes customers can sign up here for a free £10 bet.



Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.