Badou jack v james degale betting beware the influence of the money man

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There are three sides to Floyd "Money" Mayweather. There's the boxer, of course, with his 49 victories in the ring and his several world titles across four weight divisions, hailed the greatest pound for pound fighter of his time.

Then there's the showman behind his nickname, flaunting his wealth buying jewels, private planes and super cars. Forbes last month estimated his net worth at £280million.

But there's a third and far more serious aspect to the champion, and that's the work he's doing quietly putting back into the sport through his company Mayweather Promotions. He has a small stable of fighters, who get the best in both training and advice.

Those who have talked to his boxers all hear a story of how Mayweather, behind all his flash exterior and extravagant lifestyle, is a serious mentor to the guys who are trying to build their own careers. And that brings us to Badou Jack, who fights James DeGale next week to see who can unify the WBC and IBF world super middleweight titles.

Former Olympic champions DeGale is a massive [1.45] favourite in the early Betfair market for the fight which takes place in New York next Saturday night. But that seriously under-estimates the difficulty of the task which Britain's former Olympic gold medallist is facing.

Jack is WBC champion for a reason. Since Mayweather spotted him sparring in a gym in 2012 and took him under his wing, he's improved not only technically but mentally. He's learned to train properly, to live properly, to apply himself to fights.

He beat Anthony Dirrell to win his title, saw off the challenge of George Groves to retain it, and even if it needed a draw with Lucien Bute to keep his belt again he still managed it. At 33, having come to the sport at professional level relatively late, he's still fresh with only 23 fights on the clock.

Don't forget that Groves was also an odds-on shot when he faced the Swede in September 2015 in what was supposed to be a simple fight to put Saint George back into the big time after his defining defeat to Carl Froch. Mayweather coached his man through that contest, and the fear for DeGale is that he can do it again.

"Floyd is a big support," says Jack. "He may not be around much because he has his own life on the road, but he is always texting, always calling to see how I am doing, and whatever I need he helps out."

DeGale has been talking at his Miami training base, before he flies up to New York, about his hopes for 2017 when he believes he can bring together all four titles in his division. And his career so far has been outstanding, going to America to win his title in the first place.

But this promises to be his toughest fight so far - it is [1.23] to go the distance - and the outcome is by no means a foregone conclusion.