James DeGale loses tooth in majority draw with Badou Jack
January 14, 2017
BROOKLYN - In a world-title unification fight that saw one fighter lose some teeth, super middleweights, Badou Jack and James DeGale alternated shots in a battle to a majority draw scorecard on the first Showtime bout of the year from the Barclays Center.
Jack, 33, went down from an abrupt straight right hand in the very first round, but was able to get to his feet immediately. DeGale (23-1-1, 14 KOs) turned up the pressure following the early knockdown, but Jack easily recovered to make it to the end of the round. Through the next three rounds, DeGale seemingly had enough control of the bout to have an early advantage on the scorecards.
Nicknamed "The Ripper," Jack brought himself back into the fight in the fourth, and even the referee got in on the action as he took a hard left cross (as seen above) that heavily wobbled his legs and almost sent him the canvas. At one point, DeGale even lost a tooth from the Jack punishment that displayed just how competitive this fight became after the first few rounds.
The body was a focus for Jack (20-1-3, 12 KOs) from the fifth round on, and DeGale's momentum was slowed enough for Jack to bring himself back into the fight. So much so, that Jack, who is from Sweden by way of Las Vegas, gained his own knockdown in the final round that ultimately produced the majority draw scores. Without the knockdown, DeGale would have gotten the narrow unanimous decision and would have unified the IBF and WBC super middleweight titles.
Both world title holders expressed their desire for the rematch, but Jack stated that he wanted it at light-heavyweight. DeGale looked opposed to the proposition, but still maintained the eagerness for the immediate rematch. Showtime's Jim Gray asked Jack about the rematch at 168 pounds, and the Swedish athlete, while displaying reluctance, looked to be in agreement.
If a rematch is not in the immediate future, it seems to be a strong possibility that Jack will move up to 175 pounds and attempt to associate his name with Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev. DeGale will most likely stay at 168 just based on Jack's suggestion to have the rematch at 175. Whatever the future case may be, DeGale wants the rematch in his native London and even went as far as to entice Jack with a larger purse than Saturday nights.
Daniel Zaldivar is a Senior Writer for Frontproof Media and also contributes to page2sports.com. He is the founder of Z-BoxingNews (a partner with Frontproof Media), a YouTube channel that delivers the latest news, interviews, fighter workouts, & analysis within the sport. Check out the Z-BoxingNews YouTube channel HERE. Also follow on Twitter @DannyZ_Boxing
(Feature photo: Showtime Sports)