The unification fight on Saturday night between the world’ two best super middleweights in IBF champion James DeGale (23-1-1, 14 KOs) and WBC champion Badou Jack (20-1-3, 12 Kos) failed to decide a winner of the fight, as it was scored a 12 round majority draw at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. The fight was televised on Showtime Championship Boxing, and the fans were no doubt unhappy with the results of the fight.
It was exciting in terms of the fight itself. DeGale knocked Jack down in round one, and Jack returned the favor in round 12. The two guys fought in an evenly matched contest with little to separate them.
(Photo credit: Tom Casino/SHOWTIME)
The fight was scored by the judges as follows: DeGale 114-112, 113-113, and 113-113.
DeGale was at his best in the first half of the fight with him taking the fight to Jack, and hitting him frequently with looping shots. Jack didn’t have the speed to match DeGale, and his punches were missing much of the time. DeGale’s mobility also added to Jack’s woes.
DeGale knocked Jack down with a nice shot that he wasn’t expecting in round 1. It was a case of Jack being too slow to track DeGale.
DeGale built up enough of a lead in the first half of the fight to cruise in the second half of the fight. Things looked bleak for Jack going into the 12th. However, he was able to knock DeGale down with a right hand to salvage a draw out of the fight.
DeGale made a mistake in the middle rounds by getting in close and trying to fight Jack on the inside. This was a bad move on DeGale’s part, as Jack has a great inside game. DeGale ended up taking punishment in being close rather than staying on the move. The reason DeGale stopped moving as much is because he got tired. He didn’t want to rest against the ropes like he normally does, because he had told the boxing fans that he wouldn’t revert to that bad habit. It’s possible that DeGale would have been better off if he had gone to the ropes, because he seems to fight better when he does that.
An angry Jack said this after the fight: “I thought I won the fight. I finished stronger. His knockdown was a flash knockdown. I won the fight. He was doing a lot of running. He was throwing a lot of [expletive] at my guard. Let’s do it again at light heavyweight. It’s time to move to light heavyweight.”