Saturday 25th March 2017,
Balltribe

Badou Jack and James DeGale Set Tone for 2017

Badou Jack and James DeGale Set Tone for 2017

In the first major boxing broadcast of 2017, Badou Jack and James DeGale put together a potential Fight of the Year Candidate, exchanging knockdowns and furious exchanges, en route to a Majority Decision Draw.

Both men retain their shares of the super middleweight crown. Both established their credentials as true, main-event stars, as well. Jack came back from a flash knockdown in the first round and put in solid work to the body throughout the rest of the fight.

In Round 12, Jack caught up to DeGale with a big shot, depositing him hard on the canvas. DeGale beat the count and composed himself, but he still appeared to be at his last grasp, with a whole lot of time left in the fight. DeGale showed true bravery and pluck to make the bell. He did not escape the bout without signficant damage, losing a tooth and hurting his ear drum.

I missed short moments of some rounds while checking on the New England Patriot’s dismantling of the Houston Texans, so I cannot provide a truly accurate scorecard. Based on what I did watch, combined with a round-by-round breakdown of the punch stats, I feel Jack probably should have won a close fight. But it was by no more than a score of about 114-112. So by no means can this be called a robbery.

I am frankly surprised by the outcome. I expected a competitive bout, but expected DeGale to win a decisive victory. That is certainly not what happened.

What did happen was a back-and-forth war, with both men able to showcase their grit and skill. As commentator Paulie Malignaggi noted at the conclusion, their was a lot of great skill demonstrated amid a lot of intense action. That takes special fighters.

Hopefully we see a rematch here, although Jack’s promoter, Floyd Mayweather, said he would go to light heavyweight. If Jack does move up to 175, I would love to see DeGale against WBO champion Gilberto Ramirez, an undefeated 6’2.5″ inch boxer-puncher.

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