James DeGale vs. Badou Jack – Results
By Scott Gilfoid: IBF super middleweight champion James “Chunky” DeGale (24-1-1, 14 Kos) fought to a controversial 12 round draw on Saturday night against IBF 168lb champion Badou Jack (20-1-3, 12 KOs) on Showtime Championship Boxing at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Jack appeared to win the fight after knocking DeGale down in round 12. However, the judges scored the fight 114-112, 113-113, and 113-113. Boxing News 24 scored the fight 8 rounds to 4 in favor of Badou. I thought the scoring was atrocious, but it’s not surprising to me that DeGale, arguably the more popular fighter, got a draw out of the fight. I figured that Jack needed a knockout anyway to get the win, and I guess I was right.
(Photo credit: Tom Casino/SHOWTIME)
DeGale scored a flash knockdown in round 1 when he knocked Jack down with a left hand to the head. It wasn’t a powerful punch, but Jack went down more from being off balance than anything.
What was interesting about the fight was how DeGale wasn’t penalized for losing his mouthpiece on 4 separate occasions. Usually when a fighter loses his mouthpiece that many times, the referee takes points off from that fighter, because they see it as a trick the fighter is using to get the action stopped. Each time DeGale lost his mouthpiece; he was hurt and needed a break. The referee would stop the action ad give him a breather in order to put his mouthpiece back in. It was pretty sad to see, and especially sad to see DeGale not being penalized.
After the fight, Showtime commentator Jim Gray asked Badou’s promoter Floyd Mayweather Jr. if he would have Badou fight DeGale in a rematch, and Mayweather said, “Badou Jack has got too big for 168. We’ve got to move up to light heavyweight. This is the second straight fight that Badou Jack has had a bad decision. Badou Jack did win. I don’t need to figure it out. This is my fighter. I’m the promoter. This is the second straight time. This is all about being fair. This is bad for boxing when it’s all said and done,” said Mayweather.
DeGale looked badly marked up around the face. His face was swollen, nose knocked askew with dripping blood, and his lips marked up as well. DeGale looked like a sure 100 percent loser after the fight. I don’t know how he could say with a straight face that he won the fight, because he looked like he had been in a car wreck. He did not look good. In contrast, Badou, 32, looked like he had just gone on a light run. His face was unmarked, and him looking totally fresh like he was ready to do another 12 rounds. It was pretty surprising to see the difference in the two fighters’ faces. DeGale was so badly swollen. I don’t know how the judges could blow the decision and fail to give Jack the win.
DeGale said he wants a rematch, and he said his promoter Eddie Hearn will pay to make it so.
“Let’s go again,” said DeGale. “Eddie, come over. We’ll pay you. I was kind of hurt. Skills pay the bills,” said Degale.
You can understand why Mayweather wants Badou to move up to 175. He’s having problems making the weight for the 168lb limit at this point in his career. Moreover, there’s some good money fights for Badou at 175 against the likes of Andre War, Sergey Kovalev, Adonis Stevenson, Nathan Cleverly and Artur Beterbiev. The super middleweight used to be where the money fights were at, but since Mikkel Kessler and Carl Froch both retired, the money isn’t in the super middleweight division any longer. The sweet cash is at light heavyweight against the likes of Stevenson, Ward and Kovalev.
“I landed the cleaner shots. Let’s do it again,” said DeGale.
Jack said, “If it’s a rematch, yes. He was doing a lot of running. I won the fight. It was a flash knockdown,” said Jack.
Yes, it was a flash knockdown of Badou in round 1. He was hit by a nothing of a left hook, and the shot toppled him over because he was square. I saw DeGale step on Jack’s lead left hook when he landed that punch, and that did the damage more than anything.
DeGale was hurt in rounds 6, 8 and 12 by big shots from Jack. It’s a credit to Degale that he was able to stay on his feet in those rounds, because Jack was really hammering him with monstrous body and head shots. You can make an argument that the referee should have halted the fight in the 6th round due to DeGale being so hurt.
Before the knockdown occurred in round 1, it was pretty even round. Neither guy did anything to establish themselves as the better fighter. DeGale landed some slapping shots, but the better punches in the round were landed by Jack. DeGale used a lot of side to side movement, and that seemed to rob him of his punching power when he would come ford. If not for the flash knockdown in the round, I think it should have been scored for Badou.
Badou had problems with DeGale’s hand speed in the 2nd round, as he was plodding forward, and missing with his shots. DeGale was landing cuffing punches that were mostly blocked on the gloves of Jack. I thought DeGale did more than enough to win the round.
In round 3, DeGale controlled the first half of the round with his in and out attacks. It looked like an easy round for DeGale until Jack came on strong in the last minute to land a number of tasty looking right hands to the head of DeGale. I thought Badou definitely won that round with his late surge.
DeGale looked good in the first half of the 4th round, but once again Badou came on to steal the round with some nice shots to the head and body of DeGale. What was starting to become apparent to me was that DeGale would start strong in the first half of each round, and then tire out due to all the useless movement he was doing. Badou would then connect with big shots and take the round.
If DeGale had just stood his ground and fought Jack without running, he might have had a better chance of conserving strength to win the rounds. DeGale was fighting like someone who thought he was still 23, and no 30-years-old. DeGale didn’t have the youth to be moving as much as he did. That was mistake. When you hit your 30s like DeGale, you need to change your boxing style to use less movement in order conserve your strength.
DeGale didn’t learn that lesson unfortunately. You can blame that on his trainer, because a good trainer would have clued him in a long time ago that he’s got to stay in the pocket more in order to rest. I think DeGale was spitting out his mouthpiece left and right in order to steal rest breaks instead of him staying in the pocket and just fighting Jack the old fashioned way. I think it was dumb of DeGale, and he failed to get the win due to his bad tactics.
Jack came on in the 5th round as well to land some really shots to take that round as well on my scorecard. In looking back at my notes, I jotted down comments about DeGale’s pointless and energy-wasting movement. He moved for the first two minutes of the 5th, and then got tired and was getting battered by Badou in the last minute.
In the 6th, Badou hurt DeGale with a body shot, and BADLY punished him for the last two-thirds of the round.
DeGale was hurt by a left hook to the head in the 8th round. DeGale spit out his mouthpiece while he was getting nailed by Badou after getting hurt. The referee stopped the action in the middle of Jack trying to finish off DeGale in order to have his mouthpiece put back in. I thought DeGale should have had a point deducted, because it looked like a clear situation where DeGale let his mouthpiece fall out so that he could recover from the big shot that he had been hurt with. At the end of the 8th, DeGale was bleeding from the nose, and his face was marked up and very red and swollen. DeGale had the look of a beaten fighter.
DeGale spit out his mouthpiece once again in the 9th round after getting stunned once again. By this point, it was forlorn the way DeGale would lose his mouthpiece was getting worked over. The referee didn’t take points off despite it being a clear situation where he could have and should have.
In the 10th, DeGale lost his mouthpiece yet another time. Was he penalized by the referee? No. The mouthpiece was put back in without a point being deducted. Badou totally dominated the round with his beautiful combination punching.
Badou controlled the 11th round, but it wasn’t easy due to DeGale’s circling of the ring for the full 12 rounds. DeGale looked like he wanted to stalled out the fight due to him being tired, beaten, and no longer having any power on his shots. Each time DeGale would come forward trying to throw a slapping shot, Badou would hit him with a right hand and left hook to the head.
DeGale lost his mouthpiece for the fourth and final time in the 12th round. It was literally comical by that point in the fight, because it was like on cue that he would his mouthpiece each time he would get hurt by Jack. After Jack knocked Badou down with a right hook to the head, not long after that, DeGale’s mouthpiece fell out of his mouth and it happened while he was getting worked over by Jack. DeGale tried to come on in the last 20 seconds of the round, but he missed his power shots and hit air.
You’ve got to feel sorry for Jack, because he did enough to deserve the win, but the judges still scored the fight a draw.