James DeGale vs. Caleb Truax – Weights
By Scott Gilfoid: IBF super middleweight champion James ‘Chunky’ DeGale (23-1-1, 14 KOs) weighed in at 168 pounds on Friday for his voluntary defense against #15 IBF Caleb Truax (28-3-2, 18 KOs) for their fight this Saturday night at the Copper Box Arena in London, England. Truax, 34, weighed 167 lbs.
(Photo credit BoxNation)
In the co-feature weights, IBF World featherweight champion Lee Selby (25-1, 9 KOs) weighed in at 124 ¾ lbs. for his fight with #11 IBF Eduardo Ramirez (20-0-3, 7 KOs). Unfortunately, the 24-year-old Ramirez in 2 ½ lbs. over the featherweight limit at 128 ½ lbs. The Selby-Ramirez fight will still take place, but Ramirez won’t have a chance of winning the IBF belt, and Selby won’t lose his title if he’s beaten. Ramirez went missing on Thursday. They finally found him at his hotel, but there are some worries whether he’ll show up for the fight on Saturday. In hindsight, Selby’s management need to vet his opponents a little better to make sure they can make weight and they’re reliable.
It’s another weak contender for Selby, who has yet to fight a true quality fighter since he won the IBF belt 32 years ago in beating Evgeny Gradovich. It was hoped that Selby would have fought a good fighter by this point in his IBF title reign, but unfortunately he just hasn’t shown much desire to risk losing his title. The good news is Selby is supposed to fight the likes of Carl Frampton and Josh Warrington. The bad news is Warrington isn’t that good of a fighter, and Frampton is starting to look like he’s over-the-hill. For Selby to get a real test, he’s going to need to fight someone like Scott Quigg, Joseph Diaz Jr., Oscar Valdez or Gary Russell Jr. Selby will likely lose to all of those guys, which is why I don’t see him taking those fights unless they become his mandatory challenger. Obviously, Valdez and Russell Jr. aren’t going to be Selby’s mandatory challengers due to them being champions, so he’s off the hook in having to fight any of those talents.
DeGale, 31, has been making a lot of excuses lately about his bad performance in his last fight against Badou Jack last January. DeGale and Jack fought to a 12 round draw. DeGale blames his poor effort on him having a shoulder and nose problem. It looked more like a case of DeGale fighting someone too good for him. It also looks like DeGale is starting to show signs of age and the wear and tear of being a pro for 8 years. DeGale took some punishment in his fights against Jack, Rogelio Medina, Lucian Bute and Andre Dirrell. That punishment is starting to catch up to DeGale now with him not looking like the same fighter he was 3 years ago.
“[Jack was a hard fight] because I was one-armed, and you guys are going to see on Saturday night that it really was my shoulder,” said DeGale. ”When you look at the punch stats of me and Badou Jack, I threw seven jabs in the whole fight. I’m a right-handed southpaw. I hook off my jab. I jab a lot. I couldn’t do that so on Saturday you will see a two-armed me, and go out here and throw a lot of punches, a lot of jabs, a lot of hooks, and yeah, you’re going to see a performance,” said DeGale.
Like I said, DeGale is full of excuses about his performance against Jack. It’s too bad DeGale couldn’t take the high road and give credit where credit is due by telling the boxing media that he simply went up against a guy with more talented than himself in Badou Jack. At least if Degale did that, he would be seen as a class act by the fans and he wouldn’t seem like a sore loser.
Now that DeGale has picked out bottom ranked Caleb Truax to fight on Saturday, he’s been busy building him up instead of tearing him down. You can always tell when a fighter has a mismatch on their hands. When you see a fighter like DeGale smothering his opponent with compliments, it generally means he’s got a soft job that he’s facing and he’s got to turn into part promoter for that fighter. It’s sad to see, really, because it’s so transparent what DeGale is doing in pouring buckets of compliments over the head of Truax one after another.
“He’s actually a good fighter. He’s been in there with some good, credible opponents,” said DeGale. ”He knocked down Jermain Taylor. But the level of opponents I’ve been boxing my last four, five fights have been the best. And every time he’s stepped up to the highest level he’s failed. I’m recognized as #1 in the world so I’m looking to get in there and do a proper job on him,” said DeGale.
See what I mean about DeGale giving Truax nothing but love. It’s so terrible to see DeGale trying to build up an over-matched opponent like this. If DeGale had just fought someone good instead of picking from the bottom of the International Boxing Federation’s rankings, he wouldn’t have to compliment his opponent so profusely like this. I’m just saying.
In other weights on Saturday’s DeGale-Truax card, heavyweight prospect Daniel Dubois (5-0, 5 KOs) weighed in at 239 lbs. for his 10 round fight against journeyman Dorian Darch (12-5-1, 1 KOs). Darch weighed 229 lbs. Darch has past losses to Anthony Joshua, Hughie Fury, Ian Lewison and Eddie Chambers.
Unbeaten light heavyweight contender Anthony Yarde (13-0, 12 KOs) weighed in at 173 ½ lbs. for his 2 round fight against 39-year-old Nikola Sjekloca (32-4-1, 11 KOs). For his part, Sjekloca weighed 174 ¾ lbs. It’s unclear why Yarde is fighting a guy almost 40-years-old. At this point in Yarde’s career, he should be cutting his teeth against quality contenders rather than picking out struggling old timers for a fight. Sjekloca has past losses to Tyron Zeuge, Callum Smith, and Arthur Abraham. Sjekloca fought to a draw in his last fight against Robert Stieglitz. This wasn’t a prime Stieglitz, however. The German based fighter has a lot of mileage on him at this point in his career.
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