At the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, was held on Saturday evening, January 14, the highly anticipated super middleweight unification match between WBC champion Badou Jack (20-1-3,12KO) and the holder of the IBF crown James DeGale (23 -1-1,14KO).
The fight has already thrilled and it was very difficult to judge because of the great balance between the two boxers. DeGale has immediately started strong, winning the first three rounds and scoring a stunning knockdown in the first round. DeGale surprised Jack with a straight left, sending him to the mat. English was much faster than the rival, who could not find countermoves to stem it.
From the fourth round but Jack was beginning to catch up, becoming preferred also in the fifth and sixth rounds. Jack tried the short distance and DeGale fell into his trap by accepting improbable melee that favored the solid Mayweather protégé. From the seventh to the eleventh round the match has had high and low stages for one and for the other. DeGale could impose its speed but Jack could immediately after to pull off powerful shots from close range that shook the IBF champion who looked tired and short of energy. In the twelfth round Jack was able to send DeGale to the mat. At the end of the twelve rounds, must not have been easy for the judges give the verdict: the judge Glenn Feldman saw the DeGale win two points, 112-114 but the other two, Julie Lederman and Steve Weisfeld have opted for a draw, 113-113. So the match ended in a draw for Majority decision.
It was a very intense match, which put a strain on the two champions from the physical and tactical point of view: DeGale after the fight showed, even losing a tooth! DeGale as always, showed excellent technical skills in the early stages of the fight but then, gradually, it was off: probably his limit is in strength and physical preparation that does not allow him to showcase his talents mobility for all the twelve rounds. In the last stages of the fight his legs were hard and became an easy target for Jack who, while not excelling in anything, proved once again a solid fighter, good at both defense (Orthodox, with arms high) and attack especially from close range.
No doubt the two boxers have given us a beautiful fight, but it did not help unify the titles and determine who is the strongest Super Middleweight in the world. At this point we expect a rematch!