DeGale And Jack Ring In Boxing’s New Year With A War On Showtime
By: Sean Crose
This, frankly, was the kind of fight everyone had hoped for. Scratch that – it was better. Although boxing analysts and writers aren’t supposed to act excited (we’re supposed to leave that to our brethren who cover MMA), Saturday night had a lot to get excited about, courtesy of Showtime. James DeGale and Badu Jack met for a super middleweight title unification bout (for the IBF and WBC belts) and certainly delivered. Many analysts thought this fight would be a toss up. Who knew how right they were?
DeGale took the first two rounds simply by seeming faster, sharper and more in control. He even knocked Jack down in the first, though it seemed more of a flash knockdown than a destructive blow. By the third, however, Jack was asserting himself, slowly and steadily moving forward while banging away at DeGale’s body. DeGale, of course responded by tossing off fast, snazzy flurries of punches. It was Jack, however, who was doing the greater amount of damage – at least most of the time. Still, it was an incredibly close affair, which made the whole thing quite suspenseful. DeGale lost his mouthpiece on several occasions and seemed to be getting beat up. The Englishman’s skill level, however, kept him in the fight.
Then, in the twelfth, it was DeGale who went down. He got up, and some way, somehow survived the round. He even had a flourish for himself in the end. There was no doubt, however, that the man had taken some serious damage throughout the bout. It was even reported that he had lost a tooth. Ultimately, the judges ruled it a majority draw; which, although far from a robbery, seemed a bit odd since DeGale was clearly the fighter who had gotten the worst of it. Still, boxing is a sport and not a barroom brawl, and round by round judging allowed DeGale to keep his share of the super middleweight crown.
Yet the DeGale-Jack fight wasn’t the only exciting event of the evening. Junior lightweight Gervonta Davis is a man fight fans most certainly need to keep an eye on if they haven’t started to already. The exceedingly fast, accurate and hard hitting Baltimore native took undefeated IBF titlist Jose Pedraza to school, putting his man away in the 7th round. People are mentioning Gervonta’s name alongside Vasyl Lomachenko for a reason. He may not be ready, yet, but the rising star may certainly be an intriguing matchup for the Ukrainian wunderkind in the future.
On a final, ridiculous note:
Floyd Mayweather made it clear that he’s interested in facing UFC star Conor McGregor in a boxing match. Mayweather also made it clear he’s not interested in facing any more boxers, and that to him, this is all essentially a business matter.
It was certainly a memorable evening.
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