James DeGale and Badou Jack fought their hearts out tonight in a unification fight at 168, but the two of them had to leave the ring after fighting to a 12 round draw at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Both guys hit the canvas in the round. WBC super middleweight champion Jack was down in the 1st round from a left to the head.
IBF champion DeGale was blasted to the canvas in the 12th round by a right uppercut from Jack. DeGale (23-1-1, 14 KOs) got away with spitting his mouthpiece out 4 times in the fight during crucial periods where he was hurt or getting pounded by Badou (20-1-3, 12 KOs).
The referee gave DeGale more leeway on this issue that her perhaps should have. After two times, it was pretty clear that DeGale was losing his mouthpiece each time he was having problems with Badou hurting him with shots. The judges scored the fight 114-112 to Degale, 113-113, 113-113.
Like in his past fights against Andre Andre Dirrell and Rogelio Medina, DeGale gassed out in the middle rounds and came on late. Unfortunately for DeGale, this time he was knocked down in the 12th round. That kept him from winning. It would have been bad if DeGale was given the victory because Badou appeared to win the fight in the eyes of a lot of boxing fans.
Jack’s promoter Floyd Mayweather Jr. showed no interest in staging a rematch between him and DeGale. Mayweather wants Jack to move up to light heavyweight because he felt he hasn’t been treated fairly in his last two fights in having to settle for draws. Some fighters, often the B-side fighters, tend to come up short at times when they fight A-side fighters. DeGale was very eager after the fight to get Jack to commit to a rematch, but it might not take place if Mayweather chooses to have Jack move up in weight.
DeGale looked like the better fighter in the first five rounds of the match. Jack started coming on in the 6th after hurting DeGale. Jack hurt DeGale in the 8th and 12th. DeGale was spitting out his mouthpiece left and right during the last half of the fight. It’s still hard to believe the referee just let that go on without taking a point away.
DeGale came on a little in the 11th round, but Jack was still landing the better shots. In round 12, DeGale got too close to Jack and was dropped a right uppercut after leaning forward. The punch lifted DeGale up, causing him to fly backward onto the canvas. He wasn’t just knocked down. He was actually hurt. Yes, the mouthpiece came out in this round too. Referee chose not to penalize and just let the mouthpiece be put back in.
Gervonta Davis (17-0, 16 KOs) defeated IBF super featherweight champion Jose Pedraza (22-1, 12 KOs) by a 7th round knockout to win his IBF title in the co-feature bout on the card. Pedraza stopped throwing punches in the 6th round and just covered up until getting stopped by right hand in the 7th. Pedraza complained after the fight about how he’d drained down from 155 to make weight. Whatever the case, Pedraza lost the fight by failing to throw punches after the 5th. Pedraza controlled the 5th, and then stopped fighting from round 6.
Davis looked OK, but far from great. He didn’t look like someone that could compete with Vasyl Lomachenko or Orlando Salido. He just looked like someone had the right guy in front of him in Pedraza, who isn’t a big puncher and isn’t very fast or highly skilled like Lomachenko.
other results on card:
Immanuwel Aleem TKO 6 Ievgen Khytrov
Amanda Serrano UD 10 Yazmin Rivas
Thomas Dulorme TKO 6 Brian Jones
Noel Murphy UD 6 Maxito Sainvil
Kenny Robles D 4 Latorie Woodberry