A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
First Big Fight in 2017 Is A Draw
James DeGale and Badou Jack fought ta tough battle of attrition that ended in a majority draw. This bout was close with DeGale dominating the early rounds and Jack controlling the second half of the bout. For Jack, this was his second draw in a row but this bout was close with both fighters hitting the canvas once.
DeGale used angles to deliver sharp combinations over the first five rounds as Jack couldn’t cut the ring off effectively as DeGale often escape. In the first round, a DeGale quick straight left sent Jack on the canvas in the first round.
By the sixth round, Jack cut the ring off more effectively and forced DeGale to the ropes as he unleashed some vicious body shots. DeGale slowed down enough as Jack started to land hard punches.
Both fighters fought the second half of the fight in the trenches as a Jack uppercut sent DeGale mouthpiece flying in the ninth and DeGale lost one of his front teeth plus ended the fight with a perforated ear drum. After a brutal eleventh round, Jack came out in the twelfth and nearly ended the fight with a right hand. After dropping DeGale in the final stanza, Jack tried to end the fight but DeGale stayed upright till the end of fight.
The judges had it 114-112 for DeGale and two 113-113 for a Majority Draw and while Jack both connected on more punches and threw more punches, there were many close rounds for the judges to decide. Jack felt coming into the bout thinking he needed a knock out to win and he may not have been wrong as I had him winning the bout but even I will conceded that it could have gone either way. I had it 114-112 for Jack but it could easily been reversed.
This bout calls for a rematch but that may be problematic as Jack prepared to move up to light heavy division but considering that Jack might want one more chance at DeGale. Jack manager, Floyd Mayweather, noted, “This is the second time in a row Badou has gotten a bad decision. James DeGale is a hell of a fighter, but tonight he didn’t win. At the end of the day, I don’t know what the judges are looking at.”
During post-fight interview, Jack stated, “Next Time I have to knock him out. That’s it. I had him before the knockdown even happened. I knocked his tooth out. He couldn’t keep his mouthpiece in after that. It is the third time now that I’ve had a draw I didn’t agree with. I’m the so-called home fighter and it still happened. “ A rematch may be in the hands of both Showtime and Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and one factor for both fighter to do it again is money. If Showtime throws big money, this can happen even though Mayweather prefers Jack to move up to the light heavy weight division. Nor is this going to happen if DeGale and his team insist on this fight being held in London. This bout proved a great initial fight of 2017 and a rematch could be a great fight later this year.