BROOKLYN (Jan. 15, 2017) – The No. 1 and No. 2-ranked super middleweights in the world met in a unification to determine the world’s best 168-pound fighter Saturday on SHOWTIME. After two knockdowns and 12 intense, back-and-forth rounds, the distinction as the world’s best super middleweight is still up for grabs.
WBC champion Badou Jack (20-1-3, 12 KOs)and IBF titlist James DeGale (23-1-1, 14 KOs) fought to a 12-round majority draw in the main event of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING in front of 10,128 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The bout was scored 114-112 (DeGale) and 113-113 twice, and the only clear winner was the sport of boxing and its fans.
Britain’s DeGale, making the third defense of his IBF belt, started the drama by flooring Jack with a jab with 30 seconds left in the first round. But it was back and forth from there in a highly skilled, closely contested battle between the consensus best in the weight class and in the eighth unification bout in division history.
Jack, making his third title defense, was more effective on the inside and more active, throwing 745 total punches vs. DeGale’s 617.
The pivotal moment in the fight occurred when Jack floored DeGale for the first time in his career with a left-right combo punch midway through the 12th and final round. Without the 10-8 round, DeGale would have won a unanimous decision.
“I thought I won the fight. I finished stronger,” Jack said. “His knockdown was a flash knockdown. I won the fight. He was doing a lot of running. He was throwing a lot of shit at my guard.
“Let’s do it again at light heavyweight. It’s time to move to light heavyweight.”
DeGale countered: “I’ve got huge respect for this man, but I thought I won that. I landed the cleanest shots. Let’s do it again. Let’s do it again in London.