James Degale failed to cement the fantastic opportunity of becoming unified super-middleweight champion after he ended up in a majority draw against Badou Jack in Brooklyn, New York.
Degale delivered hard-hitting and was in control in first 5-6 rounds. However, after that, he had to resist continuous assaults from Badou Jack. Consequently, he managed to hang in there to retain his IBF title.
Degale held the IBF super-middleweight title while Badou Jack put his WBA super-middleweight on the line. Moreover, this was a once in lifetime fight for both the boxers.
Despite the spectacular late tussle that cost DeGale, the London visitor still thinks he had put enough of a lead to edge the final scorecards. But only for a level 113-113 verdicts to disappoint him.
Evidently, DeGale was cruising after three or four rounds; an early knockdown gave him a 10-8 round before his quicker and perfect combinations worked better than Jack’s dogmatic moves.
Jack retaliated at the deficit during the middle rounds, forcing DeGale to stop circling and remain confined to the punching range of Jack. Further, in the fifth and sixth rounds, Jack delivered the most lethal punches – first, a right hand literally stung DeGale followed by a nasty body shot.
The seventh round was a coin toss but, in the eighth, DeGale withstood a myriad of punches from Jack who was sure of an early finish that ultimately never came. However, for the scorecards, it brought Jack right back into dispute.
DeGale carried himself through the ninth, tenth and eleventh – at this point, he looked likelier to get the nod. But Jack’s last-round knockdown was counted as a 10-8 which rescued the draw from the Shadows of defeat.