DeGale and Jack fight to a draw in unification bout

15/01/2017 07:44

IBF super middleweight champion James DeGale (23-1-1, 14 KOs) and WBC titleholder Badou Jack (20-1-3, 12 KOs) fought to a majority draw on Saturday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

After 12 rounds, the judges scored the fight 114-112 to DeGale, and 113-113 twice, which seemed fair as a lot of the rounds was closely fought.

Both fighters retained their 168 lb titles for the third time.

In his previous fight, Jack also fought to a draw against Lucian Bute, while DeGale outpointed Rogelio Medina on the same card last April.

DeGale dropped Jack with the first solid shot landed in the fight,  a straight left at the end of the opening round. But Jack did not appear hurt.

The Briton was the busier early on, throwing combinations and moving around while Jack threw single punches, but he was doing a good job of blocking DeGale's shots.

Jack increased his punch output from the fifth, even accidentally catching referee Arthur Mercante with a left hand at the end of the round.

Sweden-born Jack, who lives in Las Vegas, took over the fight through to the eighth, landing the heavier blows, knocking DeGale's mouthpiece out - and then one of his teeth.

Each fighter had their moments in the later rounds but it was Jack who landed a right uppercut that dropped DeGale in the 12th.

When DeGale, who had a cut and swelling to his right eye, got back to his feet, Jack followed up with more punches before DeGale battled back until  the final bell to end a tremendous fight.

Jack said: "I thought I won the fight. I finished stronger. His knockdown was a flash knockdown. I won the fight."

DeGale said: "I've got huge respect for this man, but I thought I won that. I landed the cleanest shots."

Jack's promoter, Floyd Mayweather, disagreed, complaining that Jack deserved to win.

"This is the second time in a row Badou has gotten a bad decision," said Mayweather. "James DeGale is a hell of a fighter, but tonight he didn't win."

Despite the draw, a rematch looks unlikely as Jack indicated he is now moving up to light heavyweight.

Also on the card, Gervonta Davis (17-0, 16 KOs) dethroned previously unbeaten Jose Pedraza (22-1, 12 KOs) with a 7th round knockout to win the IBF featherweight title.

American Davis dominated the first four rounds, landing fast combinations.

The Puerto Rican came back in the fifth, throwing a lot of punches that kept Davis covering up.

But Davis got the better of the defending champion in the following rounds and knocked Pedraza down with a right hand to the head in the 7th.

Pedraza got back to his feet but he was too hurt to continue and referee Rocky Gonzalez halted the fight at 2:36 of the round.

Davies becomes boxing's youngest current world champion at age 22.