Jack dethrones Dirrell, Jacobs halts Truax
Badou Jack (19-1, 12 KOs) defeated Anthony Dirrell (27-1-1, 22 KOs) by a majority decision to win the WBC super-middleweight title on Friday night at UIC Pavilion in Chicago.
In a close fight, it was Jack that rallied in the later rounds to secure the victory over the American by scores of 116-112 and 115-113, with the third judge scoring it even at 114-114.
Dirrell, who was defending his title for the first time since his win over Sakio Bika in August, had success early on from distance but Jack often blocked a lot of his combinations.
Jack came on as the fight progressed and the Las Vegas-based Swede landed a big one-two combination in the ninth round and forced the fight inside on a tiring Dirrell.
"I was in great shape and I believed in myself,"said Jack. I thought I clearly won. It was a tough start to my career, but now I'm a world champ."
The 31-year-old Jack has won three straight fights after being stopped in the first round by Derek Edwards in 2014.
He will now be defending his WBC title against Britain's George Groves in the summer.
In 2007, Dirrell, 30, was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, for which he underwent ten months of chemotherapy before returning to the ring.
Also on the card, Danny Jacobs (29-1, 26 KOs), four years removed from a fight with cancer, stopped fellow American Caleb Truax (25-2-2, 15 KOs) in the 12th round to successfully defend his WBA middleweight title.
The champion took his time and was methodical for the first eleven rounds before an exciting 12th-round stoppage.
Jacobs, 27, punished the 31-year-old Truax with hard punches and the challenger was given a standing eight count by the referee in the 12th before a follow up barrage forced the referee to stop the fight at 2:12 of the round.
"My corner let me know he was hurt and I took advantage," said Jacobs. "I was ready for all 12 rounds."
In 2011, Jacobs was diagnosed with steosarcoma, a form of cancer afflicting his spine.
He had surgery to remove the tumor and was out of the ring for 18 months.