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A Super Super-Middle Tussle; Jack and DeGale Rumble To Draw in Brooklyn

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SUNDAY UPDATE: I understood on Sunday morn a bit better the ire, which felt over the top, exhibited by promoter Floyd Mayweather on Saturday  night after his guy Badou Jack didn’t get the nod and the judges deemed the tussle with Chunky DeGale a draw.

Firstly, because when watching on tv, which lets you see much more closely, and with the benefit of replays, I better appreciated Jack’s shorter punches. Especially his rips to the Brit’s body….

Secondly, viewers watching on Showtime heard Floyd say he’d maybe bet to half mill on the Swede. Now, if Floyd didn’t get that win on such a big bet it makes more sense why you had Mike Coppinger and Dan Rafael of USA Today and ESPN each trying to convince Floyd that the fight was tight and not grounds to cry robbery, and hearing him stick to his stance, that Jack got screwed.  This occurred in a fairly interesting post fight presser, dominated by a pissed off “Money.”

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Brooklyn: Super middleweights tangoed in the main event Saturday night at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, with James DeGale and Badou Jack both seeking to massively elevate themselves, get into the discussion on bigger platform tussles.

Both acquitted themselves well in front of 10,128 patrons of the fistic arts, and hundreds of thousands more on Showtime. Down went the Brit in the 12th round, and we went to the cards, with all breathes baited. No one pulled away so the judges would have final say: 114-112 to DeGale; 113-113 times two, a majority draw.

I was fine with a draw, myself.

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Jack was holding the WBC strap, taken off Anthony Dirrell and defended against George Groves and then Lucian Bute. Chunky had the IBF version entering; he’d take the vacant strap versus Andre Dirrell, and defended against Bute, and then Porky Medina. They each kept their belts.

In the first, the Brit DeGale, entering with a 23-1 mark, sent Jack to the mat. A straight left took his balance and planted him on his ass.

In round two, Jack, born in Sweden, living in Vegas, with a 20-1-2 mark entering, was cautious. DeGale moved smartly, but did get popped with a right pulling back. Jack warmed up and was busier and had a much better round.

In the third, we saw the distance close. Chunky came from all angles, then, while Jack came forward, but wasn’t as busy. DeGale throws a decent showy flurry, did the judges dig em?

In the fourth, we heard chants for each man. Chunky moved better, but Jack kept close, stayed persistent.

In the fifth, we saw Chunky pot shot, move, flurry with nothing vicious but he was more active. The Brit threw wider and showier shots, but Jack clanged with tight tosses now and again. He scored a left hook on ref Arthur Mercante at the close of the round.

In the sixth, DeGale was getting backed up. Jack was on the attack. The action was more heated.

In round seven, we saw Chunky came back with more fire. We heard a “Badou” chant, but Chunky went low and high, kept the distance he liked. Then Jack would tag him with a short shot or two. Tight round but DeGale had it.

In the eighth, Jack started loading up. His right was connecting. The DeGale came back harder. In tight, he worked. He was more tired and had to bang.

In the ninth, Chunky was sticking and moving, while Jack threw tight shots. Out come DeGale’s mouthpiece. For the second time and the ref let him go without and then warned him.

In the tenth, DeGale ate a harsh right coming in. Sneaky hands, from Jack.  DeGale was tying up. Tight round, as usual.

In the 11th, before the round started, the doc looked in DeGale’s mouth. Fighting started…Jack was the aggressor to start. He stalked, and DeGale moved. The lefty slide left then right, and flurried regularly.

In round 12, DeGale kept to his recipe. Movement, flurries, but then down he went. A right hand sent him down. His right cheek was bad. But he kept on his feet, even after spitting out his mouthpiece. We’d go to the cards…

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Quotes:
BADOU JACK

“I had to dig down deep and try to knock him out and finish strong. I definitely finished strong. If it wasn’t for the flash knockdown, it’s a different result.

“I was never hurt on the knockdown. My feet got tangled a little bit but I need to watch it again.

“I had him before the knockdown even happened. I knocked his tooth out. He couldn’t keep his mouthpiece in after that.

“It’s the third time now I’ve had a draw I didn’t agree with. I’m the so-called home fighter and it still happened.

“Next time I have to knock him out. That’s it.”

“He was doing a lot of running, he was throwing a lot of shit at my guard. I thought I won the fight. I finished stronger. His knockdown was a flash knockdown. I won the fight.

“Let’s do it again at light heavyweight. It’s time to move to light heavyweight.

JAMES DEGALE

“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.

“He hit me (in the 12th), but I was more off balance. I respect him. He’s a good, round fighter. Let’s go again.”

FLOYD MAYWEATHER

“Badou Jack has got too big for 168 pounds. We had plans after this fight to move up to light heavyweight. 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.”

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About Michael Woods

Editor/publisher Michael Woods became addicted to boxing in 1990, when Buster Douglas shocked the world with his demolition of the fearsome Mike Tyson. The Brooklyn-based journalist Woods has covered the sport since then, for ESPN The Magazine, ESPN.com, ESPN New York, RING, and he was editor of TheSweetScience.com from 2007-2015. Woods is also an accomplished blow by blow and color man, having done work for Top Rank, DiBella Entertainment, EPIX, and numerous other organizations.

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