Copper Box, London - IBF super middleweight champion James DeGale (23-2-1, 14 KOs), in his first bout at home since 2014, was shockingly defeated by huge underdog Caleb Truax (29-3-2, 18 KOs) by way of a twelve round majority decision. The scores were 114-114, 115-112 and 116-112.
Truax had won two in a row since getting stopped by Anthony Dirrell in one round back in April of 2016. His defeats came at the hands of former champions Daniel Jacobs and Jermain Taylor.
DeGale is back in his first bout since a close twelve round split draw with then WBC champion Badou Jack in January at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. After the contest, DeGale underwent surgery and rehab to clear numerous injuries that were suffered against Jack. DeGale's last four bout took place overseas - with three in the United States and one in Canada.
DeGale came out boxing in the first minute to feel Truax out, before letting his hands go with some hard punches in as the round played out. Truax was a but more cautious with his punches and was looking for openings.
In the second, DeGale was fighting well of the ropes, landing big shots and not allowing Truax to land too much in the contest. Truax started doing much better work in the third when he was pushing DeGale back. A close fourth where both had their moments.
During the fifth, Truax landed some huge shots to get DeGale in trouble against the ropes. DeGale was coasting as Truax was pressing on and landing big punches. DeGale's mouth was busted open and bleeding from a hard right uppercut. DeGale was just coasting and taking punishment from Truax for most of the three minutes.
In the sixth, Truax came out pressing the action. DeGale was moving and boxing, looking to stay away from exchanges while winning rounds on pure skill. The same scenario was playing out in the seventh. The rounds were close, with Truax pushing the pace and DeGale using movement and flicking his jab.
Truax began to really target the body in the eight to slow down DeGale, who continued to move and hit. Truax appeared to tire a bit in the ninth as DeGale was working his way back in. During the tenth, Truax came back to life when he pinned DeGale against the ropes and started pounding the Olympic gold medal winner with hard shots.
DeGale was trying to rally in the eleventh, as Truax was coming on and looking to continue to do damage. Both boxers had their moments with big shots connecting. The twelfth and final round was more of the same, with both having their moments. The home crowd was chanting hard for DeGale to raise his level in the round, as Truax seemed to be tiring as the fight was closing out.