Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas - James DeGale won back the IBF super middleweight title he lost in December to Caleb Truax with a bloody, 12-round unanimous decision. The fight was an immediate rematch of what many thought was the upset of the year in boxing in 2017.
The 32-year-old DeGale (24-2-1 14 KOs) held the IBF world title at 168 pounds for 31 months before losing it to the 34-year-old Truax (29-4-2, 18 KOs) on DeGale’s home turf in London.
”I’m back,” DeGale said. ”Two-and-a-half years I had it and I lost it to Caleb. He embarrassed me, but we’re back.”
DeGale suffered a massive cut just over his right eye on an accidental head butt that led to extensive bleeding in the third round.
”I couldn’t see from my right eye,” DeGale said. ”I couldn’t see. But I’m just glad I got through it. I showed some heart. In my last fight, I was like a weak little kid.”
DeGale connected on 37 percent of his power shots compared to 28 percent for Truax. He now returns to London a world champion with some massive potential fights in the future.
”I want to be busy,” DeGale said. ”I have a couple years left in this sport.”
Truax was just the fourth boxing world champion ever from Minnesota.
”I thought I did enough to win the fight, but I also thought I was pretty flat and didn’t get my shots off like I wanted,” Truax said.
Philadelphia’s Julian Williams stopped Chicago’s Nathaniel Gallimore by a majority draw in a 12-round 154-pound eliminator bout for Hurd’s new IBF belt.
Williams (25-1-1, 1 ND, 15 KOs) used a relentless body attack to take the upper hand as the fight neared the finish. Williams outworked Gallimore on the night, landing 37 percent of his total punches (191 to 518) in the fight, compared to just 23 percent for Gallimore (107 to 469).
Both men were pushed to the 12-round distance for the first time in their careers.