By Chris McKenna, courtesy of The Daily Star
JAMES DEGALE will make a decision on his future in the New Year after his career was left hanging in the balance following a shock defeat by little-known Caleb Truax.
The British super-middleweight surrendered his IBF title with a woeful performance against the American despite being 1/100 to win the fight at the Copper Box in London.
DeGale, 31, will now weigh up whether to fight on or retire, but it is understood there is no rematch clause to have an immediate return with Truax.
If the Londoner decides to box again then he will consider changes to his team, which could mean the end of his career-long relationship with trainer Jim McDonnell.
‘Chunky’, who has now lost two of his 26 bouts, said: “It’s still quite soon after the fight so I’m not going to make any immediate decisions and I’ll take some time out over the Christmas and New Year to reflect.
“To say I’m devastated is an understatement.
“That was not the James DeGale in the ring that you’re used to seeing and I will have to go back to the drawing board and analyse what went wrong because in all honesty I should not have lost to Caleb Truax.
“While I commend Truax for coming to Britain and putting on a career best performance, I know that I’m leagues above him.
“But for whatever reason I just didn’t perform in there on the night and I’m at loss to explain why.”
DeGale returned to the ring after 11 months out and serious shoulder surgery promising he would be better than ever.
The Londoner had endured a controversial draw in January in a bloody battle with Badou Jack in America.
But his first fight back on home soil since 2014 was expected to be a comfortable night to ease him back in.
DeGale never really got going in a flat atmosphere at the London venue and, after just winning the first round, he was soon being pushed back by the rather basic attacks of the challenger.
The Londoner suffered a nasal septum deviation early in the fight and it hindered his breathing as blood poured from his nose. But he insisted there was no problem with his right shoulder.
He still should have been good enough to get past Truax, who had lost every time he stepped up to elite level before.
But DeGale continually retreated to the ropes instead of staying in the centre of the ring, where he had success, and it proved costly.
It may even cost him his career. The defeat has certainly ruined plans of unification fights with WBC champion David Benavidez and WBA title holder George Groves, the only other man to beat him, in 2018.
Groves tweeted that DeGale should retire while Chris Eubank Jnr, who fights Groves in February, also put the boot in.
He said: “After all the trash talk and disrespectful comments James DeGale, you go and put on a display like that!
“All I can say is wow. You have properly let down British Boxing. Shameful.”