By Keith Idec
Caleb Truax would’ve loved to make the first defense of his IBF super middleweight title in Minneapolis.
Truax is from nearby Osseo, Minnesota, and is certain his immediate rematch with former champion James DeGale would’ve drawn a large crowd in Minnesota’s biggest city. The newly crowned champion also was more than willing to return to England, where he upset DeGale by majority decision December 9 to win that 168-pound title.
“I’m not sure why it isn’t there [in England],” Truax told BoxingScene.com. “That was never really even an option. They were gonna do it either in L.A. or Las Vegas. They were trying to do it in Minneapolis, which would’ve been a huge draw here. From what I heard, he didn’t wanna come here. So that’s why it ended up on the Hurd and Lara undercard in Las Vegas.”
The 34-year-old Truax (29-3-2, 18 KOs) and the 32-year-old DeGale (23-2-1, 14 KOs) are set to fight again April 7 at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Showtime will televise their rematch as part of a tripleheader that’ll feature the 154-pound title unification bout between IBO/WBA champ Erislandy Lara (25-2-2, 14 KOs) and IBF champ Jarrett Hurd (21-0, 15 KOs).
Truax expected the DeGale rematch to take place in England. He wouldn’t have minded battling DeGale in DeGale’s home country again because he won on two of three judges’ scorecards 3½ months ago at Copper Box Arena in London (116-112, 115-112, 114-114).
“I was willing to go wherever for the rematch,” Truax said. “I’m a fighter. I don’t care if it was in his backyard. I didn’t care where it was at. I just wanna go fight and support my family.”
Still, Truax hopes another victory over DeGale will lead the University of Minnesota graduate toward a title defense in his home state.
“That would’ve been really cool,” Truax said. “I had my fingers crossed, but I kind of knew it was an outside shot from the get-go. So I wasn’t holding my breath or nothing like that. But hopefully, I’ll beat DeGale again April 7th and then my next fight comes here.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.