WASHINGTON, D.C. - Badou Jack retained his WBC Super Middleweight title in a controversial draw against Lucian Bute Saturday on SHOWTIME, setting up a fall unification with IBF champion James DeGale, who defended his IBF crown against Rogelio Medina in the opening bout of the SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast from the DC Armory.
Jack was the sharper fighter from the opening bell, committing to pounding the body of the former long-time titlist. Facing his second southpaw, Jack prevented Bute from fighting his game, smothering the Romania-born Canadian whenever he attempted to fight on the inside.
While Jack varied his punches with a diverse attack to the body and head, he slowed in the latter rounds and allowed Bute to climb his way back into the fight. Bute had perhaps his best round in the 10th and closed the show well, in the 11th and 12th. But it was too little too late for Bute, who escaped D.C. with what most felt was an undeserved draw.
James DeGale defended his IBF Super Middleweight World Championship with a close, hard-fought unanimous decision against Rogelio Medina in the opening bout of the SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast.
DeGale was supremely accurate, landing 51 percent of his power punches compared to just 23 for Medina, including a staggering 66 percent of his power punches. The switch-hitting southpaw attacked from unorthodox angles, and was most effective when he snuck in a right uppercut to back up Medina. But the British titlist - a record 12th from Great Britain - failed to utilize his jab and was not able to deliver on his prediction of a knockout inside of six rounds.
Medina, on the other hand, nearly doubled DeGale, throwing 1,140 total punches, compared to 612 in the best performance of his career, but not enough to dethrone the champion. The Mexican challenger pounded the body and was at his best with DeGale against the ropes, striking the British champion with a killer left hook to the body.
Saturday's event was promoted by Mayweather Promotions and Interbox in association with Matchroom Boxing.
Brian Custer hosted the SHOWTIME telecast, with Mauro Ranallo calling the action, Hall of Fame analyst Al Bernstein and former two-time world champion Paulie Malignaggi commentating and Jim Gray reporting. In the Spanish simulcast, Alejandro Luna called the blow-by-blow and former world champion Raul Marquez served as color commentator. The executive producer of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING was David Dinkins Jr. with Bob Dunphy directing.