James DeGale had to work for it tonight against a strong and relentless Rogelio Medina, but the British star and former Olympic gold medalist retained his IBF super middleweight title on unanimous decision scores of 115-113, 116-112, and 117-111. BLH had the fight a draw, 114-114, and Showtime's Steve Farhood scored it 115-113 for DeGale.
It was a fight where your score card probably depended on what you liked best. DeGale (23-1, 14 KO) was incredibly accurate in the fight, landing about half of the punches he threw according to the stats, but Medina also threw over 1,100 punches in the fight, and did some great work, particularly to the body. Medina (36-7, 30 KO) also had DeGale on the back foot for the majority of the bout.
When the fight was fought at mid-ring, DeGale dominated, which was what most expected. But he spent a lot of time traveling around the ropes, with Medina cutting off the ring and staying in pursuit, often cornering DeGale and throwing flurries there. It's hard to say one fighter did more damage than the other, since nobody went down or appeared to be seriously hurt at any point in the fight.
"He's gotten better and stronger over the past year and a half, because he's very, very strong, but skills pay the bills. I was very surprised," DeGale said. "I watched him years ago and he didn't have the engine like that. And he took a lot of shots in there. I'm a bit disappointed a little bit, because I should be taking out people like Porky Medina. That's no disrespect to him."
"We saw the fight, he was running all around. He didn't stop me like he said he was going to do," Medina said through a translator. "He was headbutting me, and I got a little frustrated, so that's why I spit at him. He lost. His face is more marked up than mine. The fans think I won. I think I won. I definitely want a rematch."