It’s a true stunner. Caleb Truax, regarded by most as a fringe contender, a high level club fighter, won the IBF super middleweight world title today, upsetting James DeGale on the road in London.
Truax won by majority decision on scores of 114-114, 115-113, and 116-112. BLH had the fight 114-114.
Truax (29-3-2, 18 KO) becomes a world champion in his second shot at a major title, at age 34, as an incredible underdog. Nobody expected he would beat DeGale (23-2-1, 14 KO), even with DeGale coming in after a shoulder surgery and an 11-month layoff.
But he did it. Forever more, Caleb Truax can say he was the champion of the world.
There was talk before the fight, from the DeGale camp, of seeing “the old” James DeGale again. Unfortunately for DeGale, we did, but not in the way he would have liked. In past fights, we’ve seen DeGale, when the heavily favored man, lay on the ropes, not throw as much as you’d like to see, and simply make things harder than they were supposed to be.
That happened again here, and Truax was ready to capitalize. DeGale took the first couple of rounds, but Truax took over from there, including a massive fifth round where he repeatedly hurt DeGale and shook his confidence badly, it seemed.
DeGale did recover and keep himself in the fight, but at best he deserved a draw here, and he wasn’t lucky enough to get one. No home cooking on these scorecards, no controversy, just a shocking result. DeGale didn’t do enough, and Truax goes home to Osseo, Minnesota, with the IBF world title.
“We watched a lot of the Badou Jack tape, and noticed that he didn’t like pressure that much,” Truax said after the fight. “He’s a hell of a boxer, a classy boxer, and I couldn’t let him start off on the front foot. I couldn’t’ box with him. He’s a better boxer than me. I had to make it into a dogfight, and that’s what I did.”
It is obviously, and without question, a career-best performance for Truax, and a terrible outcome for DeGale, who was emotional after the fight, but didn’t complain about the result.
“I can’t believe that. I boxed at a high level for the past two-and-a-half years. We’ll go back to the drawing board,” DeGale said. “We’ll have to sort things out in camp. I’ve got to change things. I thought I won it, but I’ll have to look back on it. He was coming forward. I’ll have to go back and sort out things.”
Asked about his right shoulder, DeGale admitted he might have come back too soon.
“If I’m being honest, I probably rushed back. I got the operation in June, and it was, like — maybe I should’ve waited until next year. There’s no pain but it’s not flowing. I’ll have to go back. I’m so upset, but I’ll have to go back and sort things.”
DeGale said he “doesn’t think” there’s a rematch clause, but he does want a rematch.