Scorecard: Jack vs DeGale
Luke G. Williams
Badou Jack and James DeGale both hit the canvas as they fought a thrilling draw on Saturday night in Brooklyn as they vied to be crowned the king of the super middleweight division. Here is how Boxing Monthly online's Luke G. Williams saw the contest.
Round 1: DeGale looks the sharper, circling Jack menacingly and landing the more eye-catching shots. Towards the end of the round 'Chunky' catches the Swede unaware with a sneaky straight left that finds him off balance and floors him! DeGale tries to follow up and unload but the bell intervenes! What an opener! 10-8 DeGale
Round 2: Good advice from Jack's trainer Lou Del Valle after that disastrous opener - "still 11 rounds to go". However 'the Ripper' seems unsettled by DeGale's movement, footwork and unusual angles. Jack lands the odd decent shot but DeGale's work is better and of a greater volume. 10-9 DeGale
Round 3: Fascinating round - Jack is warming up and although many of DeGale's flashy speedy combos steal the eye they don't necessarily always score, often hitting Jack's arms. Quietly, Jack scores to the body and connects with a good uppercut. Nevertheless, I think DeGale landed marginally more punches that round so I give it to him. 10-9 DeGale
Round 4: Jack's cute defence and clever, clean precision - including an excellent left hook - nick it on my card. Again, DeGale looks like he is throwing more, but quite a few of his punches are to Jack's arms and guard. Fascinating fight. 10-9 Jack
Round 5: Tremendous round! Jack is now putting hard combinations togetherand is managing to stifle DeGale's movement. Mid-round the Swede opens up with a big flurry, DeGale responds with hard combos of his own. As the round ends Jack catches referee Arthur Mercante Jr with a blow by mistake. The ref recovers well! It's all happening! 10-9 Jack
Round 6: Another cracking round! DeGale's movement has slowed and the two men both land some good shots. In the final minute though Jack takes control, hitting DeGale with a stinging body shot and big uppercut and pinning him against the ropes. Jack looks for the finish, DeGale looks in trouble but then fires back in the last few seconds! 10-9 Jack
Round 7: That opening round knockdown has been decisive in handing DeGale a one-point lead at halfway on my card. The seventh is another tight, exciting round. Both men looking to unload powerful shots, DeGale scoring with a beautiful uppercut. A further flurry by the Brit with around 30 seconds left edges the stanza his way on my card. 10-9 DeGale
Round 8: Big round for Jack, who starts fast, a wicked series of stinging punches rocking DeGale and sending his mouthpiece to the canvas. After a brief pause for it to be replaced Jack continues in the same vein, unloading some great shots. A huge round for the Swede who is now just one down on my card. 10-9 Jack
Round 9: Fabulous rally in this round by DeGale! He's up on his toes for most of the three minutes, flinging quick and hurtful combinations at Jack, who continues to push forward mercilessly. 10-9 DeGale
Round 10: An extremely tight round. Jack's greater precision probably edges it, but there have been a handful of very tight rounds that will decide this contest one way or another ... 10-9 Jack
Round 11: Again, as the fight looks like slipping away from him, DeGale rallies,scoring with some good combinations. Jack looks the more solid, but DeGale does the better work. 10-9 DeGale
Round 12: Wow! An amazing last round as Jack nearly pulls a KO win out of the fire. He floors DeGale heavily and then goes for the finish, a groggy and exhausted DeGale shows incredible heart and determination to weather the storm and even throw some leather back. What a climax to a great fight! 10-8 Jack
Verdict: A pulsating contest that just got better and better as it progressed. A tough fight to score - I can see why DeGale's flashier work might have grabbed some judges' eyes, with his looping punches and speedy combinations. Jack's more understated style saw him finish so strongly though and there's no doubt he came closest to forcing a stoppage in that spectacular final stanza. A draw seemed a fair result, although my impression overall was that Jack deserved to nick it more than DeGale did. Regardless, a cracking fight and huge credit to both men!
(Judges' scores 114-112 to DeGale and 113-113 twice, BM online had it 113-113).