Tonight kicks off the 2017 boxing season as Showtime Championship Boxing presents Badou Jack vs. James DeGale.
Jack and DeGale are not the most well-known or dynamic fighters in boxing today, but here they are putting on a compelling and solidly matched fight. DeGale is ranked at #1 in the Super Middleweight division, with Jack just behind him at #2. Last year, Showtime set up a mini-tournament to unify two of the division’s major belts, and here, that tournament finally culminates. The winner here will be the undeniable top dog at 168 pounds, and that makes for a quality fight. It’s also a tough fight to predict, as it depends on the sometimes inconsistent DeGale’s ability to show his best.
Also on the card is Jose Pedraza vs. Gervonta Davis. Pedraza is the obvious featured fighter there, but Davis is no pushover opponent, and this is another very good fight with the potential to be a real barn-burner.
Jack vs. DeGale airs live on Showtime today, Saturday, January 14 with a fight time of 10:00 p.m. ET. For more on the fight, check out our Bloody Elbow fight breakdown, and also follow our colleagues at Bad Left Hook.
JACK VS. DEGALE RESULTS
(Showtime, 9:30 p.m. ET)
Badou Jack vs. James DeGale, Majority Draw (114-112 DeGale, 113-113, 113-113)
Gervonta Davis def. Jose Pedraza, KO (R7, 2:36)
Badou Jack vs. James DeGale Round by Round
R1: What starts as a feeling out round with both men landing a lot of body shots takes a drastic turn in the final minute when DeGale lands a clean left down the middle that sends Jack to the canvas. He gets back up and looks OK, but not a good start for Badou. 10-8 DeGale
R2: The round is fought mostly inside, with DeGale consistently coming in and mixing it up at very close range. There, he’s using angles to do a better job connecting without being hit back. Nothing huge this round, but enough for DeGale. 10-9 DeGale
R3: Very even round with neither man really establishing his dominance. Jack landed more to start, using his strong body work. DeGale came back well in the middle, but Jack scored a few shots in the closing minute to take it back probably, but just barely. 10-9 Jack; 29-27 DeGale after 3
R4: Another close tough round - if this goes the distance, it’s going to be very interesting to see the cards. DeGale heats up at the end, but his punch output seems to be dropping in these past rounds, allowing Jack to outland him. 10-9 Jack
R5: Interesting round as both men has moments where they seemed unable to slow their opponent’s offense. DeGale was letting Jack get ahead at first, but came back with combos, only to see Jack instantly jump back on him as soon as he has the opening. Good technical fight so far. 10-9 Jack
R6: For the first time, Jack seems to really hurt DeGale here, first with his strong body shots, then to the head. He traps hi against the ropes, and DeGale rolls with it, but Jack lands enough to hurt him. DeGale comes back swinging in the final seconds to make this a fight. 10-9 Jack, 57-56 Jack after 6
R7: DeGale picks it up here, moving in and out well and landing some good work to the body and a particularly good uppercut. Such a close fight every round here. 10-9 DeGale
R8: Jack lands a good combo early that snaps DeGale’s head and knocks out his mouthpiece. Jack keeps the pressure on, landing clean at times and never letting DeGale off the hook. But to his great credit, DeGale remains in it, and fires back himself whenever he can, but not with the same impact as Jack. 10-9 Jack
R9: DeGale bounces back with a good round here, pressuring Jack and making it his fight. Interestingly, he loses his mouthpiece again, seemingly because DeGale just spits it out. The ref warns him that he will lose a point should it go out again. 10-9 DeGale, 85-85 even after 9
R10: Yet again, a close, hard-fought round. This fight is going to be decided by the little moments, and in this round, a DeGale hook was the best punch, so that’s enough to take it. 10-9 DeGale
R11: DeGale throws a lot at times here, but Jack is using his defense well and not allowing DeGale to land enough of them clean. Jack gets a few shots in there himself, enough to take it, and make it dead even on my card heading into round 12. 10-9 Jack
R12: Tremendous action to end the round! Jack drops DeGale early in the round, putting DeGale on the mat for the first time in his career. DeGale gets up and he’s stunned, clinching his way through most of the round, but in the final seconds, he clears his head and throws bombs to end the fight in spectacular fashion. 10-8 Jack, making it 114-112 Jack on my card.