Home Boxing Twitter Reacts As James DeGale Suffers Shock Defeat At The Hands Of Caleb Truax

Twitter Reacts As James DeGale Suffers Shock Defeat At The Hands Of Caleb Truax

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 09: James DeGale looks dejected as he loses to Caleb Truax in the IBF World Super-Middleweight Championship fight at Copper Box Arena on December 9, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

James Degale lost for the first time since May of 2011 and dropped his IBF super-middleweight title to gutsy American Caleb Truax at the Copper Box Arena in London on Saturday night.

The 2008 Olympic gold medalist was fighting for the first time since his titanic drawn battle with Badou Jack in January and just six months after he went under the knife to repair his injured right shoulder. Both the inactivity and a seeming lack of confidence in the shoulder appeared to hamper DeGale, who didn’t look at his sharpest and threw the right hand with a lack of conviction.

Truax, however, did not lack conviction in any department. The Minnesota native entered a Trojan work-rate and put DeGale under enormous pressure from the get-go. DeGale tried to box and move, but all-too frequently found himself pinned to the ropes.

In the fifth round, Truax badly hurt DeGale with a savage salvo of punches – a jolting right hand was followed by a pair of heavy uppercuts and another right. For the rest of the stanza, Truax trounced DeGale, as blood poured from the Englishman’s mouth. DeGale could rarely create any real separation between he and Truax to gain some respite. At times he accepted that there was no escape and stood still against the ropes, bravely waving Truax in.

DeGale steadied the ship a bit in the sixth, but Truax just kept coming and just kept working.

In the tenth, the visitor had another big round, again hurting DeGale along the ropes with a big uppercut. Luckily for DeGale, a head-clash seemed to slow Truax’s momentum somewhat.

Both fighters were shattered in the close championships rounds, but they emptied what was left in their tanks in pursuit of victory.

In the end, Truax was awarded a deserved majority decision win by scores of 114-114, 115-112 and 116-112.

After the fight, the amiable and classy Truax admitted that DeGale is a better boxer than he but noted that he had learned a great deal from watching the Brit’s aforementioned fight with Jack.

“We watched a lot of the Badou Jack tape and noticed that he didn’t like pressure that much,” said Truax, who had previously lost every time he’d stepped up to world class – outpointed by Jermain Taylor in 2012, stopped by Daniel Jacobs in 2015 and finished by Anthony Dirrell in 2016. “He’s a hell of a boxer, a classy boxer, and I couldn’t let him start off on the front foot. I had to keep him backing up, otherwise I couldn’t box with him – he’s a better boxer than me. But I had to make it into a dog fight, and that’s what I did.”

DeGale, who was 1/16 favourite with many bookies, suggested that his surgically repaired shoulder was not at 100% and that he rushed back into action

“I’ve got to go back to the drawing board, I’ve got to sort certain things out in camp, and I’ve got to change things,” said DeGale. “I could jab, there was no pain [in the shoulder], but it’s not flowy, it’s not flowing.”

The result stimulated quite a reaction on Twitter, with some labeling it the upset of the year.

About Seamus Raftery