There was plenty to talk about after last night’s cracking super-middleweight title unification fight between Badou Jack and James Degale in Brooklyn, New York.
There was the action itself, which drew praise from every quarter. There was the decision, a majority draw which seemed to divide the boxing community online. There was the disappointing fact that a rematch seems unlikely, due to promoter Floyd Mayweather’s insistence that his fighter, Jack, can no longer make the 168-pound super-middleweight limit. Then there was Degale’s barmy post-fight interview with Sky Sports, memorable for the English fighter’s preoccupation with the teeth he lost in the heat of battle and because Mayweather chose to make an unbearably awkward cameo.
The thing that seems to be getting the most attention online this morning, however, is the moment that referee Arthur Mercante Jr. ate a Jack left-hand at the close of the fifth round.
The Swede threw the shot just before the bell sounded. It missed Degale, but tagged Mercante Jr., who had moved in to separate the fighters, and sent him stumbling comically across the ring. Luckily, Jack was on hand to keep the official upright and to offer him a comforting embrace.
Mercante Jr. seemed flustered and embarrassed but he remained good humoured about the whole incident.
“My bad,” said Jack to Mercante Jr. from his stool(via Ryan Songalia).
“Yeah, you better knock him out now,” replied the ref.
Jack came very close to doing just that in the 12th and final round, but Degale hung tough, secured the draw and maintained possession of his alphabet title.
— Ryan Songalia (@ryansongalia) January 15, 2017