POST FIGHT ANALYSIS: DEGALE VS JACK VERDICT: ONLY BOXING FANS CAME AWAY WITH A WIN!

Posted on January 15th, 2017 written by in Fight Predictions / Analysis, My Writing

Now that Saturday’s fight between James DeGale and Badou Jack, to establish who is the best super middleweight on the planet, has been and gone, and has also generated some contrasting and conflicting views in the boxing community due to the result being a majority draw, with one judge scoring the bout 114 / 112 to James DeGale and the two other judges scoring it 113 / 113 – here’s my humble take on how I thought the fight played out and how I scored it.

ROUND 1

Round one started off pretty cautiously with both men using their jabs to feel the situation out. This changed as DeGale became the busier fighter as the round progressed, and started to catch his opponent with left-hooks and a nice lead left-hand with 35 seconds to go on the clock that knocked his opponent to the floor – prompting a standing count from the ref.

After Badou took his standing count, DeGale tried to jump on him, but failed to “follow up” in order to get his man out of there, as the bell went before he had a chance to take advantage of the situation.

WINNER: JAMES DEGALE

ROUND 2

This round would see more “in-fighting” by DeGale, who was starting to press the action, roughing up his opponent in the inside and having some success landing with his shots(the right-hand uppercut in particular.)

Jack, at this point, was trying to assert control of the center of the ring and looked to be waiting patiently for any openings his opponent might offer, who was circling and looking to engage at opportune times.

I give this round to DeGale, I feel he was the busier man and that very little was coming back from Jack(and anything that did – fell short) to justify giving him the round.

WINNER: JAMES DEGALE

ROUND 3

This round Badou appeared to be finding his feet and range more so than he had in previous rounds, in addition to having an increased success tagging DeGale whenever he would to try and bully him “in the pocket.”

However, he was still being being out-classed whenever Chunky would box on the outside, which he did for the majority of the round using his feet and jab to great effect and penetrating the high-guard of Jack with “eye catching” hook combinations whenever he would close the gap.

I feel DeGale did more in this round than Jack and had more success with his “work” to warrant the round in his favor.

WINNER: JAMES DEGALE

ROUND 4

Jack became a much more animated figure than in previous rounds and started to press the action with heightened authority; throwing his jab and right hand with more intent and forcing DeGale to go on the back-foot on his(Jack’s) terms.

DeGale, however, was still having a favorable outcome moving around the ring and catching the Swede with bothersome shots and little flurries that caused him(Jack), half-way through the round, to vent his frustration by mocking DeGale’s combinations and motioning him to stand and fight.

I scored this round a draw, even although DeGale was the better boxer and was giving Badou trouble with his hit-and-move tactics, I also thought Jack had a commensurate level of success(especially with his body attacks and right-hand)as well, whenever his British opponent was fighting up close.

DRAW

ROUND 5

DeGale, as in previous rounds, started this round well: pot-shoting and outpointing his opponent until at around the mid-way mark of the bout Badou caught him with a blistering flurry of lefts and rights which seemed to prompt DeGale, thereafter, to stand his ground and engage more; a mistake which allowed ample opportunity for his opponent to land his own shots, as he now didn’t have the angles or movement to contend with that was seemingly frustrating him before.

I feel Badou just nicked this round due to having a better work ethic, and that he came out “the better man” when DeGale made the choice to go toe-to-toe with him.

WINNER: BADOU JACK

ROUND 6

Degale, at this juncture in the fight, was starting to slowdown a little – which Badou capitalized on and who seemed to have more of a grasp on his rhythm and timing: closing the gap well and only throwing punches when DeGale had stopped moving or planted his feet.

It was also a round that signified that the fight was starting to descend into a war as both men became seemingly content to “slug it out.” A situation that favored the Mayweather promoted fighter more so than the ‘tricky’ British southpaw.

DeGale was still slipping shots well at times and had spurts of success of his own, but he was also getting tagged a lot more(particularly by the Swede’s jab, right-hand and blows to the body)than previously, and I have Badou taking the round on that basis.

WINNER: BADOU JACK

ROUND 7

In this round – it started to look like Jack was now feeling the pace, while DeGale was maintaining the success that he had found before in circling, using his movement and boxing skills that would be momentarily interrupted by eye-catching combinations, looping hooks to the head and uppercuts that were increasingly finding their mark.

The only redeeming action, by Jack in this round, was a nice left-right combo that landed flush on DeGale’s chin. Other than that: Chunky easily took the round.

WINNER: JAMES DEGALE

ROUND 8

In contrast to the last round, Badou started this three minutes a more determined man, increasing the pressure(presumably due to relising that he had lost the previous round in a big way and fearing that the fight could be slipping-away from him) and “letting his hands go” more so than he had previously done that would see him effectively land on his opponent with some nice left-right combos.

By mid round – the hit-and-move strategy from DeGale that had for the most part been initiated from long-range with the jab – was by now increasingly replaced with closer toe-to-toe action, with the British southpaw seemingly content to walk forward “into the fire” head-on and getting tagged in the process by the Swede’s hooks and uppercuts.

Although DeGale was standing his ground, I think Jack got the better of the exchanges and started the round strong and also finished the round the stronger of the two.

WINNER: BADOU JACK

ROUND 9

DeGale for this round once again returned to the winning formula of boxing on the outside, but as like the previous round, was eventually dragged into a close quarter battle where both men had varying spurts of success.

Although Badou, landed some good right-hands and body-shots in this round, I thought DeGale did just enough to win and produced the more flashier combination work as well.

WINNER: JAMES DEGALE

ROUND 10

With only two more rounds left to go – the pace by now started to look as if it was getting to Badou, who had slowed down, allowing for DeGale, who was “digging deep” himself, to apply pressure and score with some eye catching combinations, straight-right hands and straight right-hand leads.

I had DeGale taking this round due to being the busier man.

WINNER: JAMES DEGALE

ROUND 11

The in-out tactics behind the jab, that DeGale had been successful with for the majority of the fight, was abandoned in this round and was replaced with both men resorting to slugging it out on the inside, that at times looked a little scrappy(no doubt the result of fatigue from the pace of the bout.)

I had DeGale ahead in this round, mainly due to him getting the better of the exchanges.

WINNER: JAMES DEGALE

ROUND 12

DeGale started this round boxing on the back-foot and was doing well to nullify the pressure exerted on him by Badou, until about 1 minute odd into the round when he got tagged by a nice short right-hand uppercut that forced him to the canvas.

It was surprising that Jack had never caught DeGale with this punch in earlier rounds, as Chunky, was at times, excessively guilty of closing the gap or moving in bent at the waist with his head protruding behind high-held gloves, which not only exposed his chin to uppercuts but presumably amplified the power of his opponents punch as well when he(DeGale) moved in with his body-weight behind it.

For the remaining minutes of the round, DeGale looked to be in serious trouble and at risk of losing the fight on a KO, however he managed to hold out and in the last 10 seconds found a little burst of energy to let his hands go on Badou, but it was too late to recoup.

The round was easily Badou Jack’s due to the knockdown.

WINNER: BADOU JACK

OVERALL WINNER: JAMES DEGALE

As I mentioned in my pre-fight analysis, I thought that DeGale would win, but that there would be some very close rounds, however I disagree with any protest that there was a robbery and thought DeGale just nicked it, but I am not that surprised at the verdict either as it was very close.

I personally scored the fight 114 – 113 (see table below) as I feel DeGale was the far better boxer and had the better work ethic, and would have won it had he not been knocked down in round 12.

ROUNDJAMES DE GALEBADOU JACK
1108
2109
3109
41010
5910
6910
7109
8910
9910
10109
11109
12810
RESULT 114113

Overall, DeGale looked the far superior boxer at times and especially when he would opt to fight on the back-foot, as the Swede seemed to struggle with the angles, movement and defense of DeGale, and only found success when the British southpaw chose to stand his ground and trade in the pocket or when Chunky was trapped against the ropes.

With that said, Badou also looked like a different fighter when he “upped it” a level and let his hands go, but for the majority of the fight there seemed to be no sense of urgency from him – looking at times a bit refrained and also one dimensional.

He also allowed for his British opponent to dictate the pace a bit too much, as well.

There’s now calls for a rematch, which wouldn’t be a bad thing, as the fight was fan pleasing, lively, close and competitive.

I would still favor DeGale to come out on top in a return, especially if his camp prepare him to stick to the effective hit-and-move tactics he employed with success in this fight, to box more and to stay away from fighting “in the trenches” too much.

This fight also proved that “heart” is one of DeGale’s biggest assets, but it’s also one of his weaknesses, as he likes a tear-up far too much for his own good.

It however looks likely(judging by media reports) that DeGale will be facing Callum Smith or George Groves next – in what will be a massive fight for UK fans, while Badou Jack will probably head to “newer pastures” in the light-heavyweight division.

I still stand by the opinion that DeGale is one of the best fighters in the world, but this bout has shown that he has a few vulnerabilities that he needs to address if he wants to win against the likes of Ward, Kovalev, Golovkin or fighters of that caliber who have the tools to exploit them.

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