It was only the 8th time in professional boxing history that a unification world title fight happened in the super-middleweight division, and the fight lived up to it in more ways than one.
Going into the fight DeGale our own Peter Wells predicted a win for the Briton but it proved to be a closer fight than previously thought.
It’s not often that the boxing calendar kicks off with such a substantial fight this early into the year in mid January, but fight fans were treated at the Barclays Centre in New York with a scintillating sweet science performance by both men – who gave it their all.
Straight off the bat in the very first round DeGale set his stall out by dropping Jack for the third time in his pro career, landing a clean lead straight left hand as Jack looked off balance.
A strong start for the Englishman.
DeGale’s footwork was looking much sharper and more sophisticated in the 2nd, making Jack fall short multiple times with his jab and right hand.
The third round was a close one, with Jack showing some good defence at times.
DeGale switched from southpaw to orthodox at one point and was looking to fight on the inside a lot, with Jack looking to land more and more body shots.
Jack had his strongest round of the fight in the 4th. He was more economical in his punch output than DeGale at times and showed solid defence.
Jack came out with a lot of purpose in the 5th and closed down DeGale better than he was previously doing, although DeGale showed some excellent punch variation mid round in a close one to score.
The referee at the bell at the very end of the round took a right hand by accident from Jack, but took it well.
Jack had a very big round in the sixth – mixing his attack to the body and the head of DeGale, pinning him on the ropes at times, ripping in body shots and landing straight right hands.
The action really heated up in the seventh as Jack continued to try to walk DeGale down, although the Londoner came firing back with some nice combinations at long range.
The 8th round was a huge round for Badou Jack who landed some heavy shots on DeGale who at one point lost his mouth piece, bleeding from the mouth.
DeGale really looked to be fighting Jack’s fight at this point, on the inside where Jack was at his most dangerous.
The 9th was a close round, with perhaps the edge going to Jack as DeGale looked a bit fatigued and at one point looked like he purposefully spat out his mouth piece to get more oxygen and breath easier.
The 10th was an explosive three minutes. DeGale dug in and landed a beautiful right hook at one point. A very entertaining round.
Both men planted their feet in the 11th round looking to land that one big defining shot that could close the show, but to no avail.
A fantastic round where it was discovered that DeGale lost a tooth in the previous round.
DeGale went down for the first time in his career in the final round, a massive shot.
He poured on the pressure for the rest of the round and closed out the fight in a massive way.
DeGale came back at him right at the end of the bell but I thought Jack won the round, and indeed edged the fight overall on damage done and quality of punches landed – as well as ending the fight incredibly well.
What an improved fighter Badou Jack has become since the only loss of his career a few years back.
The decision ended up being a majority draw when the scorecards were read out, although stats showed more punches thrown and landed went to Jack according to Showtime.