James DeGale MBE came to Las Vegas with his career on the line, but emerged victorious to became a Two-Time World Champion when he reclaimed his IBF World Super-Middleweight title from Caleb Truax at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino this morning.
DeGale outgritted a tough Truax – who took the title from DeGale with a shock win last December in London – to win by unanimous decision on the judges’ scorecards with scores of 117-10 and 114-113 (twice).
Chunky showed his fighting heart by having to overcome a deep cut over his right eyebrow from the third round, with blood streaming down his face that impaired his vision, which was caused by a clear headbutt from Truax. He then, disgracefully, had a point deducted by referee Robert Byrd for nudging with his shoulder in a clinch that was initiated by Truax.
However, the Londoner dug deep into himself and used his better technical skill to keep Truax at bay and cut the Minnesota fighter over both eyes and marked his face up with the heavier punches to win on his Las Vegas debut.
An ecstatic DeGale, who has now won, defended and regained the IBF World title all on American soil, said in the ring afterwards, “Two-time world champion and it feels great, when I’m fit and injury free people are going to find it hard to beat me. I’ve got my IBF World title back and I’m a proud IBF World Champion and I’m back, I’m back, Team Chunky, we’re back!”
“Two and half years I had that belt for and I lost it to Truax last December, he embarrassed me and I’ve come back and I’ve got back my title,”
“Me on my day, I’m switched on and very hard to beat.”
On the cut eye and point deduction, he said, “I couldn’t see from my right eye and it was obstructing my sight, I like the referee Robert Byrd, but today he was wrong. I’m just glad I got through it and I showed my heart.”
DeGale praised Truax at the end by saying, “Full credit to Caleb Truax, he showed he can mix it at the very top. Full respect to him, he’s not a journeyman, he’s a tough guy.”
The sensational win has shot DeGale straight back into the elite 168-pound mix and he now has many options in front of him, including a potential showdown with the winner out of George Groves and Callum Smith in the World Boxing Super Series.