Badou Jack retained his WBC Super Middleweight title in a controversial draw against Lucian Bute Saturday, setting up a fall unification clash with IBF champion James DeGale, who successfully defended his IBF crown against Rogelio Medina at the DC Armory in Washnigton, D.C.
“Let’s unify the decision and see who the best is,” DeGale said to Jack in a post-fight interview in Showtime Championship Boxing in the USA
“I’m ready in September, ready in August,” responded Jack. “I’m ready whenever. Let’s do it where it makes the most sense financially.”
Jack was the sharper fighter from the opening bell, committing to pounding the body of the former long-time titlist. Facing his second southpaw, Jack prevented Bute from fighting his game, smothering the Romania-born Canadian whenever he attempted to fight on the inside.
While Jack varied his punches with a diverse attack to the body and head, he slowed in the latter rounds and allowed Bute to climb his way back into the fight. Bute had perhaps his best round in the 10th and closed the show well, in the 11th and 12th. But it was too little too late for Bute, who escaped D.C. with what most felt was an undeserved draw.
“Bullshit, but is what it is. Ask Bute as well, he knows what time it is,” said Jack, who landed nearly 100 more punches than Bute, including 61 percent of his power punches, and 40 percent total of his total shots. “His punches weren’t hurting me. I feel I won the fight. Maybe I lost the last round. He’s a great guy and a great champion, but I know I won the fight.
“It’s not Bute’s fault, it’s the judges. People saw I won the fight.”
The 36-year-old Bute certainly looked like a fighter with plenty left in the tank, rejuvenated under trainer Howard Grant with his sights set on the new crop of stars in the super middleweight division.
“It was a close fight,” said Bute, who connected at just a 21 percent rate with his total punches. “Believe me, it was very close fight. My last fight with DeGale was very close, tonight was a very close fight. I showed everyone I’m still at the top.”
James DeGale defended his IBF Super Middleweight Championship with a close, hard-fought unanimous decision WIN against Rogelio Medina
DeGale was supremely accurate, landing 51 percent of his power punches compared to just 23 for Medina, including a staggering 66 percent of his power punches. The switch-hitting southpaw attacked from unorthodox angles, and was most effective when he snuck in a right uppercut to back up Medina. But the British titlist – a record 12th from Great Britain – failed to utilize his jab and was not able to deliver on his prediction of a knockout inside of six rounds.
“The boxing skills are too good,” DeGale said. “If I’m being honest, he’s a very strong fighter, but skills pay the bills. I watched this guy years ago and he didn’t have the engine like that. He’s gotten better and stronger in the last year and a half.