A vicious take no prisoners belt unification ring war initiated the 2017 Boxing Calendar at the Barclays Center, Brooklyn, N.Y., on Saturday, January 14, 2017.
Two never say die warrior world champs, Badou “The Ripper” Jack, 20-1-3, 12 knockouts and W.B.C. Super Middleweight Champion and James “Chunky” DeGale, 23-1-1, 14 k.o.’s, I.B.F. Super Middleweight Champion fought a ‘take no prisoners’ phone booth center of the ring boxing war.
To the surprise of the 11,000 fans present, the result was either a delight or a disappointment, depending on whom they favored to win.
This writer agreed with the draw decision due to the fact that not only did both suffer knockdowns, Badou Jack in the 1st round and DeGale in the 12th round, but from the 2nd round throughout the 11th round both combatants pounded and punished each other with a cruel vengeance. That is when the fight really began.
Badou Jack the cerebral boxer shooting his jabs and body punishment accurately but sporadically seemed to be in control fighting in the all too familiar Floyd Mayweather style since he trains in Mayweather’s T.M.T. Gym.
James DeGale who fights wildly but is also very effective throwing his punishing and connecting punches from all angles also appeared to be in control when he attacked Badou hurting him repeatedly.
This fistic onslaught by both fighters kept the fans roaring in approval since in most rounds it appeared that they split the rounds in half. First Jack would attack DeGale in the first half and he would then allow DeGale to attack and punish him in the second half of the very same round.
After all that was said in the press conferences in a gentlemanly fashion both DeGale and Jack went at each other viciously for the entire 12 rounds like the Hatfields & McCoys feud of yesteryear.
You really could not tell who was pulling ahead and controlling the fight as it went from round to round to the end on seemingly even terms.
DeGale in his south paw stance and switching to his right hand stance started the war by knocking Jack down in the 1st round and when Jack stood up he punished DeGale with punches in bunches, head to body staggering him, forcing DeGale to hold so as to survive.
Looks are deceiving because as the fight progressed Badou hit DeGale hard several times in the 8th and 9th rounds knocking out his mouth piece 3 times as DeGale also lost a front tooth and began to bleed profusely from a cut lip giving the fans the impression that he was winning, but then DeGale would storm back and hurt Badou.That is the way the fight continued ‘til the final bell.
Round 12 produced another surprise because Badou hit a tiring and bleeding DeGale on the temple and knocked him down. When DeGale got up he staggered backwards looking like a beaten fighter as Badou rushed forward to knock him out and pull victory out of possible defeat, but he was surprised when the awkward DeGale fought back hurting him.
Badou and DeGale exchanged punches phone-booth style until the final bell, and they then smiled and embraced each other in a congratulatory and sportsman like fashion to the roar of the crowd.
This ring war the first of the boxing calendar of 2017 by 2 super talented boxers and world champs both defending their individual crowns for the 3rd time was perhaps marred by the fact that it was ruled a draw.
Depending on whom you favored one side of Barclays Center favored Badou while the other side favored DeGale, I felt that the draw decision was just.
If there was any loss for either fighter was the fact that they were not able to unify the 2 titles and win the 3rd belt that they were fighting for-Ring Magazine Super Middleweight Title- which for the present time will remain vacant.
Since both Badou and DeGale claimed that they had won DeGale then invited Badou to go to Wembley Stadium in London for the rematch, which has an 80,000 fan capacity.
An anxious Badou accepted the rematch challenge but then indicated that if he had won he was going to move up to the Light Heavyweight level and challenge either Andre Ward the current W.B.A., W.B.O., I.B.F. Champion or Adonis “Superman” Stevenson, W.B.C. & Ring Magazine Champion.
It appears that we are now at a standstill but I suspect the Badou Jack will accept the rematch challenge before moving up because he wants to prove that he indeed defeated James DeGale.
The entire fight card was very exciting especially when Gervonta “Tank” Davis a T.M.T. Floyd Mayweather product became the youngest boxing champ when he knocked out Jose “The Sniper” Pedraza, at 2:36 of the 7th round winning the I.B.F. Junior Lightweight Title at only 22 years of age. Tank’s undefeated record now is an impressive 16-0, 15 k.o.’s.
Another exciting fight was W.B.O. Women’s Junior Featherweight World Champion Amanda “The Real Deal” Serrano defeating Yazmin “La Rusita” Rivas former 3-time women’s world champ by unanimous decision in a Showtime televised title fight.
It was a very tough fight for Serrano because Rivas a tough Mexican with a fighting style similar to the legendary Julio Cesar Chavez, Sr. was counter-punching and hurting the taller, south paw Serrano with head and body punches.
Following the instructions from her Trainer Jordan Maldonado, “box, don’t trade punches with her, use your jab”, Serrano using her ring generalship was then able to defeat the tough Rivas.
Amanda who’s sister Cindy is also a world champ made history winning 5 world titles like her Puerto Rican male counter-part, former world champ Miguel Cotto.
The fans were not robbed, they were rewarded last night and their boxing appetites whetted thanks to DiBella Entertainment and Mayweather T.M.T. Promotions because in the following months of the 2017 year mega championship fights have been contracted.
The 2017 fight schedule will follow in my next report so stay tuned.