Defending IBF 168-pound champion James DeGale didn’t think much of his opponent Caleb Truax. “He’s no mug,” said DeGale, “but this is the perfect opponent where I can look fantastic.”
DeGale was half-right. Truax was no mug, at least not on this evening. In a massive upset, Truax defeated the reigning champion, winning a well-earned majority decision in the main event of Frank Warren’s Queensberry Promotions show at London’s Copper Box Arena. The scores were 116-112, 115-112, and 114-114.
The 31-year-old DeGale, coming off a shoulder injury that prevented him from competing in the World Boxing Super Series, fought like man who had grown old overnight. He spent much of the fight with his back against the ropes as Truax plodded forward while keeping his hands busy. He had a big fifth round, hurting DeGale with uppercuts while drawing blood from his mouth, and DeGale, a former Olympic gold medalist, was unable to claw his way back.
This was Truax’s second stab at a world title. In his previous attempt, he was soundly beaten by Daniel Jacobs who stopped him in the 12th round. With the win, the 34-year-old Minnesota man advanced his record to 29-3-2 and shed the label of a Midwesterner, a boxing euphemism for a journeyman.
In a tactical fight, Lee Selby outclassed previously undefeated Eduardo Ramirez to retain his IBF featherweight title via a unanimous decision. The scores were 119-109, 118-110, and 116-112. Selby (26-1, 9 KOs) has now won 22 straight. Mexico’s Ramirez, who came in overweight, declined to 20-1-3.
Selby seemingly took control of the fight in rounds five and six. He had Ramirez backing up. But the Mexican rallied and made it interesting for a while until Selby got a second wind, closing the contest with a strong 12th round.
Anthony Yarde (14-0, 13 KOs) continued his ascent up the light heavyweight ladder with a fourth round stoppage of Montenegro’s battle-tested Nikola Sjekola (32-5-1). Yarde knocked down his scrappy 39-year-old adversary in the second round and again in the fourth before the bout was stopped. Sjekola hadn’t previously lost inside the distance.
Hot heavyweight prospect Daniel Dubois scored his sixth straight knockout in as many tries with a second round stoppage of brave but out-gunned Dorian Darch who was on the canvas four times before the bout was waved off. The 20-year-old Dubois, who carried 239 pounds, looks like the real deal although it’s worth noting that he has answered the bell for only nine rounds in his short pro career.
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