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Boxing: DeGale dethroned by shock defeat

PUBLISHED: 10:29 10 December 2017 | UPDATED: 10:29 10 December 2017

James Degale reacts after his IBF world super-middleweight championship bout with Caleb Truax at the Copper Box (pic Steven Paston/PA)

James Degale reacts after his IBF world super-middleweight championship bout with Caleb Truax at the Copper Box (pic Steven Paston/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

James DeGale says he needs to go back to the drawing board after a shock defeat to Caleb Truax saw him lose his IBF super-middleweight world title at the Copper Box Arena.

The 31-year-old former Dale Youth amateur was making the fourth defence of his title but the home crowd were left disappointed following a bruising majority decision defeat for the former Olympic champion.

One judge scored the fight as a draw at 114-114, but further scores of 115-112 and 116-112 in favour of the American challenger condemned DeGale to only the second defeat of his career.

DeGale told BT Sport 1: “Crazy, I can’t believe that.

“I’ve boxed at a high level for two-and-a-half years and I’ve got to go back to the drawing board, I’ve got to sort certain things out and change things.

“I thought I’d won it but I’ll have to look back. I’m going to have to go back now and sort out certain things.”

DeGale underwent surgery on his right shoulder following his controversial draw with Badou Jack in January, but after a steady start he was rattled in the fifth round when Truax unleashed a number of fierce shots which left blood pouring from his nose.

Asked whether his shoulder problems had contributed to the outcome, DeGale added: “There’s no pain there, I’ve probably rushed back to be honest. Maybe I should have waited till next year.

“I’m really gutted, I’m so upset. I want the rematch, that’s what I want.”

One of DeGale’s main dommestic super-middleweight rivals, Chris Eubank Jr, was quick to have his say about the fight on Twitter.

Eubank posted: “After all the trash talk & disrespectful comments @jamesdegale1 you go & put on a display like that!! All I can say is WOW!!! You have properly let down British Boxing £Shameful”

The 34-year-old Truax was thrilled to have pulled off his gameplan, saying: “I want to thank everyone for the opportunity. We noticed he didn’t pressure that much, he’s a hell of a boxer, a classy boxer, I couldn’t box because he’s a better boxer than me but I had to make it into a dogfight and that’s what I did.”

Former Dale Youth fighter Daniel Dubois, 20, made it six quick wins in succession with a second-round stoppage of Welsh rival Dorian Darch in their heavyweight contest.

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