James DeGale regained his IBF super-middleweight title, defeating Caleb Truax via a unanimous decision at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
Forget his fight against Emilio Correa in the 2008 Beijing Olympics for gold, forget his maiden challenge for the IBF world title against Andre Dirrell and forget his unification bout with Badou Jack. Degale’s chance of redemption against Caleb Truax was by far his most important fight in his career to date.
Another disastrous defeat to the American would have left the future of the Hammersmith man’s boxing career in tatters.
And ‘Chunky’ got his redemption. Something he’s craved ever since his devastating defeat to Truax five months ago at the Copper Box.
It was far from thrilling at times – a contest that included three headbutts in as many rounds – causing a severe cut above DeGale’s right eye. From the third-round onwards the Londoner admitted to not being able to see a thing out of it during the remainder of the fight. DeGale also saw a point deducted by referee Robert Byrd in the tenth-round for shoving his opponent. However, his sheer guts and determination inspired him through to record a unanimous decision on the scorecards in Las Vegas, reading 114-113 twice and 117-110.
And it now opens many doors for southpaw boxer, with becoming unified super-middleweight champion on the top of his agenda. The Brit will be keeping a close eye on the World Boxing Super Series finale which will feature Callum Smith and if fully fit in time, long-term foe and WBA ‘super’ world champion George Groves.
DeGale has unfinished business with Groves and would love nothing more than to avenge his previous defeats to the ‘Saint’ whilst also picking up a lucrative pay cheque.
There’s also other fights with WBO champion Gilberto Ramirez and WBC holder David Benavidez that DeGale would consider as he tends to enjoy fighting away from home, especially in America, remaining unbeaten in all four bouts.
Joe Hewlett is lead writer for World Boxing News. Follow Joe on Twitter @Hewlett95