James DeGale is fresh from becoming a 2-time world super middleweight champion of the world.
The 2008 Olympic Gold medalist reclaimed the International Boxing Federation title in a rematch with American Caleb Truax in Las Vegas.
The rematch came less than half a year after DeGale surprisingly surrendered his title at the CopperBox Arena in London, late in 2017.
DeGale has cited the rehabilitation from his shoulder injury didn’t allow him to come into that first fight in fully fit condition.
Looking back in hindsight, ‘Chunky’ claims its a decision he shouldn’t have agreed to. DeGale also said the financial aspect of the sport was clouding his judgement.
“My shoulder was the main reason. If I’m being honest, I came back too quick from the operation. I shouldn’t have boxed then.”
“That is why I performed like that but this time around I went back to the drawing board, I trained hard and I locked myself away.”
“Me being me, I just wanted to come back, I wanted to earn money, I wanted to pay off my mortgage.”
“I just rushed my injury. From that, I got criticised a lot and people doubted me once again.”
“I would say it was a good performance. Given the circumstances with my eye cut so early on in the fight, I would say it was a good performance,” he continued.
DeGale has suggested that he put up a more than solid performance in that first fight. But the 2008 Olympic Gold medalist claims that his cuts allowed for Truax’s victory to look all that much more convincing.
“People don’t realise that the cut was horrendous, I had five stitches in my eye.”
“I had four stitches on my forehead and I had one stitch in the corner of my left eye.”
“I was cut to bits in the fight but it just shows you that I had to stick to my gameplan, I had to be switched on and I had to be clever in there – and I did.”
“It was just about winning the rounds and keep winning them to get back the title.”
“I was extremely worried that the fight would be stopped after I was cut, as soon as I was cut it was just pouring into my eye so I knew it was bad.”
“I went back to my corner and it felt like my cut kept on bleeding throughout the fight but Truax’s didn’t. Bit of a weird one that.”
“I don’t know if they used a stronger adrenaline or whatever but my one kept on bleeding and his stopped.”
Reflecting on recapturing the world title, DeGale expressed satisfaction with his performance but claims that the victory could have been his with ease if not for being cut again.
“I’m pretty sure if I wasn’t cut, I would have gone on and won a lot easier.”
“I started off well, I started off really well. The first two rounds were brilliant, I got on my jab.”
“I moved my feet well and I was just waiting for him to tire and later on I would have got him but I got cut and I had to grind out the win.”
“I was just chuffed to bits, I was over the moon that I’d won back my world title.”
“All I needed to do was be a little bit better than the last fight and I thought I would beat him.”
“This is no disrespect to Caleb Truax, but he is not in my league;” DeGale added.
“He got a lot of confidence from the last fight and he thought ‘if I just stick pressure on him and I make him fight the way he fought last time, I can beat him’ but that wasn’t going to happen.”
DeGale utilised his boxing IQ more so in the second meeting and with the full strength in his lead jabbing hand restored, he felt confident coming into the fight.
“I moved my feet this time, my front arm was a lot better and I knew I was going to win;” DeGale concluded.