I was spoilt for choice on this weeks pick of Fighter of the Week, Vasyl Lomachenko, Miguel Roman or Jean Pascal could have found themselves headlining but in the end there could be only one, Boxing’s Cinderella Man, Caleb Truax (29-3-2, 18 KOs), the man who upset the odds in defeating Super Middleweight champion James DeGale in London on Saturday night.
11 Months removed since the last time DeGale was in a boxing ring, Minnesota native was hand-picked to be the ideal candidate for the champions return, a fighter with a decent record but one in which would ultimately showcase the obvious divide in talent on the world stage.
The bout didn’t follow the script of a brilliant comeback that would once more promote Degale as the best the division as to offer, instead, we watched on with mouths agape thinking to ourselves, surely Truax couldn’t cause an upset, knowing that he had come up short everytime he had stepped up previous.
We waited for the turning of the tide, which never came, Degale looked clueless as Truax overpowered him on route to taking a decision victory.
DeGale was left bewildered by the way in which the pattern of the fight went, many excuses ensued with thoughts from some that we had seen the champions demise.
“To say I’m devastated is an understatement,” said DeGale Sunday, after spending the night at a hospital to receive treatment on a broken nose he sustained during the fight.
“It’s still quite soon after the fight so I’m not going to make any immediate decisions and I’ll take some time out over the Christmas and New Year to reflect.”
Truax must have thought he had hit the lottery, he followed the game plan that was set out to him from his team, the same blueprint that had somewhat been put in place in Degale’s draw with Badou Jack. Truax knew that DeGale didn’t react well to pressure, employing such to an extent that had all of us in agreement that his hand would rightly be raised.
The fight amazed me personally who like DeGale’s management team initially thought Truax to be a good opponent for a comeback after 11 months. but saw nothing that would set alarm bells ringing.
I recall a local fighter from my town, Kerry Hope facing Truax in 2009 in Minnesota, ultimately coming up short but felt at the time that the decision to be a hometown decision.
Since, he has stepped up on a few occasions against the likes of Jermain Taylor, Daniel Jacobs and Anthony Dirrell, each time been found wanting at a world level.
Fourth time lucky, Truax produced, presenting himself with an early Xmas gift which was gift wrapped attractively on Frank Warren’s show in London.
“That just goes to show you how much he was overlooking me, I think. There was no contractual rematch clause, but I would be open to it. I took short money for this fight and I didn’t take on as much notice as I would like, but if they want a rematch, they are going to have to pay me, that’s for sure.”
A true Cinderella story which will run a little while longer with a careers best payday to follow for the IBF Super Middleweight champion.