James DeGale beats Caleb Truax on points to regain IBF super-middleweight title

James DeGale (right) and Caleb Truax
DeGale (right) was as short as 1-100 with some bookmakers for his first bout with Truax

Britain's James DeGale regained his IBF super-middleweight title with a unanimous points decision over Caleb Truax in Las Vegas.

DeGale, 32, lost his belt in a shock points defeat by the 34-year-old American in December.

But he did not underestimate Truax a second time and went the distance, despite a bad cut, to secure the win.

"I told you when I'm fit and injury free, people will find it hard to beat me," DeGale said.

"I showed some heart this time. In the first fight I wasn't fit, I was like a little kid."

DeGale, who had said he would consider retiring if he lost again, won on all three scorecards as the judges scored the fight 117-110, 114-113 and 114-113.

At times, however, the outcome appeared in some doubt. The Briton fought with a cut over his right eye for more than nine rounds in a rough contest and was periodically troubled by the flow of blood from it.

The 2008 Olympic gold medallist admitted taking Truax lightly at the end of last year, but he was fully engaged from the start of this bout, being warned for a butt as early as the first round and escaping sanction for a similar indiscretion in the second.

A further clash of heads in the third opened up a gash above DeGale's right eye and in the fourth he was knocked backwards by a straight right hand from Truax.

Much of the middle section of the bout was dominated by holding, but the Briton landed a right hook and a right uppercut in the eighth and a jab in the 10th as he began to exert his superiority.

DeGale was deducted a point before the bell for using his shoulder, but further clean hits in the 11th were enough to confirm that Truax, 34, would be beaten in his first and only defence of the title.

"I was pretty flat, I couldn't get my shots off," said the 34-year-old, who finished with cuts over each eye. "But I thought I won. It is what it is, I guess."

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