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Swedish boxer Badou Jack misses title after fight to a draw

Badou Jack knocked out a tooth and almost knocked out the referee but he couldn't convince the judges Saturday that he did enough against James DeGale to become the unified super-middleweight champ.

Swedish boxer Badou Jack misses title after fight to a draw
Badou Jack punches James DeGale on Saturday. Photo: Al Bello/ Getty Images North America/AFP
Both Jack and opponent James DeGale suffered knockdowns in the action-packed title fight which ended in a draw after two judges scored it 113-113 and the other had it 114-112 in favour of DeGale, meaning neither will become unified super-middleweight champ.
 
The fighters retained their belts and each complained afterwards that they had won the fight at the Barclays Center arena.
   
World Boxing Council champion Jack was knocked down in the opening round when he got hit by a left hand. It was the third time he had been knocked down in his career, but he gained a measure of revenge by knocking out one of DeGale's teeth in the 10th round.
 
DeGale barely survived the final round when he was knocked down by a right uppercut on the chin. He managed to get up but threw very few punches during the rest of the 12th round.
   
“I thought I won the fight,” said Sweden's Jack inside the ring immediately following the fight. “I finished stronger. His knockdown was a flash knockdown.”
   
International Boxing Federation champ DeGale was standing next to Jack and had heard enough.
   
“Don't listen to this rubbish. I threw the cleanest shots,” said DeGale, who is the first Briton to win both Olympic gold and a professional world title.
   
“I got huge respect for this man. He is tough, he's durable, he's skillful. You are the man. I won that fight.”
   
DeGale said he felt those punches from Jack in the 12th. He managed to gather his senses and buy some time by getting into a clinch.
 
 “I was kind of hurt. I am willing to do it again,” DeGale said.
 
 One of the strangest moments in a brutal, but thrilling, fight took place at the end the fifth round, when Jack accidentally punched Arthur Mercanti Jr., sending the referee staggering across the ring. Mercanti shook it off, took a couple of sips of water, and returned to action for the sixth round.
   
Jack's promoter Floyd Mayweather also complained about the scoring.
   
“This is the second time in a row Badou has gotten a bad decision,” Mayweather said. “James DeGale is a hell of a fighter, but tonight he didn't win. At the end of the day, I don't know what the judges are looking at. This is bad for boxing.”
   
Mayweather may win out in the end as the two will probably have to set up a rematch to determine who is the best 168-pound fighter in the world.
   
On the undercard, Gervonta Davis knocked out Jose Pedraza in the seventh round to capture the IBF junior lightweight title.
   
The 22-year-old Davis won his 17th straight fight with no losses with a dominating performance against the Puerto Rican, who was making the third defence of his title.
 

BOXING

Swedish boxer Badou Jack misses title after draw with Canada’s Adonis Stevenson

Haitian-born Canadian Adonis Stevenson retained his World Boxing Council light-heavyweight title on Saturday after fighting Sweden's Badou Jack to a majority draw in which no judge scored him a winner.

Swedish boxer Badou Jack misses title after draw with Canada's Adonis Stevenson
Badou Jack (L) punches Adonis Stevenson (R) during their WBC Light Heavyweight title fight in Toronto on Saturday. Photo: Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images/AFP
Stevenson, a 40-year-old southpaw, kept the title after two judges scored the bout 114-114 and the third saw Jack as a 115-113 winner in the title bout at Toronto. In a fight nobody lost, both fighters saw themselves as winners.
 
“I thought I definitely won the fight,” Jack said. “No judge had him winning.”
 
Stevenson's record went to 29-1-1 while Jack settled for his third career draw against 22 wins and a lone defeat.
 
“I feel I win the fight,” Stevenson said. “I hurt him in the body. He got slowed down. I keep pressure on him. He moved slick but I touched him more all the time. I think I win this fight.”
 
All three judges awarded Jack the 12th round to lift him into the draw, which could set the stage for a title rematch.
 
“I feel I win this fight but Badou is a good fighter, two-time world champion,” Stevenson said. “I can give him a rematch if he needs one.”
 
Jack is ready, but wants Stevenson to fight outside Canada for the first time since September 2011. On Twitter, the Swedish slugger set the stage for another bout against the Canadian. 
“Let's do a rematch. Let's do it in Vegas,” Jack said. “I came to his place. Now it's his turn to come to my place.”
 
Jack settled for a draw two fights ago in January 2017 with James DeGale and wondered if the fact he is promoted by retired unbeaten champion Floyd Mayweather played a role in his struggles to get more than draws.
 
“I have no idea,” Jack said. “It could be they are jealous of Floyd. I'm one of Floyd's top fighters. I don't know. I can't do anything about it. I'm not the judge. I've got to respect.”
 
Stevenson extended the second-longest active reign in boxing. He knocked out Chad Dawson for the crown in 2013 and since then stopped six of eight prior foes with two other victories by unanimous decision.
 
Stevenson, who had not fought since stopping Poland's Andrzej Fonfara last June in Montreal, dominated early but struggled late as Jack, with Mayweather at ringside cheering him on, bloodied the champion's nose in the eighth round and controled the pace to the finish.
 
Jack, a 2008 Olympian for his father's homeland of Gambia, owned the WBC super-middleweight crown from 2015 to 2017 and stopped Britain's Nathan Cleverly last August for the World Boxing Association crown, but relinquished the title for the chance to fight Stevenson.