WASHINGTON, D.C. -- All Badou Jack could do was raise his hands in frustration -- and in disbelief. Fans wore stunned looks throughout the Armory, in Washington, D.C. on Saturday night on Showtime, while Lucian Bute himself was a little confused by what he heard.
It was a little hard to figure out the majority draw that Jack received against tough Bute, despite connecting on close to 100 punches more.
Despite the majority draw, Jack retained the WBC super middleweight title and will face IBF super middleweight champion James DeGale in a unification fight later this year.
Jack (20-1-2, 12 KOs) couldn’t believe the scores, nor anyone else for that matter, that were read from judges Glen Crocker and Omar Mintun Sr., who each scored it 114-114. It was a great disparity from the 117-111 score by judge Stephen Rados.
Here’s the head scratcher: Jack connected on 278-703 (40%) total punches, which broke down to 61-345 (18%) jab connects and 217-358 (61%) power shots and those numbers blow away Bute’s 179-857 (21%) total connects, 37-300 (12%) jab connects and 142-557 (25%) power shots landed.
Even the eye test said Jack won the majority of the early rounds, though faltered in the last three.
“(Expletive), (expletive), it is what it is,” Jack said. “I won the fight. I’m moving on to DeGale. (Bute) is a hell of a fighter, and this isn’t his fault. I won the fight. I worked my ass off for 12 weeks. I fight for my family. I won that fight. Things happen. It’s a dirty business. People saw who won the fight.”
Bute thought it was a close fight.
“I did very much, but I would like to fight the winner of DeGale and Jack,” Bute said. “I showed I’m everyone who I am and that I’m near the top.”
In the second round, Jack swung and missed with a left hook, but Jack’s left elbow caught the right eye of Bute, opening a small cut. It seemed to be issue, since it was on the side of his eye and not above it. Jack followed the missed left hook with a right under the belt, landing on Bute’s left hip.
Jack seemingly won the first four rounds, but Bute came alive in the fifth. Though it was a Jack left hook, from the southpaw stance which was the big punch of the round. It was text book, curling his body downward, Jack’s left tagged Bute right on the jaw.
Bute wasn’t able to get solid footing on his power shots, throwing and connecting more with arm punches than strong punches with a leveraged base. Through six rounds, Jack connected on an insane 88-130 (68%) power shots to Bute’s 43-185 (23%). When Bute did punch in combination, it caused Jack to hesitate, defend and freeze. Bute just had a tendency to stay in front of Jack—a bad move when trying to beat him.
Each time Bute connected with something substantial, Jack closed and smothered Bute, negating him from extending his reach. They both went at other in the 10th, and it could have been Bute’s best. He seemed to be loading up for the left uppercut inside, and parts of that power shot would clip Jack here and there. But Bute just wasn’t able to land anything significant.
Bute got stronger in the 11th, cranking up the left uppercut, cleaving Jack’s defense and crashing if off Jack’s head. However, Bute’s charge came late. The two put on a real show in the 12th, standing toe-to-toe in the center of the ring.
“It’s all about being fair, and we all know Badou Jack won the fight by unanimous decision,” said Floyd Mayweather, who sat ringside and was the promoter for the fight. “In the sport of boxing, we need to get new judges, because this is not right for the sport of boxing.”
On the undercard, southpaw James “Chunky” DeGale was making the second defense of the IBF super middleweight title, against late substitute Rogelio “Porky” Medina (36-7, 30 KOs).
DeGale (22-1, 14 KOs) seemed to be make things more difficult than they should have been by winning a unanimous decision by judges Tony Paolillo, who scored it 117-111 for DeGale, Steve Gray had it 116-112 and John Madfis also had DeGalle winning, though by a much closer 115-113.
ShoStats also showed why DeGale won.
He connected on 314-612 total shots (51%), which was the sum of 92-274 jabs (34%) and 222-338 power shots (66%). Medina out on a reputable display, connecting on 265-1,140 punches (23%). He landed 49-509 jabs thrown (10%) and 216-631 power shots (34%).
“The boxing skills were too good, but I’m being honest, (Medina) is one very tough fighter,” DeGale said. “His skills paid the bills. I watched this guy years ago, and he didn’t have anything like that. I’m a bit disappointed, because I should be taking out guys like Porky Medina. That’s no disrespect to him. I should be taking guys like that. I’m still learning. I need to work on my defense and my concentration. ”
Medina felt he won the fight. After the 11th round, he spat at DeGale and spat on him.
“He was head butting and I got a little frustrating, so that’s why I spit at him,” Medina said. “He lost. His face is more red than mine. He’s the only one who thinks he won. The fans think I won, I definitely think that I won.”
Joseph Santoliquito is the president of the Boxing Writer's Association of America and a frequent contributor to Sherdog.com's mixed martial arts and boxing coverage. His archive can be found here.
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