Tuesday, March 28, 2023  |


Jack takes Dirrell’s title, Jacobs finishes Truax with final-round stoppage

Fighters Network
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

CHICAGO ÔÇö At Wednesday’s press conference, Anthony Dirrell told Badou Jack to not run and stand in the middle of the ring to fight.

Jack delivered and then some.

A furious second-half rally from Jack saw him unseat Dirrell Friday for the WBC super middleweight championship in a majority decision at the UIC Pavilion. Jack outmuscled Dirrell in the center of the ring and banged away to wear Dirrell down.

The three judges had it 114-114, 116-112 and 115-113 for Jack. THE RING scored the fight 115-113.

“I knew they couldn’t rob me, but I thought I clearly won,” Jack said. “I’m a world champion. I’m not even from here and now I’m a world champion.”

A persistent Jack chipped away during the course of the fight, but started to gain ground in Round 7. Jack closed the distance with a series of body blows, and Dirrell wasn’t effective in countering.

“I was great shape and I just believed in myself,” Jack said. “All that talk from him before the fight didn’t waver me.”

Dirrell, who was coming off a win over Sakio Bika to win his title, had success early with countering from a distance. When he tried to put punches in combinations, however, Jack often blocked them.

The contrast between the first half of the fight and the second could have not been more apparent. In Round 10, Jack finished the round very strong to put a statement on how the fight had changed.

Dirrell looked uncomfortable with the amount of pressure Jack applied.

“He fought a great fight,” Dirrell said. “I want a rematch.”

It was an unexpected performance from Jack, who had suffered a first-round knockout loss to Derek Edwards two fights earlier in February 2014.

He was also the first fighter to come away with an upset in the main event since the Premier Boxing Champions series was launched on multiple networks. Spike TV televised Friday’s card.

Jack’s next fight will likely be George Groves, who is the mandatory challenger for the WBC belt.

For now, he’ll enjoy the moment after pulling off an unexpected upset.

“I’m not from here, but I have a lot of fans,” Jack said. “I’m represented by three different countries.”

After Friday, it’s likely he earned new fans as well.



Daniel Jacobs finishes Caleb Truax with final-round stoppage

Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

In the co-feature, middleweight and cancer survivor Daniel Jacobs waited all night to make an impression against Caleb Truax, but it was better late than never.

Jacobs closed the show with an exciting 12th-round stoppage Friday after capitalizing on sending Truax down earlier in the round. Jacobs (29-2, 26 knockouts) unleashed a series of combinations that forced referee Dave Smith to stop the fight at 2:12.

“I came into tonight in tremendous shape, and I was ready for all 12 rounds,” Jacobs said. “I knew he was more experienced. He was a vet. My corner let me know when he was hurt and I tried to capitalize when I could.”

The knockout was a jolt in what was otherwise an ordinary performance.

There were moments when Jacobs displayed bursts of power followed by a flurry, but those cases were few and far between. Jacobs started to find his rhythm in Rounds 5 and 6, stunning Truax occasionally.

“I hit him with a right in Round 6 and he stumbled into the ropes,” Jacobs said. “I wasn’t sure if he was playing possum at the time or if I really hurt him. There was no frustration for me towards him. He held less than I thought he would.”

The two fighters spent the early rounds feeling each other out and fought at a lethargic pace. Jacobs sprinkled in enough right hands to take the rounds as Truax settled for jabbing throughout.

Heading into the fight, Truax criticized Jacobs and the promotion for focusing too much on “The Miracle Man,” the story of Jacobs’ recovery from spinal cancer. Jacobs vowed that the difference in skills would be apparent.

As it turned out, Jacobs was right. Truax hardly landed and failed to establish any sort of success.

Truax’s best moment came in Round 10 when he caught Jacobs with a right hand that appeared to buckle Jacobs’ legs.

“He was physically stronger than I thought, but at the same time, he didn’t hurt me,” Jacobs said.

Jacobs, however, re-established control in the following two rounds. In the final round, Jacobs sent Truax flying backwards into the ropes with a large right hand. Smith issued a count as the ropes held Truax up.

Sensing the knockout was there, Jacobs jumped on him and earned his ninth stoppage victory in a row.

As for who Jacobs fights next, he said prior to the fight that he wasn’t sure if a Peter Quillin fight would still happen since Quillin failed to make weight in his draw against Andy Lee.

“Whoever Al (Haymon) and PBC put in front of me,” Jacobs said. “Anyone in my weight class.”



Garcia takes apart Stevenson

Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

After he went down in the first round, welterweight Roberto Garcia (37-3, 23 KOs) shook off the rust to earn a unanimous decision against James Stevenson by scores of 77-74 and 78-73 twice.

Garcia, who last fought in July, was sent down in the first round with a right uppercut. He shook it off and began a methodical breakdown over the next seven rounds.

“My last fight was almost nine months ago here in this venue,” Garcia said. “It was just about getting the ring rust off. It was good to have a fight like this under my belt and continue to drive towards the finish line.”

The 35-year-old fighter plodded forward, having success with shots to the body and landing a looping right hand. Stevenson (22-2, 15 KOs) was stunned at the end of Round 7 when Garcia landed a crisp left hook.

The win was Garcia’s ninth victory in a row since a 2010 loss to Antonio Margarito.

Garcia reiterated that he wants Shawn Porter next. The two were originally supposed to fight in March before the fight was canceled after Garcia failed to make weight.

“We’re moving forward and I have a great team behind me,” Garcia said. “I made a commitment to fight Shawn Porter and I plan on sticking to that. I want him next.”




Jose Quezada – Jamar Saunders

Lightweight Jose Quezada (6-0, 5 KOs) continued his career with a second-round knockout over Jamar Saunders (5-12-1, 2 KOs). Quezada landed a left hook to the body that sent Saunders down.

Eddie Ramirez-Jerome Rodriguez

Chicago welterweight Eddie Ramirez (8-0, 5 KOs) scored a victory in the fifth round after Jerome Rodriguez (6-3-3, 2 KOs) indicated to referee Geno Rodriguez he could no longer continue. Moments earlier, Ramirez was deducted a point for pushing Rodriguez down.

Keith Tapia-Jason Smith

Cruiserweight Keith Tapia earned a first-round stoppage over Jason Smith with a right hand that sent Smith down near the red corner. The official time of the stoppage was 2:21.

Alex Martin-Jonathan Garcia

Local junior middleweight Alex Martin cruised to an eight-round unanimous decision over Jonathan Garcia (4-13). Martin (8-0, 5 KOs) boxed with ease as the judges scored the fight 80-72 twice and 79-73.

Ramiro Carrillo-Ramon Guevara

Ramiro Carrillo scored four knockdowns to dominate Ramon Guevara and earn a second-round knockout. Carrillo (8-0, 5 KOs) sent Guevara (10-24-2 6 KOs) to the canvas three times in the second.

Semajay Thomas-Jose Santiago

Chicago native and Al Haymon client Semajay Thomas avoided an early first-round scare to come back and stop Jose Santiago in the second round. Thomas (6-0, 4 KOs) went down near the end of the first when he was caught with his hands down, and survived the round on shaky legs. In the next round, Thomas bounced back and sent Santiago (3-6, 3 KOs) down with a counter hook.

Rickey Edwards-Shiwone Grotman

In the first fight of the evening, welterweight Rickey Edwards earned his sixth professional victory with a six-round unanimous decision by scores of 60-53 across the board. Edwards (6-0, 2 KOs) sent Gortman (4-7-1, 2KOs) down in Round 2.