Thursday, September 29, 2022  |



Caleb Truax enters James DeGale challenge with upset on his mind

Photo: BoxNation

He was my second favorite Minnesotan, before I learned Al Franken has some entitlement and manners issues.

Caleb Truax, a 34 year old MN man, has been in England since Monday, staying in form as he seeks to snag the IBF 168-pound crown from James DeGale, who drew in his last outing, versus Badou Jack.

An unscientific polling of social media posts tells me most are thinking Chunky has an easier time of it with Truax, 28-3-2, than with Jack.

Truax tells us he’s ready to rumble and in a good headspace for a card topped by a Lee Selby defense.

“Good, my man,” Truax said when I asked his state of readiness. “Getting ready to head out to London. I feel great about it. Healthy and ready to roll. He’s sleeping on me too. Talking about what’s next…

“I’m in a good spot. More healthy than I have been in quite a while. Focused. Hungry for a big win. Ready to roll man!”

We heard about this fight late. Did he get a “challengers choice,” get offered this fight last minute? “I will have had over seven weeks of training,” Truax explained. “Just a late announcement.”

Can he offer us a scouting report on DeGale (23-1-1) who just might have had irreplaceable pieces of him snatched by Jack? “Slick, crafty southpaw that can box and punch a bit. Good speed, hits angles, is awkward… Gets wide with punches at times and languishes on the ropes at times too.”

And re: the stakes…what does a win mean for the American? “Fulfillment of every fighter’s dream; to be a world champion.”

“We arrived around 9 Monday morning. Flight was fine, London traffic is tough, hotel is nice. All of my guys are here. Seconds Out Promoter Tony Grygelko, trainer Tom Halstad, manager Ron Lyke, cutman Jim Maurine. My strength and conditioning guy Josh Hutton arrived Tuesday.”

My three cents: Truax sounds as confident as can be but he will need to both be in top tier mode, be “on” and also it wouldn’t hurt if DeGale is an old 31. Historically, step up fights, with Jermain Taylor, Danny Jacobs and Anthony Dirrell have been resume wreckers, but maybe Fate’s Minnesota office shifted attention from Franken to Truax.

Showtime will stream this bout, with a 2:45 PM ET kickoff.