Tuesday, September 26, 2023  |



Caleb Truax out to prove DeGale victory was no fluke

Caleb Truax. Photo by Steven Paston/Getty Images
Fighters Network

It’s still difficult trying to make sense out of Caleb Truax’s shocking upset of James DeGale last December to claim the IBF super middleweight title. Truax, for all intents and purposes, was supposedly in way over his head with an undefeated Olympic gold medalist who was looking to have a showcase fight in the U.K.

But then the bell rang.

Truax started off fast and ended up fending off a late rally to shock the world with a majority decision in one of the most surprising upsets in recent memory. Afterward, DeGale explained that his recent surgery was part of the reason he wasn’t able to perform at the level he should have. He also admitted that he underestimated Truax. After all, Truax didn’t enter the fight as a world beater. He had been stopped by both Daniel Jacobs and Anthony Dirrell, the latter in the first round.

However, Truax put on the performance of his career and plans to do it again when he meets DeGale in the co-main event of Saturday’s Showtime showdown between Jarrett Hurd and Erislandy Lara.

“I felt like I was going to win the whole time, but a lot of people said it was one of the biggest upsets in British boxing history. It still hasn’t really sunk in,” Truax (29-3-2, 18 knockouts) said to RingTV.

But what has sunk in is everything that DeGale (23-2-1, 14 KOs) said after the fight. If anything, Truax feels that DeGale’s comments devalue what took place in December. Shoulder injury or not, Truax isn’t buying it and is looking forward to finding out what his opponent is made of on Saturday night.

“I think DeGale has been making excuses,” he said. “He couldn’t stop talking about how great his shoulder felt heading into our first fight. Then right after the fight he said he felt fine. Now I guess he came back too early. It’s only four months later and he was in a tough fight with me. I don’t see it getting any better, if that’s the case. It might have even regressed. We’ll see how his shoulder is holding up on Saturday night.”

Either way, Truax won’t make the mistake of underestimating DeGale in the return bout. As a matter of fact, he fully expects a better performance from a DeGale who is looking for revenge.

“I’m prepared for a better James DeGale,” he said. “I took his belt and I know he’s going to come back hungry. He was a champion and I took away what he had before. I expect him to give it his all to get it back. He’ll be in top form.”

The man from Osseo, Minnesota, admits that being the champion hasn’t done much to change him. A few more interview requests here and there, but little else has changed. Honestly, four months isn’t much time for Truax to see his life shift. Many think that he is simply borrowing the title and keeping it warm for “Chunky” to reclaim at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on April 7.

“As far as I know, I’m still an underdog for this fight,” he said with a shrug, seemingly indifferent to what the oddsmakers believe. “A lot of people think I was a fluke the first time around, so it’s up to me to prove them wrong. I’m ready to silence the critics and silence DeGale.”

There are those who say that you aren’t a champion until you have defended the title. But don’t count Truax among them. He’s a champion now and plans on cementing his place among the super middleweight elite against James DeGale.

“I have the belt at my house, so I don’t know about that,” he said when asked if he believes the theory. “But I haven’t been paid like a champion yet. That will change after Saturday. Let me get a couple of defenses in and then ask me again.”