WASHINGTON: Badou Jack retained his World Boxing Council super middleweight world title with a majority draw against former champ Lucian Bute on Saturday (Sunday in Manila) — and said he’s ready for Briton James DeGale.
Sweden’s Jack was disgusted with the judges after battling a determined Bute for 12 rounds at the DC Armory, convinced he’d clearly won.
“Bullshit” was his assessment after one judge scored it 117-111 in his favor and two others made it 114-114.
The outcome let Jack retain his title and stay on course for a unification fight this year with DeGale, who retained his International Boxing Federation super middleweight title with a unanimous decision over Mexico’s Rogelio Medina on the same card.
“I thought I won the fight,” said Jack, who took his record to 21-1 with 1 drawn and 12 knockouts. “He’s a hell of a fighter. He deserves a lot of credit. He’s a great guy and a great champion, but I won the fight.”
Indeed Jack was crisp and accurate, but Romanian-born Canadian Bute was game, piling on the pressure in the final three rounds.
He walked quietly to his corner after the final bell, but indicated he didn’t think a draw was out of line.
“It was a close fight,” said Bute, who took his record to 32-3-1.
The draw wasn’t enough to disrupt plans for a Jack-DeGale showdown later in 2016.
DeGale did his part with a hard-fought unanimous decision over Rogelio, the Briton’s speed and accuracy making the difference in a physical bout.
All three judges scored it in favor of DeGale, one by 115-113, one by 116-112 and the third 117-111.
The Armory crowd jeered the result, preferring Medina’s aggressive style.
DeGale himself admitted he wished he had done more.
The relentless Medina was effective when he trapped DeGale on the ropes. The champion was repeatedly able to escape and deliver accurate, powerful blows, but it was far from the knockout he had promised.
“I’m a bit disappointed,” said the 2008 Olympic gold medalist, who improved to 23-1 with 14 knockouts. “I should be taking out people like Porky Medina — no disrespect to him.”
Medina was clearly unhappy with the decision — and even before with DeGale’s tongue-wagging taunts. He spit at the champion after the 11th round, saying he was frustrated by head-butts from the Brit.
“He was running all around and he didn’t stop me like he said he would,” said Medina, who fell to 36-7. “He was head butting me and I was getting a little frustrated and that’s why I spit on him.
“He’s the only one who thinks he won. The fans think I won. I definitely want the rematch.”