James DeGale (left) and Badou Jack fought to a draw. (Photo: Ed Diller)
Floyd Mayweather speaks to the press after the fight.
Don’t expect a Floyd Mayweather return to New York anytime soon.
The self-proclaimed “Best Ever” had a meltdown at the Barclays Center after the majority draw decision of the Super Middleweight Championship unification bout between James DeGale (23-1-1, 14 KO’s) and Badou Jack (20-1-1, 12 KO’s).
With each champion scoring a knockdown in the action-packed, much-too-early fight of the year contender, Jack, who’s promoted by Mayweather on the TMT roster, scored an epic put down in the 12th and final round, cementing his comeback effort after a slow start.
DeGale, who sent Jack to the canvas in the opening round, was off to a strong start, winning many of the early rounds to most objective observers.
The DeGale-versus-Jack main event was part of a card promoted by Mayweather Promotions in conjunction with Lou DiBella and DiBella promotions.
It was a stacked card that also saw Gervonta Davis (17-0, 16 KO’s) put Super Featherweight titlist Jose Pedraza (22-1, 12 KO’s) to sleep in round seven, and decision victories from local attractions Amanda Serrano (31-1-1, 23 KO’s) and Julian Sosa (7-0-1, 2 KO’s) live on Showtime.
For the Super Middleweight title fight, the judges’ final tallies stood at 114-112 for DeGale and two 113-113 cards for what initially appeared to be a reasonable decision – just don’t tell that to “Money” Mayweather.
“F*** no,” Mayweather responded when asked whether or not the fight was close in the late-night press conference. “Who knows the punch stats? I know somebody in here knows the punch stats,” to which a reporter responded with 232 to 171, advantage Jack, prompting an ear-to-ear grin from the Mr. 49-0.
“This is not right for boxing, this s**t keeps going on and on and on,” he continued. “As of right now, I don’t know if I want to come back to New York. I don’t really want to come back and fight on the east coast anymore.”
A disgruntled Mayweather was the dominant mouthpiece at the podium, to the surprise of no one.
While distributing infinite praise toward his protégé Davis, who emerged from the night as the rising star and new IBF 130-pound champion, Mayweather voiced his displeasure with many issues surrounding the night’s conclusion.
At one point, the former pound-for-pound king was intrigued by an idea brought to his attention by a reporter suggesting the boxing judges should have some actual boxing experience.
What exactly that experience may entail is unknown, but Mayweather voiced his preference for boxing judges to have some sort of greater understanding of the fight between the ropes, at one point asking “how could you judge a fight if you’ve never fought?”
“They don’t like that I got involved in this sport to open everybody’s eyes – this is a f****** dirty business,” Mayweather proclaimed. “I’m going to stand behind my fighters.
“I love my fighters more than the sport because I care about their well-being,” hew continued. “We genuinely care about the fighters. We’re here to stay. We’re going to continue to build champions.”
One obvious solution could be a rematch in a different venue, but Mayweather is simply uninterested, asking a question philosophically, while articulating his feeling of guilt while handling Jack.
“If we didn’t get it right the first time, how will we get it right the second time?” he asked everyone in the presser. “We don’t hold fighters in a chokehold, but I feel like we invest. I feel like we should at least get our investment back, we should at least break even.
“We’re not going to be like other promotions and pay judges off,” he added. “Just treat us fairly!”
Instead of a rematch with DeGale, Mayweather outlined a plan for Jack to take some time off and eventually get back in the ring at a new weight division: light heavyweight.
Mayweather did some impromptu fantasy matchmaking and created a scenario which had Jack, the WBC Super Middleweight champion, moving up and facing WBC Light Heavyweight titlist Adonis “Superman” Stevenson (28-1, 23 KO’s) this upcoming June.
Stevenson is currently on a 15-fight win streak dating back to 2011, and is 7-0 with five knockouts since defeating Chad Dawson in the first-round for the title in June of 2013.