James DeGale regained his IBF world super-middleweight title with a unanimous points victory over Caleb Truax in Las Vegas.
The 32-year-old from Harlesden suffered a shock points defeat against American Truax at London’s Copper Box Arena last December and was again taken the distance in a battling display at the Hard Rock Hotel.
DeGale showed much better movement than four months ago, but still found himself on the ropes early on after taking a blow from Truax’s right hand.
A clash of heads in the third round saw DeGale draw blood near his right eye and left him struggling to mount any counter-attack to Truax’s come-forward approach.
By round eight, Truax had suffered a cut of his own above his left eye and both men tried to get their jabs going, DeGale often finding his mark.
Truax continued to apply the pressure and things looked to be going against DeGale when he was deducted a point in round 10 for using his shoulder.
It did not hold him back in round 11, though, and DeGale produced his most effective shots, landing a three-punch combination to leave Truax unsteady and with too much to do going into the final round.
The 2008 Olympic champion, whose loss last year was the second of his professional career, edged the win, with the judges scoring it 117-110, 114-113 and 114-113 in his favour.
“Full credit to Caleb Truax, he’s tough and he’s game, but when I’m fit and injury-free people will find it hard to beat me,” DeGale said.
“I’ve got my title back, I’m a proud IBF champion and I’m back.”