–James DeGale switched from southpaw to orthodox over the first three of rounds with oncoming Rogelio Medina, who stalked the moving target through jabs and counters, fiercely trading toe-to-toe to the head and body.
–Medina most dominant round was the sixth, which he won on all three cards by chasing and hammering DeGale on the ropes. From there, the potshotting DeGale—who was bruised on both cheekbones—maneuvered and absorbed Medina’s shots while ripping double-handed counters.
–The relentless Medina refused to be deterred, coming on strong over the last three rounds, highlighted by an intense final round that included several rights to the champ’s head to go with his fierce body attack.
James DeGale welcomed an offensive attack by hammer-fisted Mexican Rogelio Medina, and the 168-pound champions got every bit of that during a brutally contested unanimous decision victory Saturday at the DC Armory in Washington, D.C.
DeGale (23-1, 14 KOs) switched from southpaw to orthodox, moved in and out, endured a fierce body attack and alternately traded with Medina (36-7, 30 KOs), ultimately earning a unanimous decision by scores of 115-113, 116-112 and 117-111.
The latter two scores weren’t nearly indicative as to how close the fight really was, as Medina—who entered the fight on the heels of four consecutive knockout wins—gave the 30-year-old champion from England all he could handle.
Medina’s assault early in the contest left DeGale with welts and bruises on both cheekbones, but the 2008 Olympic gold medalist gained momentum through the middle rounds, when he out-maneuvered his rival, absorbing shots while also ripping double-handed counters.
Medina’s most dominant rounds were the sixth—which the 27-year-old won on all three cards—and the final three frames, when he chased and hammered DeGale on the ropes with several rights while sustaining his body attack.
The relentless Medina, who spit on his opponent in the 11th in a fit of frustration, complained of head butts, but DeGale was never reprimanded by referee Malik Waleed.
Although he came up well short of fulfilling his prediction of an early knockout, DeGale nonetheless did enough to win his 13th consecutive fight and successfully defend his title for a third time.
DeGale will next be obligated to face Badou Jack in a title-unification bout later this year. In the main event at the DC Armory, Jack held onto his crown with a widely disputed majority-draw against former champion Lucian Bute in a fight many observers believed Jack won handily.
- DeGale vs Medina