SHOWTIME Sports will live stream a world-class boxing event – including two world championship bouts – free to the U.S. audience on social media platforms Saturday, December 9 to close out the network’s industry-leading 2017 boxing schedule. The digital-only offering will be exclusive in the U.S. on the SHOWTIME Sports YouTube channel and the SHOWTIME Boxing Facebook page.
IBF Super Middleweight World Champion James DeGale (23-1-1, 14 KOs) will headline as he defends his title against former world title challenger Caleb Truax (28-3-2, 18 KOs) in DeGale’s first fight since a thrilling bout with Badou Jack in a 168-pound world championship unification match last January on SHOWTIME.
In the streaming co-feature, IBF Featherweight World Champion Lee Selby (20-1, 9 KOs) will take on undefeated contender Eduardo Ramirez (20-0-3, 7 KOs), while undefeated light heavyweight Anthony Yarde (13-0, 12 KOs) will face former world title challenger Nikola Sjekloca (32-4-1, 11 KOs). The opening fight of the live stream will feature the U.S. introduction to 20-year-old undefeated heavyweight Daniel Dubois (5-0, 5 KOs) as he takes on former Anthony Joshua foe Dorian Darch (12-5-1, 1 KOs).
Live coverage, provided by BoxNation and BT Sport, will begin at approximately 2:50 p.m. ET/11:50 a.m. PT with U.K. sportscasters John Rawling and Richie Woodhall calling all the action.
SHOWTIME is the only network to offer live streaming coverage of boxing on social media platforms in the U.S., having first done so in 2016 with the presentation of two heavyweight world championship bouts live on YouTube.
In 2017, SHOWTIME was the first network to offer live boxing on Twitter with Adrien Broner vs. Adrian Granados (February 18). SHOWTIME also live streamed two other boxing events in 2017: super middleweights George Groves vs. Fedor Chudinov on May 27 and heavyweights Jarrell Miller vs. Gerald Washington on July 29.
DeGale, Britain’s first ever boxer to win Olympic gold and become a World Champion, returns to Britain to make the fourth defence of his title following a gruelling but glorious two-and-half-year campaign in North America where he cemented his position as the world’s premier super-middleweight.
The trailblazing Brit defeated Andre Dirrell in Boston to win the IBF crown in May 2015; made the first defence in Quebec City against the former holder Lucian Bute in his home city in November 2015; defended it for a second time against hard Mexican Rogelio Medina in Washington in April 2016 and finally came close to unifying the WBC title against Badou Jack in January 2017 in Brooklyn with a controversial draw following a brutal but thrilling fight.
The 31-year-old Harlesden star is excited to return to his home city and fight in front of his home fans as he continue on his quest to become a unified world champion and then look to 2018 at some blockbuster showdowns against his rivals.
With more glory years ahead of him, DeGale is keen to secure his legacy as one of the best ever boxers’ to come out of Britain and join an elite group of great 168lb British world champions that includes his hero Joe Calzaghe, Nigel Benn, Chris Eubank and Steve Collins.
Firstly, DeGale must deal with the Minnesota fighter who will be looking to cause a huge upset by dethroning the defending World champion in his own backyard and with 18 knockouts in 28 wins, DeGale knows that he has to be at his best.
DeGale said, “Truax is a good solid fighter with a top pedigree. He’s been in with some quality opponents like Daniel Jacobs, Jermain Taylor and Andre Dirrell,”
“He’ll be fighting away from home so he’s going to bring it on and try to take my World title, but I’m the best super-middleweight in the world and I’m going into the ring full of confidence and 100 percent fit,”
“I’ve not boxed in London for a few years so I can’t wait to make my return to the ring and soak up the atmosphere from the crowd and put on great show for the fans.”
‘Chunky’ has been out of the ring since January 2017, when his unification fight with WBC Super-Middleweight Champion Badou Jack ended in a majority draw. Jack was knocked down in the first round but ended strongly flooring the gutsy DeGale in the last round in New York.
DeGale underwent surgery on his right shoulder in June to repair a 180-degree tear, a rota-cuff tear and an ACJ stabilization, an injury that had been troubling him for around two years, and is now fit and ready to defend his World Title on home soil for the first time.
Truax, a native of Osseo, Minnesota, has mixed it with World class operators such as former WBC Super-Middleweight Champion Anthony Dirrell and former WBA Middleweight Champion Danny Jacobs.
‘Golden’ got his first shot at a World Title when he faced 160-pound Champion Jacobs in Chicago in April 2015. He gave Jacobs all he could handle before being stopped in the 12th round.
Since his loss to Direll in April 2016, Truax (28-3-2 18 KOs) has bounced back with consecutive KO wins and is determined to upset the odds when he fights in the UK for the first time next month.
Undefeated Selby knows that a win on December 9th will set-up a blockbuster showdown with long-term rival and mandatory challenger Josh Warrington in 2018. Since winning his IBF crown against Evgeny Gradovich in May 2015 he has made three successful defences and is aiming to steal the show next month.
Ramirez (20-0-3, 7 KOs) is a 24-year-old southpaw from Los Mochis, Sinola, Mexico with fast hands and a solid defence. He is managed and trained by Montiel Jr., brother of the five-time World Champion and former Selby challenger Fernando Montiel.
“Truax is a good solid fighter with a top pedigree,” said DeGale. “He’s been in with some quality opponents like Daniel Jacobs, Jermain Taylor and Andre Dirrell.
“He’ll be fighting away from home so he’s going to bring it on and try to take my World title, but I’m the best Super-Middleweight in the world and I’m going into the ring full of confidence and 100 percent fit.
“I’ve not boxed in London for a few years so I can’t wait to make my return to the ring and soak up the atmosphere from the crowd and put on great show.”
“Ramirez is a very good unbeaten fighter and he comes from a good stable,” said Selby. “He’s trained by Fernando Montiel’s brother, Fernando was a former challenger of mine and his brother is a very experienced coach.
“He has a decent ranking with the IBF and you don’t get there by accident, he’s worked his way into the mix and he’s going to give me a tough test. He’s a southpaw which is another challenge for myself.
“There’s a lot of pressure on this fight, one loss will mess up my whole career. There’s massive fights to be made against Josh Warrington and Carl Frampton next year so it’s vital that I come through this fight.
“This show has everything, you have two of the best technical boxers in the country in myself and DeGale, and then you have two of the best prospects in the country in Yarde and Dubois. I’m proud and honored to be a part of this bill.”
DeGale and Selby top a huge night of boxing in London on December 9th.
Light-Heavyweight ‘Beast’ Anthony Yarde (13-0, 12 KOs) defends his WBO Intercontinental and European belts against Nikola Sjekloca (32-4-1, 11 KOs), Heavyweight sensation Daniel Dubois (5-0, 5 KOs) aims to continue his KO streak when he faces former Anthony Joshua opponent Dorian Darch (12-5-1, 1 KO) in his sixth contest.
Former English Middleweight Champion Joe Mullender (10-2-0 4 KOs) fights for the Vacant IBF European Middleweight Championship while the hugely-popular former English Welterweight Champion Johnny Garton (20-1-1 7 KOs) fights for the Vacant IBF European Welterweight title.
Rising talents Archie Sharp (Welling), Sanjeev Sahota (Hornchurch), Ben Smith (Wycombe), Hamza Sheeraz (Ilford), Umar Sadiq (Ilford) and debutant Harvey Horn (Chigwell) complete an action-packed night of boxing.
Tickets for The Boys Are Back In Town priced at £40 (Upper Tier), £50 (Lower Tier), £70 (Floor), £100 (Floor), £150 (Floor) and VIP/Hospitality £250 are now on sale via See Tickets, Eventim and Ticketmaster: