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Who is Caleb Truax? A Minnesotan who just became a world boxing champion

He shocked the world with an upset win over James DeGale in London.
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It barely made a splash in local or even national media over the weekend, but the name Caleb Truax is on the lips of everyone in the boxing world.

That's because the Osseo, Minnesota, native shocked the U.K. on Saturday when he beat British boxing hero James DeGale for the IBF super-middleweight title in one of the biggest upsets in the sport's history.

It was a fight Truax was never expected to win.

DeGale had enjoyed a stratospheric rise to stardom since winning Olympic gold as a middleweight in 2008, before winning the IBF title in 2015.

He was ranked as the world's best super-middleweight by The Ring magazine in May this year, and going into his fight against Truax in London, was listed as a 1-100 favorite.

Truax, on the other hand, arrived with a decent 28-3-2 record but, as The Guardian reports, had never "beaten anyone of note." He was a 30-1 underdog ahead of the fght.

Nonetheless, the 34-year-old Minnesotan triumphed on a points decision against an out-of-sorts DeGale, shocking the estimated 7,000 fans watching the bout.

Who is Caleb Truax?

Pinned to the top of Truax's Twitter page is this.

His original aim achieved, Truax's decade-long career in boxing is about to become a whole lot more lucrative now that he's a world champion.

As Premier Boxing Champions reports, Truax was actually a baseball and football star during high school in Osseo, where he grew up with his twin sister and younger brother, under the watch of his single mother.

He played football for a year at Virginia State before a knee injury ended his fledgling career, and returned home in 2003 to study at the University of Minnesota.

It was there as a 19-year-old he entered a Toughman Contest, and despite losing his first ever fight, he developed a thirst for the sport.

In 2006 he earned a sociology degree – with minors in political science and African-American studies – while making progress in the ring training under Ron Lyke, the veteran owner and head coach of the Anoka-Coon Rapids Boxing Gym.

Speaking to the Maple Grove Mag in 2010, Lyke described Truax's progression as "unreal," saying what made him stand out over other boxers was his intelligence – being one of few professional boxers to also hold a graduate degree.

He put in a series of impressive performances after turning pro, including taking former undisputed middleweight champion Jermain Taylor the distance in 2015.

But Powerline blog notes he had "never quite cracked the top echelon" of boxers, despite being ranked as one of the top 15 middleweights in the world.

In his last big fight, against Anthony Dirrell in Atlantic City, he suffered a first-round knockout.

How Truax-DeGale happened

Coming off that loss, the consensus was that Truax was being brought to England to provide some easy fodder for DeGale, who was returning to the ring 11 months after shoulder surgery.

But while a big underdog, there were signs Truax was capable of the performance he gave Saturday.

Boxing writer John Hinderaker says DeGale was never truly focused on Truax, talking more about the marquee fights he wanted to have after this bout – all the while the Minnesotan was quietly doing his research.

"I'm over the moon right now," Truax said after the fight. "I think he was overlooking me, a lot of people were overlooking me [after my last loss].

"It added fuel to the fire for me."

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