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Badou Jack is targeting Adonis Stevenson's WBC title in early hours of Sunday morning, live on Sky Sports

JACK COULD BECOME

A HOT COMMODITY

AT LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT

 

by RIZWAAN ZAHID

www.ringsideboxingshow.com

 

Badou Jack has seen it all at the age of 34. Born in Sweden, Jack represented his father’s native Gambia at the 2008 Olympics. After turning pro, he fought in Sweden and Finland, before making his way into America. After becoming a notable prospect, Jack suffered one of the biggest upsets in 2014, being knocked out in 61 seconds by rugged journeyman Derek Edwards.

 

Many pundits quickly wrote him off - “too chinny” and “will never be elite” were some of the common critiques after the shocking defeat.

 

“What happened to me was an accident,” Jack said. “It just woke me up. I have faced six world champions back to back to back and not a lot of people in boxing could say they have done that.”


In his last five, Jack battled Anthony Dirrell (MD), George Groves (SD), Lucian Bute (DQ 12, originally a draw), James DeGale (D) and Nathan Cleverley (TKO 5). Those are tough opponents over a two and a half-year span for any fighter.

 

Most felt Jack bested DeGale on that night was unlucky to receive the nods on the judges scorecards. Well-traveled, he wanted to face Adonis Stevenson -- in Canada, no less. The venue switched from Montreal to Toronto on relatively short notice, which may affect plenty of boxers.

 

For a well-traveled fighter like Jack though, it shouldn’t make a difference. After going through the struggles that is boxing, Jack has a chance to do something special. With so many promotional and political challenges affecting the light heavyweight landscape, Jack could separate himself as the true light heavyweight champion after Andre Ward’s retirement. Outside of Ward, most still look at Stevenson and Kovalev as the top two in the division. A convincing win from Jack could have a massive ripple effect.

 

In the biggest boxing fight in Toronto in three decades, it would definitely isn’t the huge main event that happened according to plan for Jack. But from Sweden by way of Gambia, to Finland, to Las Vegas to Montreal and finally Toronto, the journey for Jack was anything but smooth. Leave it to “The Ripper” to go on the road again and rip the title away on foreign Canadian soil.

 

Rizwaan Zahid is a boxing journalist from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and an expert analayst for The Ringside Boxing Show every Sunday on The Grueling Truth Sports Network.