BlackJack’s Big Fight Preview: Can Badou Jack Upset Adonis Stevenson?
Badou Jack celebrates his TKO victory against Nathan Cleverly. Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
This Saturday night at 8 p.m. ET Adonis “Superman” Stevenson (-140) will defend his WBC Light Heavyweight title against former two-division champion Badou Jack (+120). This fight marks Stevenson’s ninth title defense since he defeated Chad Dawson in June of 2013 to claim the title. Stevenson’s competition since becoming WBC champion, however, has left some wanting more. He has avoided the likes of Sergey Kovalev and Andre Ward, despite sharing a division.
Jack has had a circuitous route to this fight but is quite impressive. After being champion at Super Middleweight, Jack relinquished his title to move up to Light Heavyweight, where he fought and defeated Nathan Cleverly on the undercard of the Conor McGregor v. Floyd Mayweather fight. Cleverly was dispatched quickly and efficiently by the Swede and he subsequently retired after the fight.
Saturday night’s fight will take place at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, as Stevenson will not fight outside of Canada. The question is, can Jack upset the champion and bring the Light Heavyweight title back when he leaves Canada?
Stevenson is known for his absolutely lethal left hook, which stops most of his opponents. The knock on the champ is the level of competition has hardly been top-shelf over the last few years, and most agree this fight against Jack will be his toughest in several years.
Jack is the younger, faster and more defensively skilled fighter. He retired the 30-year-old Cleverly in his last fight and now faces Stevenson, who is nearly 10 years older than Cleverly is. The issue with Jack has always been his chin, so if Stevenson connects with a one of those left hooks, it could be game over for Jack.
In Jack, I think we have a fighter who is younger, faster and hungrier than Stevenson. The champ is reaching an age where it is going to become increasingly difficult to compete at championship levels. Jack has to be careful to avoid those deadly left hooks, but if he does that successfully, and I think he will, he will be your new WBC Light Heavyweight Champion by unanimous decision. Jack is simply too slippery a fighter to get caught by the one punch he knows he must avoid to win this fight.
THE PICK: Badou Jack +120