Badou Jack outworks Groves
In another world title fight, Badou Jack “The Ripper” (20-1-1, 12 KOs) successfully defended his WBC Super Middleweight World title with a hard-fought, crowd-pleasing 12-round majority decision over mandatory challenger “Saint” George Groves (21-3, 16 KOs). Jack, who dropped Groves late in the first round, triumphed by the scores of 116-111, 115-112 and 113-114. The hard-luck Groves, who abruptly fled the ring in disbelief after the announcement, fell to 0-3 in world title fights.
Jack was impressive in what may have been his toughest fight to date.
“Groves has a lot of heart,” said Jack, who was making the initial defense of the WBC belt he took from Anthony Dirrell in April.
“Body work is becoming my signature. I wasn’t effective enough because I couldn’t knock him out. I felt like after the first round I could but I just couldn’t. I didn’t go to the body enough.
“I haven’t thought about my next fight yet, but there’s a lot of big fights for me. I heard Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. wants to fight me. I want to enjoy this win but I will fight anyone.”
The victory was Jack’s fourth in a row since suffering the lone loss of his career on a shocking first-round knockout loss to Derek Edwards in February 2014.
Groves, whose only other losses were in back-to-back fights against then-world champion Carl Froch, didn’t dispute the knockdown but had a problem with the decision.
“I thought I won the fight decisively,” he said. “I thought I controlled the fight with my jab and that I was in control throughout, though, it appeared closer to the judges.
“It was a legit knockdown in the first round. He landed the right hand over the top, but I have good fitness and I thought I got back in control of that round. But all credit to him though scoring the knockdown in the first round.
“Congrats to Badou. I hope he has a successful reign as champion. I’d love to fight him again and hopefully I will do better next time. I am going to take some time to work out what’s next. Losing a world title fight is the worst feeling in the world.”
Jesse Hart scores another win
Undefeated Top-Five contenders ÓSCAR VALDEZ (18-0, 15 KOs) from Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, and JESSE “Hard Work” HART (18-0, 15 KOs), from Philadelphia, PA., turned in knockout performances Friday night at The Chelsea inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.
Valdez, world-rated No. 2 in the featherweight division by the World Boxing Organization (WBO), stopped one-time world title challenger CHRIS “The Hitman” AVALOS (26-4, 19 KOs), from Lancaster, Calif., in the fifth round. Avalos was world-rated No. 9 by the International Boxing Federation (IBF) going into the fight.
Hart, world-rated No. 3 by the WBO as a super middleweight, retained his NABO and USBA super middleweight titles by serving up a ninth-round knockout victory of his own at the expense of AARON PRYOR JR. (19-9-1, 12 KOs), from Cincinnati. Both fights were televised live on “The MetroPCS Friday Night Knockout on truTV.” The live boxing series is presented by truTV and Top Rank®, and produced in association with HBO Sports®. Find truTV on your TV: http://trutvishere.com/
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