Adonis Stevenson vs. Badou Jack on May 19 at Bell Centre, Montreal, Canada
By Jim Dower: Promoter Yvon Michel will be staging the May 19th fight between WBC light heavyweight champion Adonis ‘Superman’ Stevenson and former 2 division world champion Badou Jack at the Bell centre in Montreal, Canada.
Stevenson-Jack will be televised by Showtime Boxing on May 19th as part of a doubleheader with WBA/WBC welterweight champion Keith ‘One Time’ Thurmman defending his titles against an opponent still to be determined.
The location of the Stevenson-Jack fight isn’t unexpected, as Stevenson (29-1, 24 Kos) tends to fight a lot at the Bell Centre, as he’s fought there 12 times in his 12-year pro career. The 40-year-old Stevenson’s last fight against Andrzej Fonfara was at the Bell Centre last June. That was a slaughter for Stevenson with him stopping the 30-year-old Fonfara in the 2nd round of this heavily criticized fight.
The boxing public didn’t want to see Stevenson take yet another voluntary defense, and they saw no point in him fighting Fonfara again, which he’d beaten by a 12 round unanimous decision in May 2014. It wasn’t a close enough contest to warrant a rematch.
The 34-year-old Jack beat WBA World light heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly by a 5th round TKO last August, but then he vacated the title right away without defending it.
Stevenson has looked invincible since winning the WBC light heavyweight title with a 1st round knockout win over champion Chad Dawson in June 2013. Stevenson has successfully defended the WBC belt 8 times in 5 years, but not always against good opposition. Stevenson’s management has matched him against a lot of beatable fringe contenders for easy title defenses. The downside of that is Stevenson has yet to fight a career defending fight, and he’s missed out on big fights against the likes of Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev that would have made him a lot of money.
The 34-year-old Jack (22-1-2, 13 KOs) will be the best opponent that Stevenson has fought at any point in his career. You can argue that Tony Bellew is up there in the same class as Jack, and Stevenson made easy work of him in scoring a 6th round knockout over the British fighter in November 2013 in his first defense of his WBA 175 lb. title. Jack is a little more rugged than Bellew, and better equipped at fighting a grueling battle. But it depends on whether Jack can handle the southpaw Stevenson’s big power shots, because Jack was blitzed by the hard hitting 5’9” journeyman Derek Edwards in a 1st round knockout loss in February 2014. Edwards badly hurt Jack with a big right hand early in the contest, and he wound up dropping him twice before the referee Charlie Fitch stepped in to top bout. If a journeyman like Edwards could do that to Jack, then you can’t rule out Stevenson doing the same thing.
Jack’s chin has been tested since then against Lucian Bute, James DeGale, Anthony Dirrell, George Groves and Nathan Cleverly, and it’s held together without him suffering an additional knockout defeat. In Jack’s 7 fights since his loss to Edwards, his record is 6-0-1. The only blemish on Jack’s resume is a 12 round draw against DeGale from last year in January 2017. Jack’s fight against Lucian Bute from April 2016 was originally scored as a 12 round draw. However, the results of the fight were later changed to a 12 round disqualification loss for Bute by the DC Commission after it was revealed that the Canadian based Romanian fighter tested positive for the banned substance Ostarine.