Adonis Stevenson: It’ll take just one punch to knockout Badou Jack
By Allan Fox: Adonis Stevenson is promising a one-punch knockout of challenger Badou Jack on Saturday night in their fight at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada. Stevenson (29-1, 24 KOs), who usually isn’t much of a trash talker, has suddenly been talking knockout ever since the fight was signed, and now he’s saying he’s going to KO the 34-year-old Jack (22-1-2, 13 KOs) with one punch on Saturday night.
(Photo credit: Esther Lin/SHOWTIME)
Jack has been knocked out before, but was dropped several times by the hard-hitting journeyman Derek Edwards (27-8-1, 14 KOs) in February 2014. Stevenson fought Edwards in April 2011 and knocked him out in the 3rd. In fairness to Jack, he probably would have destroyed Edwards as well if he hadn’t gotten clipped in the opening moments of the fight with a right hand.
Stevenson, 40, needs this fight to be a quick one, because he’s been out of the ring for 11 months since stopping Andrzej Fonfara in the 2nd round in an unneeded rematch in June 2017. Stevenson chose to fight Fonfara a second time rather than fight his WBC mandatory challenger Eleider Alvarez (23-0, 11 KOs). Some think it was a duck job
“Don’t blink! Because it’s only going to take one punch to knock him out,” Stevenson said at the final press conference on Thursday. ”I am looking for the knockout. It’s 12 rounds and I just need one punch. Only one. That’s all I need. And as soon as it lands, I’m going to knock him out, and he will stay on the floor.”
It’s been three years since an opponent has made it to the final bell against Stevenson, but he’s been very careful in facing weaker opposition that weren’t a threat to him. Stevenson has been taking it very light in choosing who to defend his WBC title against. He’s skipped past the difficult fighters like Eleider Alvarez, Dmitry Bivol, Artur Beterbiev, Joe Smith Jr., Marcus Browne, Sullivan Barrera and Oleksandr Gvozdyk.
That doesn’t mean Stevenson couldn’t beat those guys. Perhaps he could beat them, but we can’t know that because he’s simply not elected to fight them. Instead of fighting those guys, Stevenson has milked his WBC title beating Fonfara [twice], Tommy Karpency, Sakio Bika, Thomas Williams Jr., Dmitry Sukhotskiy, Tony Bellew and Tavoris Cloud. It’s not an accident that Stevenson has fought those guys instead of the dangerous fighters. He’s obviously been well protected by putting him in with those guys. The opposition has been so bad that Stevenson has had no wear and tear whatsoever.
”He can start looking for excuses now, because I’m going to knock him out,” Jack said about Stevenson. “I know Adonis is one of the hardest hitters in the business. I know he can give it, but can he take it?”
Fonfara had Stevenson hurt in their first fight in May 2014. Darnell Boone put Stevenson down on the canvas in knocking him out in the 2nd round in April 2010. You can argue the referee stopped the fight a little too soon because Stevenson got back to his feet. The referee stopped the bout because he Stevenson was too hurt. The way that Boone was punching back then, the referee probably did Stevenson a favor by stopping it when he did. Boone had Stevenson where he wanted him after knocking him down. Had the round continued, Boone might have taken Stevenson’s head off with one of his power shots.
If Jack is able to get wear Stevenson down with his body punching, he could win this fight. Stevenson hasn’t fought too many body punchers during his career. Jack is one of the best body punchers in the 175 lb. division right now.
Jack seems to be punching with more power since moving up to light heavyweight in August of last year. Jack knocked out the normally durable Nathan Cleverly in the 5th round to capture the WBA World light heavyweight title. That was a different Jack from the one that we saw in his fight against James DeGale in January of 2017. That was a unification fight at super middleweight that was scored a 12 round draw. A lot of boxing fans had Jack winning a close decision by virtue of his knockdown of DeGale in round 12, and he way he’d taken over the fight in the second half.
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