Adonis Stevenson vs. Badou Jack – Weigh-in Results
By Jim Dower: Adonis ‘Superman’ Stevenson (29-1, 24 KOs) weighed in officially at 173.25 pounds on Friday for his 9th defense of his WBC light heavyweight title against #2 WBC Badou Jack (22-1-2, 13 KOs) for their fight on Saturday night at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada.
(Photo credit: Esther Lin/SHOWTIME)
The 34-year-old Jack weighed in at 175 lbs. During the fact off, both fighters smiled and laughed, seeming not to take serious the traditional thing that all fighters are expected to take part in. Unlike some fighters, Stevenson doesn’t try and psyche out his opponents by staring at them in a menacing way and talking a lot of trash. Instead, sees his fights as sporting events, and he waits until he gets inside the ring to try and beat his opponents.
There’s some big question marks about how Stevenson is going to handle being in with his first good opponent of his career in Badou Jack. How is Stevenson going to handle being in with quality fighter after years of beating up depleted, over-the-hill fighters like Chad Dawson and weight drained guys like Tony Bellew. Stevenson could come apart on Saturday night. Stevenson is coming off of an 11-month layoff, and he’s 40-years-old now and hasn’t fought anyone of note since his match against Tony Bellew in 2013. Years of soft opposition may catch up to Stevenson on Saturday.
The 40-year-old Stevenson is predicting that the fight with Jack will not go 12 rounds. He sees himself knocking him out with a single shot at some point. Stevenson believes he could get Jack out of there within the first 4 rounds. Jack has been in with some hard punchers before in Anthony Dirrell, George Groves and Lucian Bute. He was able to take their power without any problems. Groves perhaps just as much power as Stevenson, and Jack handled his power without any problems. What could give Jack problems though is Stevenson’s southpaw stance and the hand speed. Jack hasn’t fought too many southpaws during his career, and he’s not fought guys with the combination of power and speed that Stevenson possesses.
“Anything he brings, I will be ready. I will get the job done,” Stevenson said. ”This will not go 12 rounds. I just need one punch, only one.”
Stevenson believes his power will be too much for Jack. It’s been a while since Stevenson fought someone that could take his punching power. The only times Stevenson was been forced to go the full 12 rounds in one of his fights was against Sakio Bika in 2015 and Andrzej Fonfara in 2014. David Whittom extended Stevenson the full 10 rounds in December 2007.
It’s difficult for Stevenson’s opponents to make it into the second half of the fights with him. Stevenson has problems with aggressive fighters that are coming to take his head off. When Stevenson fights guys that are looking to hurt him, he boxes them instead of slugs with him. In his first fight with the still young Darnell Boone in 2010, Stevenson was knocked out with a right hand to the head in the 2nd round. Stevenson tried to hit Boone with an uppercut and he was nailed by a big right hand that put him down on the canvas. The fight was stopped right away. If Stevenson gotten out of the round, he likely would have boxed Boone the remainder of the way and played it safe to avoid getting hit again by one of his monstrous shots.
“I’m just going to go in there and be smart and win the fight,” Jack said. ”I have no nerves, I’m just excited. I felt he was nervous; you could feel it. He’s finally in against a real fighter. He hasn’t fought anyone top-notch since 2013.” Jack said.
The top notch fighter that Jack is referring to that Stevenson fought in 2013 was Tony Bellew, who he knocked out in the 6th round. Bellew wasn’t that good of a fighter back in 2013 compared to now. That was back when Bellew was still dehydrating to get down to 175, and his natural weights was in the 200s. Bellew clearly didn’t belong at 175. Before Bellew fought Stevenson, he lost to Nathan Cleverly in 2011 and struggled in two fights against Isaac Chilemba in 2013. Bellew should have lost the first fight to Chlemba, but the judges gave him a 12 round draw. The fight took place in his hometown of Liverpool, England. Bellew clearly lost the fight but was given a gift draw. The rematch wasn’t much better.
Stevenson’s win over Bellew isn’t that remarkable when you take into context how badly drained he was back then. If you take the Bellew fight away, Stevenson’s best career wins have come against journeyman Darnell Boone and Chad Dawson. The win for Stevenson against Dawson wasn’t that great because Chad had been knocked out in the 10th round in his previous fight by Andre Ward just nine months earlier in September 2012.