By Mark Eisner: Badou Jack’s back luck continues with him losing a close 12 round split decision to WBA ‘regular’ light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal (35-6-1, 20 KOs) in a thrilling fight on Saturday night at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia.
(Photo credit: Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME)
Pascal was knocked down in the 12th. It looked like he was trying to clinch, and fell. It was a questionable call on the referee’s part, but thankfully it didn’t impact the outcome of the fight.
Jack started his rally too late
The scores were 114-112, 114-112 for Pascal, and 114-112 for Jack. Boxing News 24 had it for Pascal 114-112. He built up too big of a lead for Badou to come all the way back. Although Jack tried hard to rally in the second half, he needed to do a little bit more.
Pascal, 37, knocked Jack down with a right to the head in the 4th round. He continued to hurt Jack in the 5th and 6th. Jack’s ability to recover from being hurt was impressive tonight, but it still didn’t help him that he was getting shaken up so frequently.
Like always, Jack (22-3-3, 13 KOs) started slow, and basically gave away the first half of the fight to Pascal by default. For Jack, that’s the normal. He always starts slow, and that’s one of the main reasons why he hasn’t won a fight since 2017.
Pascal ran out of gas in final four rounds
In the championship rounds, Pascal was totally gassed, and unable to fight in a consistent enough basis to be competitive. He was still swinging for the fences looking to KO Jack with every shot, but he was wild and his legs weren’t there by that point.
Overall, it was an exciting fight from start to finish. Compared to some of the high profile fights that have taken place lately, Pascal vs. Jack topped them all.
Jack, 36, needs to make a decision on what he wants to do with his career, since he’s having problems winning at this stage. Even if Jack did win, he likely would have lost the WBA title in his first defense against a good contender like Marcus Browne.
Jack wouldn’t do well at all against one of the lions in the division like Artur Beterbiev, Dmitry Bivol or Oleksander Gvozdyk. Those guys are legitimate light heavyweights, unlikely Jack, who moved up from 168 in 2017.
Pascal somehow was able to hold onto his belt, but it wasn’t the greatest performance from him. He looked a lot better in his last fight in beating Marcus Browne.
Jack wants rematch
“Of course I feel I won the fight, but it is what it is,” said Jack, who has now had six of his last eight fights end in draws, split decisions or majority decisions. “He’s got a hell of a chin, he’s a tough warrior and I want to thank him for the opportunity. I thought I was winning but maybe I’m wrong. I would love a rematch.”