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Boxing Results: Badou Jack Gifted Extra Time To Complete Comeback Victory

Image: Boxing Results: Badou Jack Gifted Extra Time To Complete Comeback Victory

By Vince D’Writer: Cruiserweight boxer Badou Jack has a history of being a slow starter, and he followed suit on August 20 on the Usyk-Joshua 2 undercard as his opponent Richard “Popeye The Sailor man” Rivera got off to a good start by consistently landing the overhand right. However, Jack was able to bounce back, and pull out a narrow split decision victory.

Jack is a former two-division champion who is focused on becoming a three-division titlist. Since making the move to cruiserweight, Badou Jack came into the bout with a four fight win streak, but the streak was compiled against low level competition. His opponent Richard Rivera stepped into the boxing ring as an undefeated fighter, but only a handful of his twenty-one victories came against opponents with winning records.

Despite making a big step up in class, Rivera was poised and confident as he started the first round off by consistently landing the overhand right. As the bell sounded to end the first round, Rivera and Jack stood in the center of the ring, and engaged in a stare down. In the second round Jack landed a big right hand early, but Rivera was the busier fighter for the majority of the round.

The first half of the fight Rivera had success landing the overhand right and the uppercut, but as he has done for the majority of his career, Badou Jack turned it on in the second half of the fight by applying pressure and landing clean shots to the head and body of Rivera. A bizarre incident occurred in the eighth round as it was a closely contested round until Jack poured it on at the end. Jack benefited from an extended round as the eighth round lasted for three minutes and fifty-eight seconds.

For the remainder of the bout Rivera had the better work rate, but Jack was constantly coming forward and landing the cleaner shots. As the twelfth round ended, the scorecards revealed Jack pulling out a split decision victory. One judge scored it 96-94 in favor of Rivera, and the other two judges had Jack winning by that same score of 96-94.

Badou Jack (27-3-3, 16 KOs) collected his fifth victory in a row, but he didn’t do it in spectacular fashion. Jack admitted Rivera was difficult to fight because he was holding, running, and awkward. Rivera (21-1, 16 KOs) thought he won the fight and he was very displeased with the decision.

“I felt like I definitely did enough. I’m a little hurt because I really believed in the boxing judging system. I felt like regardless of the odds against me coming into his turf and stipulations that if I still did my thing, I’d still be awarded the victory,” Rivera stated.

The 38-year-old veteran Badou Jack will probably take the victory and move on as opposed to giving Rivera a rematch. Jack has set a goal for himself to become a champion in the cruiserweight division, but he’s aware of the fact that he has to step his game up because he will not achieve his goal by performing the way he did against Rivera.

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