Is this the end for Stevenson?

In many parts of Canada, they call him “Superman”, but some may say that he may soon meet “Doomsday”…

Adonis Stevenson has been the WBC light heavyweight champion for five years, with seven knockouts during his reign. His left hand has been regarded by some as one of the most dangerous hands in the sport as it has been responsible for many of his 24 knockouts in his pro career. However, the critics are getting bigger and louder as “Father Time” is creeping up to the 40 year old. On Saturday night at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto he will defend that title against Badou Jack, who is a fighter six years younger who has won the WBC super middleweight title and moved up to win the WBA “regular” light heavyweight title in his previous fight by knockout. The nickname attached to Jack is fittingly “The Ripper” and he seeks to do that to many of his opponents.

Badou Jack seeks to become a two division world champion on Saturday.

His most notable fight to date was the super middleweight unification fight against then IBF champion James DeGale last January, where he was able to come back from an early knockdown to work on the inside of DeGale and score a knockdown himself before the fight went the distance. It ended up being a draw, but many felt that he won that fight and they also believe that DeGale has not been the same fighter since then. Ever since his loss to Derek Edwards, he has scored wins over the likes of George Groves, Anthony Dirrell, and Nathan Cleverly.

“What happened to me (the loss to Edwards) was an accident. It just woke me up. I have faced six world champions back to back to back, and not a lot of people in boxing could say they have done that.” Jack stated.

It is why some feel that he could be the guy to end the run of Stevenson.

However, the Haitian-born champion exudes the same bravado coming into this fight like he has done ever since he blitzed Chad Dawson in the first round to win the WBC title in 2013. Adonis has fought exclusively in his home country of Canada since 2011, and feels that the crowd along with him being at the division much longer than Jack will be among the reasons why he will come out victorious on Saturday night.

“Anything he brings, I will be ready. I will get the job done,” Stevenson said at the weigh-in today. “This will not go 12 rounds. I just need one punch, only one.”

That one punch has taken out a few fighters at light heavyweight including Andrzej Fonfara, Thomas Williams, Tavoris Cloud, and Tony Bellew. If Adonis is successful in taking out Jack, then he may solidify his spot as the best light heavyweights in the division and maybe one of the best in its history. This may be a career defining fight for Badou Jack, but also for Stevenson as well. He knows that age may be catching up to him sooner rather than later, but that awareness makes him more focused to taking out his opponent.

Adonis Stevenson and Badou Jack face off before their bout on Saturday. Photo by Esther Lin

“I may be 40 years old but I’m hungry and just like him I have a family to support. My promoter (Yvon Michel) always tells me, ‘Knock outs sell. Knock outs sell.’ So that’s what I’m going to do. I can go 12 rounds, and I can box. But I want to knockout. That’s what I’m looking for.”

Some are saying that this may be a 50-50 fight, which is the closest odds that Stevenson has faced for years. This may be why if Jack ends up getting the win, it could signal the last that we see Adonis in the ring.

Cover photo: Carlos Osorio of the Toronto Star

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