Back in January, there was an event in New York announcing the schedule of boxing fights that would be televised by Showtime and one fight caught my eye: the WBC light heavyweight title fight between Adonis Stevenson and Badou Jack. Stevenson served as the long reigning champion and Jack came off a KO victory to win the WBA “regular” title, only to give it up for this shot at who many felt was the #1 ranked fighter in the division. On Saturday night, that fight came to fruition as Jack came over to Toronto to attempt to take the strap from “Superman”.
At first, it seemed like Adonis was doing pretty well and Jack was starting to have one of his customary slow starts. For some watching the fight they may have felt that Stevenson had a sizable lead in the scorecards halfway through the fight. As a response, Jack started to pick up his pace and then connect a few more shots to give Stevenson some issues. He started to come back in the fight up until the eighth round was halted temporarily by referee Ian John Lewis due to a low blow committed by Jack. Stevenson took a little time before getting back in it, but Jack still had the momentum going and finished the round strong.
Stevenson seemed visibly hurt after the eighth, as blood starting to flow down his nose while in his corner. He continued on, but was starting to fatigue and Jack capitalized as much as he could. He stunned Stevenson with a left uppercut and then a right cross that gave him Round 9. Just when it seemed like Badou would have at least scored a knockdown, things shifted when Stevenson was able to connect with a big left hand to the body of Jack. It made Jack stop temporarily and then backpedal until the end of that round and for much of Round 11. He wanted to get away from Stevenson’s attack, as the body punches could lead to a big left hand that could have put him in serious trouble He threw punches back but was struggling to get away from Adonis.
The 12th round was a test of attrition as both fighters were tired after all the back and forth action that they had up to that point. Jack finished strong and was the winner of the round, but not the winner of the fight. Two judges scored the bout 114-114 to override the scorecard of Jesse Reyes who had it 115-113 for Jack to make the fight a majority draw. Because of that, Adonis Stevenson gets to keep the WBC light heavyweight title.
Stevenson felt that he should have had his hand raised in victory. “I won the fight because I hurt him in the body,” Stevenson told Showtime’s Jim Gray in the ring. “I hurt him in the body and he got slowed down. I kept the pressure on him. He was moving and moving – slick, slick – but I touched him more of the time and I think I won this fight.”
His record moves to 29-1-1 as he receives the first draw result of his career.
For Badou Jack, it’s a disappointment as he thought that he did enough in those last rounds to take the win.
“I thought I definitely won the fight, definitely won the fight,” Jack said. “Nobody’s complaining and no judge had him winning.”
Jack gets his third draw result of his career and second in three fights, as the bout between him and James Degale ended in a draw last January.
This close fight may signal a rematch for both, but it does not give clarification into who may be the best in the division.