By Keith Idec
Badou Jack scoffed at the notion that he’s avoiding Dmitry Bivol.
Jack told ESPN.com for a story posted Monday afternoon that he didn’t give up his WBA world light heavyweight title Saturday because he doesn’t want to fight the hard-hitting Bivol (11-0, 9 KOs). The former WBC super middleweight champion said he relinquished his version of the WBA’s 175-pound championship as part of an agreement he made with the WBA before he fought then-champion Nathan Cleverly last month.
Sweden’s Jack (22-1-2, 13 KOs) dominated Wales’ Cleverly (30-4, 16 KOs) on his way to a fifth-round technical knockout victory August 26 on the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Conor McGregor undercard at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
“They’re working on something big, so I’ve just got to stay patient,” Jack told ESPN.com. “It was part of the agreement for us even getting the fight with Cleverly, that we had to vacate it after we won.”
A purse bid for a Jack-Bivol bout was scheduled for Monday, but was canceled Saturday once Jack gave up the title. It was instead announced Monday that the No. 1-ranked Bivol, the WBA’s interim light heavyweight champion, will battle 11th-ranked Australian Trent Broadhurst (20-1, 12 KOs) for the WBA light heavyweight title November 4 in Monte Carlo.
“I’m not ducking a guy who has 11 fights,” Jack said. “Look at the guys I have fought. My promoter [Mayweather] is looking for bigger and better things for me.”
The 33-year-old Jack won the WBA world light heavyweight title from Cleverly, who announced his retirement following his loss to Jack. Andre Ward (32-0, 16 KOs) was the WBA’s “undisputed” light heavyweight champion prior to announcing his retirement Thursday.
Jack reiterated that he wants to fight WBC light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson (29-1, 24 KOs). Stevenson has to make an overdue mandatory defense against Colombia’s Eleider Alvarez (23-0, 11 KOs) before he’ll be able to consider a fight against Jack, who hopes to return to the ring either in December or early in 2018.
“I’m looking forward to seeing what’s next,” Jack said. “I’m ready for whoever’s next and the big checks. I want to fight Adonis Stevenson. He’s a big name, and he’s probably the biggest name in the light heavyweight division now that Andre Ward has retired. If there’s a bigger money fight, give that fight to me. If it’s Kovalev, give me him.”
Russia’s Kovalev (30-2-1, 26 KOs) will return from his eighth-round technical knockout loss to Ward on November 25. Kovalev is set to fight Ukraine’s Vyachaslev Shabranskyy (19-1, 16 KOs) that night in The Theater at Madison Square Garden (HBO).
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.