By Keith Idec
Badou Jack quickly reminded Adonis Stevenson as the champion bragged about his power that Stevenson hasn’t fought anyone as good as Jack during his championship reign.
Jack clarified, too, that it was he who wanted to fight Stevenson, not vice versa. The challenger doesn’t think this intriguing light heavyweight title fight would’ve been scheduled had he not pushed for it.
According to Jack, Stevenson would’ve been satisfied facing the type of opponents he mostly has easily beaten since winning the WBC light heavyweight title in June 2013. In his last fight, the unusually strong Stevenson overwhelmed Poland’s Andrzej Fonfara in the second round of what appeared to be an unnecessary rematch.
Fonfara floored Stevenson in ninth round of their first fight, which Quebec’s Stevenson (29-1, 24 KOs) won by unanimous decision in May 2014 at Bell Centre in Montreal. But Joe Smith Jr. knocked out Fonfara (29-5, 17 KOs, 1 NC) in the first round just two bouts before Fonfara got his rematch with Stevenson.
Conversely, Jack (22-1-2, 13 KOs) will face a champion or former champion in a sixth consecutive contest on Saturday night at Air Canada Centre in Toronto (Showtime; 10:05 p.m. ET).
The former WBC world super middleweight champ gave up the WBA world light heavyweight title he won in his last bout in order to face Stevenson. Jack dominated Nathan Cleverly (30-4, 16 KOs) and stopped the since-retired Welshman in the fifth round to capture a version of the WBA’s 175-pound championship August 26 in Las Vegas.
“We’re gonna have a new champion,” Jack said during a press conference Thursday in Toronto. “I asked for this fight. He didn’t ask for this fight. I asked for the fight. I called him out before I even moved up to light heavyweight. He’s one of the best and I’m all about fighting the best. This is my sixth world champion back-to-back. And I wanna continue to get the big fights. I’m all about the big fights and all about the big money.”
Stevenson has won 14 bouts during his 16-fight winning streak by knockout or technical knockout. Jack is certain he won’t join a lengthier list of conquests when they meet in a 175-pound championship match scheduled for 12 rounds.
“Like I said, I asked for this fight,” Jack said. “He’s got nothing that scares me. I fear no man. He’s one of the toughest guys in boxing, but I’m a tougher guy and I will prove that May 19th. I’ll be the new champ.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.