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Jack, Stevenson (and fans)
deserve a rematch


stevenson-jack-fight (50)

 

After 12 very tightly contested rounds filled with drama and the full arsenal from each fighter, Badou Jack (22-1-3) and Adonis Stevenson (29-1-1) fought to a majority draw (114-114, 114-114, 115-113 Jack).

 

 In a tale of two fights, Stevenson started off quick, while Jack waited to see if the 40-year old Canadian had much left in the tank. Stevenson gave Jack his full repertoire in round six, appearing to take control of the fight permanently. Perhaps emptying his gas tank, Jack came on towards the end of the round, which set the precedent for the second half of the fight.

 

Jack took control in round seven, increasing the work rate as Stevenson seemed fatigue from the previous round. Stevenson was buzzed on a few occasions and as Jack mentioned before the bout, Stevenson hasn't been in a fight of this magnitude since 2013.

 

Jack fought back on the scorecards before a body shot hurt him tremendously in the tenth round.


What was promoter Floyd Mayweather's reaction when he saw his fighter curl over?

 

"Fuck."

 

Unlike most promoters, Mayweather bluntly dispelled any thoughts that his fighter was not actually that hurt from the body work in that round.


"Fuck no he wasn't acting. But he showed heart and fought like a champion."


"It was a good shot and he hurt me a little bit, but I have the heart of a lion. He said he only needed one punch, what happened?"


Fortunately, Jack toughed it out by not only staying up but storming back to not only win the final round, but nearly dropping Stevenson in the final seconds.


"He was all over the place, he walked to the wrong corner after," Jack said. "Just needed another 5 or 10 seconds."


There's plenty of reasons for both fighters to be confident in a rematch. In a close fight where both had their moments, Jack especially must feel that he's right there for a career defining win if they battle a second time. "The Ripper" had his fourth draw (one overturned to a DQ win over Lucian Bute after Bute tested positive for a banned substance). Does that make him a hard luck fighter?

 

"I don't know, but I thought I won all four of those fights."


Fortunately for Jack, he has a promoter who's looking out for his well being.


Jack's connection with Mayweather cannot be overstated. A chemistry and bond lies well beyond the traditional promoter-fighter relationship, which is usually fragile and at times hostile. Mayweather speaks highly of Jack as a fighter, but also as Badou the man.


"He carries himself as a professional. Very, very humble. He's one of those fighters you can take anywhere because you know he's going to fight his heart out. He's a gentleman."


The added bonus? The power of a promoter who knows what is important for his fighter and his goals.


"In the sport of boxing, what Floyd Mayweather says, is what's going to go. So if I say we're going to run it back, we're going to run it back."


Rizwaan Zahid is a boxing journalist from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and an expert analayst for The Ringside Boxing Show every Sunday on The Grueling Truth Sports Network.