By Dominic Long
Badou Jack is one of the most underrated fighters around the globe, winning world titles at two different weight classes and having been in one of the fights of the year contender in a unification clash with James Degale, what more does Jack have to do to get the acclaims he deserves?
Badou, from Stockholm, Sweden, started amateur boxing at 18 with a great record of 150 wins and only 25 losses, fighting at 160 pounds (middleweight), and having one fight at light heavyweight.
In 2007, Jack was named Boxer of The Year by the Swedish Boxing Federation. In his last year as an amateur he defeated the next rising star of Sweden, Erik Skoglund. Having represented Sweden at light heavyweight he quickly decided to switch and represent Gambia from where his Father was born, after switching he then qualified for 2008 Olympics in China.
Jack decided to fight at 160 pounds in China, “I felt very comfortable back then I could have made super middleweight or light heavyweight it really didn’t bother me back then”. He lost in the open round to India’s Vijender Singh.
2009 was the year Badou Jack turned professional and his first five fights were held in Sweden, his native country. In early 2010 Jack decided to move to the United States where he trained with former heavyweight champ Shannon Briggs and signed with Lou DiBellea and the Warrior Boxing Promotions. Having been with Lou DiBella for two years and fighting six times, Jack won four fights by TKO and two fights by decision. His biggest win under DiBella was against fellow unbeaten prospect Alexander Brand in an eight-round contest where he earned a split decision win. Brand was 17-0 before his loss to Jack.
Jack, now 11-0, was spotted by pound for pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr in a sparring session against Andre Dirrell. Mayweather was impressed and quickly signed Jack to his promotional outfit, Mayweather Promotions. This lead to another string of wins for Jack that saw him climb the world rankings in each of the governing bodies.
2015 would be the year Jack would announce himself on the world stage, fighting for the WBC super-middleweight title against the undefeated champion Antony Dirrell. Dirrell spoke to reporters after the final press conference and said, “Jack is nothing spectacular he’s just an average fighter, it’s a routine fight for me”. Jack then upset the boxing world by beating Dirrell by majority decision, controlling the fight from the first bell to the last.
Jack then went onto defend his world tittle against George Groves in Las Vegas on the undercard of Mayweather vs Berto. Bookmakers had Groves as the favourite and once again Jack showed just how great he was. After the fight Jack had said Groves was the hardest opponent he’s come across yet. Jack’s fight against Lucian Bute was a draw but April last year that was overturned by the DC commission after Bute failed his post-fight drug test having Ostarine (increase stamina and recovery ability) found in his system so it was announced DQ in Jacks favour.
Jack’s next fight would be the hugely anticipated unification fight against IBF king James Degale. This fight had been in the works for well over a year. The fight took place in New York City at the Barclays Centre. Jack retained his title after the fight was declared a majority draw. Straight after the fight Jack’s promoter, Maywaether Jr, said “Jack has become too big for super-middleweight and will move up to lightheavyweight”. Jack vacated his WBC belt at super middleweight in order to move up.
Last summer saw Jack back in action against WBA regular champion Nathan Cleverly in which to date has been Jacks most destructive performance yet, stopping Cleverly in the fifth round leaving the Welsh man with a broken nose.
Jack’s next fight could be against WBC light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson, which many fight fans across the world would love to see. In my opinion Badou Jack is an elite fighter and should be in the current active fighters P4P rankings.