Stevenson vs Jack: The Fight City Picks

It’s an intriguing match-up featuring two of the very best in a stacked light heavyweight division. Adonis Stevenson and Badou Jack are, without question, elite-level pugilists and this is a dangerous match for both which makes it must-see TV for all serious fight fans. And thus the contributors to your all-time favourite independent boxing website are primed and ready to offer their two cents on maybe the only title match in boxing history to literally pick itself up and journey west from the Bell Centre in Montreal to Bay Street in Toronto. Hope those Hogtown fight fans know how good they got it! So without further ado, our picks for Stevenson vs Jack:

I picked Badou Jack to lose in all three of his fights against Brits George Groves, James DeGale and Nathan Cleverly, and each time he not only proved me wrong, he put in increasingly impressive performances. His win against Cleverly last year was near punch-perfect, and one of the most underrated performances of the year for me. Stevenson is a different proposition altogether of course, and his left hand is such a devastating weapon you cannot be surprised if he wins any fight with it. That said, Jack’s opposition has been a much higher level of late and will have prepared him better for the task ahead. I think he’ll have the right combination of punch variety, boxing ability and grit to take the title. Jack by decision.        — Matt O’Brien 

Okay, I’m iffy on this one. Why is Stevenson facing someone of Jack’s caliber at this point in his career? Does he know something the rest of us don’t? Is he tired of being accused, fairly or not, of always taking the easy route? Does a big name mean bigger money for Superman? Inquiring minds want to know! They also want to know if the highly skilled Stevenson (and let’s keep in mind the guy is highly skilled) will finally start showing his age. Make no mistake, Stevenson vs Jack is a very good match-up. It’s also a very hard one to call. If he hasn’t aged since his last fight, though, I’ve got to go with Adonis. The guy just hits too hard. Plus, he’s got more ring IQ than he’s given credit for.  Stevenson by late round stoppage.        — Sean Crose

Yes, Adonis carries some bone-crunching power in that left hand of his, but Badou Jack is no fool. He’s going to box and use the ring and keep Stevenson at the end of his shots while forcing the older man to maintain a very fast pace. This is uncharted territory for both fighters, but I just see the younger man having the physical resources to better navigate it. I’ve got to side with youth over both age and inactivity.  Jack by close decision.       — Robert Portis 

Jack might be getting Stevenson at the right time. After all, an ageing Stevenson has been terribly inactive while Jack has been steadily improving. Still, I can’t see Jack’s chin holding up to Stevenson’s power at 175. At 168, Jack got stopped in one round against Derek Edwards and was sent to the canvas by James DeGale. Unlike Stevenson, neither of those men were known for their punching prowess. Aside from Deontay Wilder, Stevenson is probably the biggest one-punch hitter in boxing, and it only takes one left cross from him, which he can disguise behind the jab or land as a counter, to end matters. The key for Jack might be to get close and not allow Stevenson the time and space he needs to generate power. There Jack can also target the older man’s body and throw short hooks and uppercuts in combination, which are a staple of his game. But I sense Stevenson’s left hand will decide the fight. A 40-year-old Stevenson may have lost a step, but his exceptional power will surely remain. Stevenson by KO.        — Lee Wylie

I gotta go with Adonis. His power is just too much. It will take a few rounds for Stevenson to find his range, but once he does, Badou Jack is going down.      — Golden Garcia

Stevenson by knockout, somewhere in the middle rounds.         — Francis Lafreniere 

If it goes past say round five, I like Jack. This is the best opponent Adonis has fought since Chad Dawson and I think Badou is going to go to the body like no one has on Adonis. Then again, Stevenson has great timing and he knows how to shoot that big left hand. I don’t know who is going to win, but if it goes into the late rounds I like Jack’s chances. Badou doesn’t have the kind of power to put people to sleep, not like Darnell Boone who knocked out Adonis. I’ve sparred with Boone so I know why he stopped Stevenson, but Jack doesn’t have that kind of pop. But if it goes past the fifth round, I think Jack has already done some serious work to the body and Jack doesn’t do too bad against southpaws. If I have to put money on it, Adonis stops him inside of five. But if it goes 12, I like Jack by decision.       — Dario Bredicean 

It’s a tough fight to call and I think it comes down to who shows up. If Jack isn’t sharp and gets lazy, Adonis will stop him. Because Stevenson can end it at anytime. I know because I sparred with him. Even early in his career, Adonis had those heavy hands and he hurts you. I sparred with him many rounds, for both fights with Bute and before my fight with Vitaliy Tsypko. And I can tell you, I’ve rarely been hurt in sparring but Stevenson is one of the guys who hurt me. But even so, I think Jack is going to pull it off. He’s prepared, has a gameplan. I like Jack by decision.         — Librado Andrade 

If it goes the distance, I like Jack’s chances. He’s built for 12 rounds. And if he fights the way he did against Cleverly, sticks close and doesn’t give Stevenson room, Adonis might not have a chance to land the big left. I saw Badou train a couple months ago and he’s a big boy, a lot bigger than Adonis, a true light heavyweight. So I think he could even box from the outside and neutralize Stevenson’s power. He’s got to be careful but he knows what he has to do: avoid the left hand. I don’t want to make a pick because when you have a guy with power like Adonis, he can close the show at any time. But if it goes the distance, I think Jack will get the decision.      — Jessy Ross Thompson

The champion many love to hate.

I think Jack gets hit too much. Everyone knows they have to avoid Stevenson’s left hand, but then the bell rings and they can’t. I don’t think Jack will avoid it either. Stevenson by knockout.     — Jordan Balmir

This is right about where a joke about Adonis Stevenson’s inactivity would be utilized, but since April of 2015, Badou Jack has only fought once more than Stevenson. But as Adonis has avoided serious challenges, and as the rest of a competitive light heavyweight division carries on without him, Jack is currently on one of the best runs in the sport. His last five wins are against Anthony Dirrell, George Groves, Lucian Bute, James DeGale and Nathan Cleverly. Stevenson’s recent ledger is the result of playing alphabet organization games. Adonis still definitely swats hard enough to negate all of that, as frustrating as that may be, but Jack seems to have hit a nice groove and is 34 to Stevenson’s 40. No guarantees, but Badou Jack by close decision.       — Patrick Connor

Stevenson confronts Jack at the final press conference. Photo by Jeff Lockhart.

On paper this looks like an interesting matchup, but Adonis Stevenson has better skills, lower ring mileage, and a distinct edge in power over the tough Badou Jack. I’ll take “Superman” by late KO.        — Rafael Garcia

Adonis Stevenson by knockout in round eight.    — Eliott McCormick

Badou Jack presents Adonis Stevenson with his biggest challenge in years. Nonetheless, I see ‘Superman’ recording yet another emphatic KO victory somewhere in the middle rounds. Jack’s been stopped and he was dropped against James DeGale, hardly a dynamic hitter. This will give Stevenson confidence and once he gets his eye in, after a few close tactical rounds, he’ll find a home for his sledgehammer left. Very few can take those punches and stay upright; I don’t think Badou is one of them. Stevenson by stoppage.         — Ronnie McCluskey

Jack’s destruction of Nathan Cleverly showcased a fighter at the peak of his powers. Stevenson is nearly 40-years-old and his power remains a threat but its Jack who enters the ring with supreme confidence, momentum and a chilling efficiency to his approach. Jack appears technically superior and should emerge victorious.       — Gary Elbert 

If any marquee boxer is due to lose, and lose humiliatingly, it’s Adonis Stevenson. Montrealers will find such a prospect particularly enticing, given that Eleider Alvarez, Stevenson’s mandatory challenger for the past three or so years (who’s counting, right?), can’t get the shot he’d earned and is instead forced to take a fight against Sergey Kovalev. But finally, after years as a protected, entitled punchline, Stevenson is taking on a peaking fighter who’s skilled enough and powerful enough to dethrone Superman. Except he won’t, unfortunately. Stevenson’s awesome left hand will carry the day once again, leading to a KO somewhere around the 10th.           — Zachary Alapi

Yvon Michel, Adonis Stevenson, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Badou Jack, Lee Baxter, Leonard Ellerbe.

Badou Jack’s strategy of aggressively attacking Nathan Cleverly to earn a TKO victory worked well, but for the more lethal Stevenson he will need to implement a different strategy if he wants to maximize his chances of winning. But time has shown us that power is typically the last trait for an aging boxer to lose. My sense is that the champion’s power will determine the outcome. Stevenson by TKO.            — Jeffrey Fuss

Jack is tough enough to take Stevenson’s bombs but in fact I don’t think he’ll be able to deal with Adonis’s speed. Stevenson wins and then disappears into hibernation for the remainder of 2018. Adonis by unanimous decision.         — Jamie Rebner

Badou Jack has come a long way since his loss to Derek Edwards. He is a smarter, sharper and stronger fighter since those days. But he’s taking on a southpaw who has crushing one-punch power. I think Stevenson plays it safe and then unloads with a big left that catches Jack coming in. Stevenson by TKO in five.      — Chris Connor

While Stevenson could always end it with one left hand, he’s 40 and relatively inactive. I think Jack looked good when he moved up in weight last year and he has the skill to keep Adonis at a distance and nullify the power over 12 rounds. Also, “Badou Jack” has to be one of the best names in all of professional sports—who wouldn’t want him to be a champion again? Jack by decision.       — Joshua Isard

Until I see evidence of erosion in Stevenson’s physical abilities, I’m not going to hold his age against him. In fact, I was surprised by how quick and sharp Adonis looked against Fonfara last June. He’s had few grueling fights and he reportedly stays in excellent shape between outings. The fact Jack represents his most capable opponent since he won the title from Chad Dawson does give one pause, but at some point “Superman” is going to test Badou’s chin with that hammer of a left hand. My guess is that when he does, the match will be decided. Stevenson by TKO.        — Michael Carbert 

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