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7 Questions With Badou Jack

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A select few boxers turn pro amid a blaze of publicity, seemingly destined for the very top of the sport from the moment they decide to make throwing and avoiding punches their chosen vocation. Of course these fighters are kept in the public eye by a media pack who want to be front and center every step of the way.

Most fighters, as we know though, are not performing under the spotlight until they reach, at the very minimum, contender status. The subject of this interview, Badou Jack, falls into this category. Born in Sweden to a Swedish Mother and Gambian Father, Badou has worked his way to the pinnacle of boxing over the last eight-and-a-half years.

Finally getting the appreciation and recognition he deserves, I was delighted to be afforded the opportunity to pepper Badou with seven questions about some of the important and memorable moments in his career.

Now a two-weight world champion, based in Las Vegas and promoted by Mayweather Promotions, Jack (22-1-2, 13KOs) has come a long way since turning pro amid the quiet boxing scene in his homeland.

Badou is on Twitter @BadouJack but before rushing on there to follow him read on as he answers candidly about his career so far and looks at what may lie ahead for him in the light-heavyweight division.

Colin Morrison: Hi Badou. I want to start by going back to your amateur days. You were a multiple Swedish national champion before going on to represent the country of your Father’s birth, Gambia, at the 2008 Olympics. How much of an honour was this for you and were there any feelings of sadness that you couldn’t represent Sweden?

Badou Jack: Even though I represented Gambia in the Olympics I’ve represented Sweden my whole career. So no, not at all. I represented Sweden my beginning amateur days and all the way through the World Championships, which was the first qualifier for the Olympics. After that, I had two more chances to go to the games and eventually I just decided to take my best shot and represent my Dad’s country.

Colin: Your first five professional fights all took place in Scandinavia before you progressed to boxing in America. Are there any major differences between boxing in Scandinavia and America and would you like to one day return and box in Sweden or Europe in general again?

Badou: Yes, it’s definitely different fighting in Scandinavia versus fighting in the U.S. Boxing in Scandinavia is like playing hockey in Gambia. It’s just not as big there. And yes, before I retire, I’d like to do a fight over there. I’ve been talking to Floyd about making that happen one day.

Colin: As your campaign gathered momentum in America you ended up signing a promotional deal with Mayweather Promotions. How is that going for you and how is your relationship with one of the biggest names in the sport, Floyd Mayweather?

Badou: Floyd and I have a great relationship. Floyd and Leonard at Mayweather Promotions have gotten me all the fights I’ve asked for. He’s doing his part as my promoter, and I’m doing my part inside the ring. It’s a great partnership.

Colin: After a couple of bumps along the way (1 draw, 1 loss) you became the WBC super-middleweight world champion in your 21st fight, beating Anthony Dirrell. Can you remember how you felt when you were announced as the winner that night?

Badou: I was enjoying the moment when I beat Dirrell. That night in Chicago was special. It helped me prove that loss I took was an accident. All the hard work over the years paid off.

Colin: Around this time last year you were involved in an excellent super-middleweight unification bout with James DeGale in New York. Despite most observers feeling you deserved the win the judges scored the contest a draw. How disappointed were you with the outcome in New York?

Badou: I was very disappointed in that draw. Boxing is about hitting and not getting hit. I landed more punches, did way more damage and gave DeGale a beating. But that wasn’t the first time this type of thing happened to me unfortunately. This was just another example of the politics in boxing.

Colin: Following on from that you vacated your 168lb title and moved up to light-heavyweight. You defeated Nathan Cleverly in impressive fashion to win the WBA 175lb title in August 2017. How has the move up been for you, are you feeling stronger / more powerful at 175?

Badou: I’m definitely stronger and more powerful at this weight. It’s much closer to my natural weight. I actually wish I had done this a while sooner, but I’m very happy at 175.

Colin: Of course this leads on nicely to your next challenge and my final question. It has been widely reported that you will face WBC light-heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson next. Although no date has been confirmed (at time of interview) are you beginning to prepare for Stevenson and how confident are you of defeating him?

Badou: Nothing is set yet, but preparation for whenever my next fight will take place is going well. Same pre-camp preparation and focus for everyone. If it is Adonis, then I’m very comfortable about my chances of beating him. If you don’t have confidence in boxing, then you’re in the wrong sport.

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About Colin Morrison

A boxing fan since his teenage years, Morrison began writing about the sport in July 2016. He appreciates all styles of boxing and has nothing but respect for those who get in the ring for our entertainment. Morrison is from Scotland and can be found on Twitter @Morrie1981.

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