Johnny Wilds ESPN Boxing Insider special to NYfights
Adonis ‘Superman’ Stevenson (29-1 24 KOs) vs Badou ‘The Ripper’ Jack (22-1-2 13 KOs) WBC Light Heavyweight Title Fight
Date: Saturday, May 19th.
Location: The Air Canada Centre-Toronto, Canada.
TV: Showtime CHampionship Boxing 10PM EST/7PM PST
*Odds courtesy of Westgate, Las Vegas
Here's a look at where the money is going from Vegas bookmakers, along with opinions from boxing experts, boxers, trainers and my prediction for the fight.
At The Westgate, Las Vegas, Jeff Sherman, Race and Sportsbook Manager, opened the fight a few weeks ago with Stevenson -160 and Jack +140 and the round prop at 9.5 over -160 and under +140. “We have seen very limited action thus far. We adjusted Stevenson to -140/+120 based more on market price”, said Sherman.
At William Hill US, Senior Trader Adam Pullen opened the fight on March 20th with Stevenson -160 and Jack +140. “We do have some liability on Jack due to parlays and lowered the price to -140/+120, but the straight bet action is near even,” said Pullen. He listed the total round prop at 9.5 rounds over -165 and under at +145 and it hasn’t seen much action yet, according to Pullen.
- Colin Morrison (boxing sharp): “Really looking forward to this one. Stevenson has held his title hostage for long enough. Badou Jack is going to negotiate its release by standing up to Stevenson's attacks early while slowly wearing him down before stopping him between rounds 10-12.”
- Rich Marotta (Hall of Fame Sportscaster): “I like Badou Jack to win a convincing decision, pulling away in the late rounds. Jack has become a complete fighter and is still on an upward trajectory. Adonis will always have that big punch and could even drop Jack at some point, but it won’t be enough.”
- Evan Young (boxing sharp): “People have made a lot of fuss over Badou Jack since his KO loss to Derek Edwards. And I agree, he has looked good, got it together and has scored some very good wins. But, he’s entering new territory with Adonis Stevenson. Known by his sobriquet as ‘Superman’, Stevenson is a well preserved 40 year-old with still very sharp reflexes and perhaps the fastest, hardest single shot in the game – his left cross. Jack has cultivated his craft and his own self-belief has skyrocketed but I think Adonis will bring him down to earth, and the canvas, on Saturday. I see a mid-round KO for Stevenson, probably with another laser straight left cross.”
- Abraham Gonzalez (boxing sharp): “This is going to be a great fight! Early, we will see Stevenson dictating the fight with the jab while utilizing it as a rangefinder for the big left down the middle. Jack on the other hand, will be hitting Stevenson with those hard body shots all night long. In the end, I see Badou Jack stopping Stevenson late. Jack by TKO in the 10th.”
- Stephen “Breadman” Edwards (boxing trainer): “It’s going to be the fight of year but I cannot pick a winner- too close to call.”
- Marcos Figueroa (boxing sharp): ”I like Stevenson via KO 5.”
- Jamel Herring (ranked lightweight boxer): “Interesting fight, I believe Jack has gotten better with each fight. He definitely had all the tools to win but Stevenson is dangerous on any given night and has proved that he has one punch knockout power.”
- Vinny Paz (5 time boxing champion): “Badou, I got to go with him.”
- Amanda Kelley (Boxing painter/sharp): “We have an older, inactive villain with a vicious left and a gentleman with the skills to neutralize it. I love this fight! Adonis Stevenson is dangerous, but I feel confident predicting a soul satisfying win for Badou Jack. ”
- John “Iceman” Scully (boxing trainer): “I like Badou Jack and if there is ever a time for him to win this fight- it is now with Adonis coming off that long layoff. But I still just feel at some point Adonis is going to land that left hand and it's going to change the course of the fight. When you're dealing with that kind of one punch power you usually have no choice but to alter your game plan or get caught again. I expect Adonis to have one of the toughest fights of his career but I see him winning by a second half stoppage.”
- Joel Diaz (boxing trainer): “With this fight, I have seen more of Stevenson than I have from Badou Jack. I see Badou Jack as a technical fighter while Adonis Stevenson brings more of the explosive action & the experience. In the end, I believe Adonis Stevenson will come out with the victory.”
- Gabe Oppenheim (boxing sharp): “I like Jack to win because Stevenson has just been too inactive for me to have any confidence in him, and I don't think he's faced a man of Jack's skills since 2013. Adonis ducked Kovalev and Eleider Alvarez, so why should I have more belief in him than he has in himself? Meanwhile, I think Jack's competition has been better, and he deserved the win against DeGale. Jack by decision, though I won't be surprised if Stevenson wobbles him late with a huge, desperate overhand left.”
- Joshua Stabile (boxing sharp): ”Stevenson, huge puncher who doesn’t go the distance very often, hasn’t been very active in the last couple of years and is getting long in the tooth. Jack is probably a bigger fighter despite moving up a weight class, has good all-around skills, but doesn’t have the elite KO power like Stevenson. I think this Stevenson gets the KO or Jack dodges the bullets and boxes his way to a close decision. This is a really tough call as it feels like a 50/50. Gun to my head, I pick Stevenson but if I’m betting for value I will take the slight underdog at +125 or better.”
Side By Side:
|Birthplace: Quebec, Canada||Birthplace: Stockholm, Sweden|
|Record: 29-1 24 KOs||Record: 22-1-2 13 KOs|
|Height: 5’11”||Height: 6’1”|
|Reach: 77”||Reach: 76”|
|Stance: Southpaw||Stance: Orthodox|
|Trainer: Javan Hill||Trainer: Lou Delvalle|
Stevenson: The 40 year-old WBC lightweight champion hails from Port-au-Prince, Haiti and is now fighting out of Montreal, Quebec since he moved there with his family at the age of seven. He turned professional in 2006 and his only loss on his record was in 2010 via a shocking KO loss to Darnell Boone in round two. Boone took the fight on two-weeks’ notice and Stevenson blamed the loss on not being in shape and ready for the fight. He proved that to be true seven fights later in the rematch where he stretched Boone at 2:46 of round six. In his next fight, he would lay claim to the WBC light heavyweight title when he parked Chad Dawson at 1:16 of round one. He has gone on to defend that title eight more times and has won six of those eight bouts by KO- including stopping Tony Bellew in 2013. ‘Superman’ has wicked KO power as evidenced by his 80% KO average. He has been accused of holding his title hostage by ducking Sergey Kovalev, among other fighters for a few years now. One thing he cannot be accused of is not bringing excitement to the ring with his vaunted one punch KO power!
Jack: The 34 year old fighting (pictured above, in Esther Lin pic) out of Las Vegas via Stockholm, Sweden gave up his 168-pound title he won over Anthony Dirrell in 2015 when he fought to a disputable draw with James DeGale in January of 2017. (Many pundits had Jack winning!) He moved up to the light heavyweight ranks and stopped Nathan Cleverly in round 5 last August winning the WBA light heavyweight title. Jack asked for this fight and is fighting in the champions backyard, Canada and will attempt to put himself in the top-ten pound for pound fighters in the world. Jack is a very talented fighter who is also a 2008 Olympian for his father's country of Gambia and was the nation's flag bearer at the opening ceremonies. Jack has only one loss on his resume when he was stunned and stopped by Derek Edwards in round one in 2014. He rebounded very well and three fights later beat Dirrell for his first major world title. Jack will be attempting to become a three-time world champion if he can dethrone ‘Superman’!
Who will win? The panel favors Jack 7-4 with two guests, Edwards and Herring, deeming it too close to call. I will make it 8-4 for Jack as I believe he will be ‘Superman's’ kryptonite and win in the champion’s backyard and enter the top ten pound for pound fighters in the world. Jack must remain focused, dictate the pace, abuse the body and be careful to not get caught like twenty-four previous KO victims of Stevenson. I see Jack securing a stoppage in the later rounds and hearing from the ring announcer…. AND THE NEW…..
Pick: Jack +120 or better