The blow to the WBC light heavyweight champion, Adonis Stevenson, in his ninth title defense was that he had not faced the best competition. Could he win the big one and silence those who interrogated him?
Those questions are still there after Stevenson fought a majority draw Saturday against Badou Jack (114-114, 114-114, 115-113 Jack) at the Air Canada Center in Toronto. Sporting News scored the fight 115-113 for Jack.
"I won the fight because I hurt the body," Stevenson told Showtime's Jim Gray in his post-fight interview.
The fight was more like two fights in one.
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Stevenson (29-1-1, 24 KOs) won the first half by being more active, but then he hit himself Jack and Jack (22-1-3, 13 KOs) took advantage from the seventh round. Jack went on the offensive and the tide changed.
The crucial moment of the fight came near the end of the 10th round when Stevenson landed a vicious body shot, which caused Jack to fall apart for a moment and had him on the ropes for most of round 11.
Jack won the 12th round on the cards of the three judges by winning the last 30 seconds of what had been a close all. He did everything he could until the last horn sounded.
"I thought I definitely won the fight," Jack told Gray. "No judge made him win."
No matter how you wrote it down, the obvious in the future is to do a rematch. Stevenson still has to answer questions about his legacy; a decisive victory over Jack will do that.
Jack will look back and regret not having been more aggressive in the early rounds. If he had, he would be leaving the Great White North as a new champion.
This is what happened in Stevenson vs. Jack. (All times this one.)
Results of Stevenson vs. Jack
12:24 a.m .: Round 12 to Jack (10-9, 115-113 Jack). A very close round until the last 30 seconds. Jack threw everything, including the kitchen sink, while Stevenson seemed to simply survive. We are waiting for the final results. Hope they are everywhere.
12:19 a.m.: Round 11 to Stevenson (10-9, 105-104 Jack). Stevenson showed a lot of heart. He found his second wind and continued to attack Jack's body. Stevenson once again tires and Jack appears at the last minute. Now it comes down to the final round.
12:16 a.m.: Round 10 to Jack (10-9, 96-94 Jack). It seemed to be a dominant round for Jack until Stevenson hit a body shot flush with about 30 seconds, which hurt Jack. An interesting six final minutes await us.
12:12 a.m.: Round 9 to Jack (10-9, 86-85 Jack). This is turning into an badault. Jack is doing everything right and Stevenson shows nothing at all. The right hand has been Jack's blow. With 30 seconds remaining in the round, he rocked Stevenson with a right hook followed by a short right uppercut. You could see that Stevenson is trying to survive.
12:07 a.m .: Round 8 to Jack (10-9, 76-76). This is Jack's fight to lose. He is staying as an aggressor and does not let Stevenson have anything going on. Jack found his second wind here. Stevenson needs to find his and find it in a short time or the title leaves Canada.
12:03 a.m .: Round 7 to Jack (10-9, 67-66 Stevenson). That was the best round of Jack's fight. He configured everything with you guessed it, jab. He kept on the accelerator and did not give Stevenson time to breathe. The champion is getting tired. Maybe Jack harbades Stevenson in the early rounds and lets him exhaust.
11:59 p.m .: Round 6 to Jack (10-9, 58-56 Stevenson). Stevenson controlled the pace from the start, but Jack appeared in the last half of the round, connecting in a series of combinations. Stevenson is starting to get tired. Can Jack continue to apply the pressure and start taking control?
11:54 p.m.: Round 5 to Stevenson (10-9, 49-46 Stevenson). I said that Jack needed to stay inside since that was one of his keys to victory. For Stevenson, he not only fought inside, but he was also more dominant. Stevenson looks great to the extent that he calms the critics. However, remember, we have a long way to go.
11:51 p.m .: Round 4 to Jack (10-9, 39-37 Stevenson). The best round of the fight so far for Jack. He was firing first with the jab, which allowed him to throw his right hand straight. Jack needs to get inside and wear out Stevenson if he has the chance to win the title.
11:46 p.m .: Round 3 to Stevenson (10-9, 30-27 Stevenson). Jack remained aggressive throughout the round, but Stevenson is the most effective fighter. Jack needs to keep accelerating. He still seems tentative. It shows that he distrusts the power of Stevenson.
11:42 p.m .: Round 2 to Stevenson (10-9, 20-18 Stevenson). More than what we saw in the first round. Every time Stevenson lands his left hand, he sends Jack back a few inches. Jack is trying to measure the time of the left hand while Stevenson is trying to measure Jack's right hand. The challenger needs to start accelerating the pace or the champion will cost an easy victory without spending too much energy.
11:38 p.m.: Round 1 to Stevenson (10-9). More than one round of sensations for both boys. Stevenson connected a pair of right hands to keep Jack at a distance. You can say that Jack wants to include this in the last rounds, which would give him an advantage.
11:28 p. M .: It's time for the main event of the night, when Adonis Stevenson defends his WBC light heavyweight championship against Badou Jack (22-1-2, 13 KOs). Stevenson (29-1, 24 KOs) has been criticized in his reign for choosing the path of least resistance, but will face his toughest test. Jack (22-1-2, 13 KOs) made his debut at 175 pounds in August, defeating Nathan Cleverly to capture the WBA title. He left the vacant belt to shoot Stevenson.
Can Stevenson silence the detractors? Or Jack "The Ripper" shows that he is the best fighter in the division? It should be a great one. Do not blink. It will not last long.
Gary Russell Jr. retains his featherweight title on Joseph Diaz Jr.
11:22 p.m .: Gary Russell def. Joseph Diaz by unanimous decision (117-111, 117-111, 115-113) to retain the WBC featherweight title. Sporting News had him score 116-112 for Russell. Russell needed to set the jab to configure everything and he did exactly that. He was close to the first half of the fight. The experience of the Russell championship proved to be too much for Diaz.
Now, Russell needs to be more active. He says he wants to fight more and fight the best the division has to offer. With luck, the Maryland native lives up to his words. The fights between him and the winner of Abner Mares and Leo Santa Cruz on June 9 would determine who is the best with 126 pounds.
11:17 p.m .: Round 12 to Díaz (10-9, 116-112). Diaz went bankrupt, while Russell tried to stay away. We go to the judges.
11:13 p.m .: Round 11 to Russell (10-9, 107-102). The best round of the fight. Russell and Diaz stayed inside and were firing by firing. Even though Diaz dominated when the action was close, Russell demonstrated his toughness and willingness to push the action when he really did not need it and did more damage.
11:09 pm: Round 10 to Díaz (10-9, 97-93). Although he did not completely rule out his fight attack, Diaz stayed close, which nullified Russell's blow. You have to throw caution to the wind in the last six minutes if you go with the title.
11:05 p.m .: Round 9 to Russell (10-9, 88-83). It's exciting to see Russell fight. The different ways in which he throws the combinations that come out of the jab is a sight worth seeing. If I am Diaz's corner, they should think about abandoning the game plan and start applying more pressure. Diaz has never scored a knockout after the ninth round.
11:01 p.m.: Round 8 to Russell (10-9, 78-74 Russell). Great round for the champion. Russell continues with the jab and uses his footwork to keep Diaz guessing. Diaz could have found something in the last 45 seconds by throwing the jab, which allowed him to connect in combinations.
10:57 p.m .: Round 7 to Russell (10-9, 68-65 Russell). Everything starts with the jab. And that is the case with Russell. It allows him to land his right hook and, more importantly, keep Diaz and his hard punches away from him. Diaz needs to change his arsenal if he is going to come back and take the title.
10:53 p.m .: Round 6 to Russell (10-9, 58-56 Russell). Great work of Russell. He fought the whole round instead of fighting in jets. If you continue to do that, it will make it much easier for him.
10:49 p.m.: Round 5 a Díaz (10-9, 48-47 Russell). Another round closed until the last minute. But this time, it was Diaz who took it when he found a home with vicious body shots. Diaz needs to be more active from the start, as Russell continues to emerge as an aggressor.
10:45 p.m .: Round 4 to Russell (10-9, 39-37 Russell). The round was even until the last minute when Russell found a home for his patent right hook and stopped 7-3.
10:41 pm: Round 3 to Russell (10-9, 29-28 Russell). A good return for Russell. As in the second round, the attacker left. This time, however, Russell continued the pace throughout. He returned to the jab and kept Diaz at a distance. If Russell can keep the jab going, it will be an easy night.
10:36 p.m.: Round 2 to Diaz (10-9, 19-19). Russell and Diaz had moments there. Russell controlled the first half while Diaz controlled the second half. But, Diaz landed the hardest shots and returned to Russell twice. Diaz has to remain within range. Can Russell make the appropriate adjustment?
10:32 p.m.: Round 1 to Russell (10-9). Great job of the champion in marking the tone early to have his foot forward pointing directly at Diaz. By doing that, Russell was able to continually blow up the jab. Diaz needs to be more in line with Russell to avoid problems.
10:22 pm: In the main event of Stevenson vs. Jack, Gary Russell Jr. defends the WBC Featherweight Championship against Joseph Diaz Jr. Since his loss to Vasyl Lomachenko, Russell (28-1, 17 KOs) won four consecutive fights, including his victory in the TKO in the fourth round about Jhonny Gonzalez to capture the title. Diaz (26-0, 14 KOs). A 2012 Olympian won the chance to win the title when he beat former featherweight champion Victor Terrazas by knockout in the third round in February.
The hit to Russell and it's valid is the fact that he has only fought twice since winning the title in March 2015. Will inactivity finally catch up?
10:13 p. M .: Floyd Mayweather joins Jim Gray to watch the Stevenson vs. Main Event Jack.
10:05 p.m.: Sporting News is ready for tonight's fights. And so is WBC featherweight champion Gary Russell Jr. as he prepares to defend his title against Joseph Diaz Jr. in Oxon Hill, Md.
– SHOWTIME Boxing (@ShowtimeBoxing) May 20, 2018
9:55 pm: Badou Jack has arrived at Air Canada Center, seeking to dethrone Adonis Stevenson in his own backyard and capture the WBC light heavyweight championship.
– SHOWTIME Boxing (@ShowtimeBoxing) May 20, 2018
9 : 20 pm: We are less than 45 minutes before the first fight of the night begins. Will they go 12 rounds? I would take many refreshments. They will not go the distance.
– PBC (@premierboxing) May 20, 2018
Adonis Stevenson, Badou Jack records
Stevenson: 29-1 with 24 knockouts
Jack: 22-1-2 with 13 knockouts
Stevenson's Letter to Jack
- Adonis Stevenson vs. Badou Jack for Stevenson's WBC Heavyweight Title
- Gary Russell Jr. vs. Joseph Diaz Jr., 12 rounds, for the WBC pen title of Russell
Stevenson vs. Jack latest news
Adonis Stevenson defends his resume to SN and has a message for his critics.
Badou Jack explains to SN why he will not quickly reject Stevenson's credentials.
Steven Muehlhausen is a writer and boxing writer and MMA contributor to Sporting News. Subscribe to your YouTube channel here. You can send it by email to [email protected] and you can find it on Twitter @SMuehlhausenMMA .