Badou Jack has a new strap to his collection. After comprehensively beating Welshman Nathan Cleverly inside 5 rounds on Saturday night, the 33-year-old is looking for bigger and better challenges in his new division at 175lbs.
With huge fights against Anthony Dirrell, George Groves, Lucien Bute and James DeGale in the last two-and-a-half years, Jack is no stranger to the big stage and will be looking to continue this impressive run of opponents in his next move.
After out-growing the super middleweight division, let’s look at Jack’s next possible dance partners at light heavyweight.
1 Dmitry Bivol (11-0)
Dmitry Bivol, who is current WBA interim-champion at 175lbs, must reach an agreement with Badou Jack before September 11. If no agreement is reached with the Russian boxer before this date, the fight will be called to purse bids.
With Bivol proving one of the most impressive up-and-coming fighters in the sport, let alone at this weight, it will be a tough ask for Jack in his second outing at the weight. Vacating the WBA (Regular) strap may prove the more sensible option, as a fight will Bivol won't attract the same attention than a fight against one of the current champions at this weight.
At 33, Jack is entering the twilight of his career, so testing his well-drilled skillset against an awkward and dangerous Russian for little reward may prove to be a career defining mistake.
2 Andre Ward (32-0)
After back-to-back victories against Sergey Kovalev, Andre Ward sits comfortably on the top of the pound-for-pound rankings. The incentive is the problem for S.O.G, and after dominating in two weight divisions, the Californian will only be tempted back into the squared circle for the right price.
Jack doesn't have the biggest following, and despite this fight being a purists technical showdown it will struggle in capturing a wider audiences attention.
Ward is still undefeated as a professional, and with a 32-0 record holds three of the four pieces of gold at this weight. Jack will be confident in de-throning Ward but may benefit in having an interim fight to adjust completely to his new weight.
With offers from Matchroom for a fight against 'Creed' co-star Tony Bellew is also on the table for Ward, who is at the stage in his career where he can pick and choose based on monetary gain.
3 Adonis Stevenson (29-1)
At 39-years-of-age, Canadian Adonis Stevenson is still looking for a marquee name on his C.V to hush the critics of the WBC light heavyweight title reign. With defences against Fonfara, Williams and Karpency in the last two years, Stevenson is edging close to his 30th professional win, however, his refusal to travel has stunted his career growth and has forever been a target for the bigger names.
Jack reiterated his desire to fight Stevenson before a press conference Thursday at MGM Grand, stating "I wanted the Stevenson fight, but I guess he wasn’t interested. I don’t know. That’s the first fight we wanted, even right after the Bute fight.”
With Stevenson likely to take another mandatory challenge towards the end of this year, there could be more waiting for Jack if he is to lure the Canadian into the ring, however, Jack is under no illusions in knowing that he would have to travel to fight for the WBC strap.
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