Badou Jack: Original plan was to fight Adonis Stevenson
The undercard for the Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor superfight came together quite slowly for an event of this magnitude. Although Badou Jack knew he was going to be on the card, he didn’t have a clue who he would end up stepping into the ring with on August 26 until about a month before the fight. But the Swedish boxer who now resides in Las Vegas will face Nathan Cleverly as he makes the leap to light heavyweight after a successful campaign as a super middleweight.
RingTV.com spoke to Jack (21-1-2, 12 knockouts) inside of the Mayweather Boxing Club and found out that Jack had his sights set on another opponent for his light heavyweight debut.
“The original plan all along was to fight (WBC and lineal light heavyweight champion) Adonis Stevenson and that plan was even before the fight with James DeGale,” Jack said while explaining that he wasn’t sure why Stevenson wasn’t interested in being on the biggest combat sports card in history. “I don’t know (why he didn’t want to fight me). We haven’t negotiated but it seems like he doesn’t want to fight top guys.”
It’s a fascinating reveal that came a week before Jack fights at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Jack wasn’t quite sure of the details as to why that fight didn’t come together but was confident in saying that Stevenson was who he wanted to face and partially the reason the undercard was announced at such a late stage.
But with Cleverly (30-3, 16 KOs) being his primary focus, Jack says he isn’t disappointed at all with his new opponent and plans to begin his campaign at light heavyweight with a bang on Saturday night. Should he dispatch of Cleverly, Badou has his sights set on the biggest and best the light heavyweight division has to offer.
“I want the big money fights,” Jack said. “I want to get paid and test myself against the best. Adonis is one of the best. I heard that Andre Ward might leave the division. But he’s the best pound for pound fighter in the world so that should be everybody’s goal to fight him. It’s not everyone’s but it should be. I’d love to fight him because he’s the best. Why not?”