Badou Jack and Adonis Stevenson bring one of the biggest title fights in boxing to Canada this Saturday night, with the WBC and lineal light heavyweight belts on the line.
The card takes place from Toronto’s Air Canada Centre as a split-card event on Showtime at 10 p.m. ET. From Maryland’s MGM National Harbor, Gary Russell Jr. defends his featherweight title vs. Joseph Diaz.
For Jack, this is the chance he’s been waiting for to dethrone Stevenson, the reigning champion.
“To have my fight here in Toronto, and for it to be the biggest fight in the city in 30 years is amazing,” Jack said. “I will become the new WBC Light Heavyweight Champion in his own country, in his backyard.”
The most significant fight in Toronto boxing history took place more than 50 years ago when Heavyweight World Champion Muhammad Ali, on the heels of consecutive wins over Sonny Liston and Floyd Patterson, faced Toronto-native George Chuvalo. Ali defeated Chuvalo in the March 29, 1966 showdown at Maple Leafs Garden in what was a grueling 15-round unanimous decision.
A former 168-pound and 175-pound champion, Jack is 21-1-3 with 13 knockouts in his career. The move to a new weight class, though, isn’t a problem for the veteran.
“It’s become more of a reality now that I’m here in Toronto,” Jack said. “Now it’s just the countdown to fight night. My focus is making weight and becoming the new world champion. Nothing else matters. The trash talk, the critics, they don’t affect me at all.
“I’m younger, I’m stronger, I’m faster. I’m the better guy.”