Jack Poised to Upset Stevenson for WBC Light-Heavyweight Belt

Andreas Hale

Wednesday, May 16, 2018 12:09 PM UTC

Wednesday, May. 16, 2018 12:09 PM UTC

The WBC and lineal light heavyweight titles are on the line Saturday as Adonis Stevenson defends his titles against Badou Jack at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. 

Adonis Stevenson vs. Badou JackFree Boxing Pick: JackBest Line Offered: Pinnacle

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Adonis Stevenson defends his WBC and lineal light-heavyweight titles against Badou Jack at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto on Saturday. The matchup between a pair of fighters with only a single blemish on their respective records could be filled with fireworks. But what you are looking for is whether or not this fight has betting value.

Stevenson is currently the favorite you can find between -135 and -150, while Jack sits as somewhere between a +110 and +122 underdog. Stevenson (29-1, 24 KOs) has held the titles since 2013 when he starched Chad Dawson in one round. Since then, Stevenson has been pretty impressive with stoppage victories over Andrezej Fonfara, Tony Bellew and Tavoris Cloud. He’ll be returning to the ring for the first time since knocking out Fonfara inside of two rounds last June.

Meanwhile, Jack (22-1-2, 13 KOs) will be entering only his second fight as a light heavyweight. He made his debut last August on the undercard of the megafight between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor and put a whooping on Nathan Cleverly that ended with Jack scoring a 5th-round TKO.

If there’s one thing that should pique your curiosity about this fight, it is Stevenson’s age. In September, Superman will turn 41. Age hasn’t appeared to slow him down thus far, but he’s become pretty inactive since 2015 with one fight in 2016 (4th-round KO against Tommy Karpency) and one fight in 2017 (2nd round TKO against Fonfara). Although it might not seem like much, having only boxed six rounds in 24 months could leave Stevenson a little rusty and his conditioning in question if he’s unable to get Jack out of the fight early with his vaunted left hand.

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Jack has been a little more active than his opponent. He had two fights in 2017, including a barn-burner with James DeGale. In 2016, a fight he should have won against with Lucian Bute was ruled a majority draw but ended up becoming a victory for Jack after Bute failed a drug test. The thing to take note of is the marked improvement of the Swedish fighter since suffering his first loss back in 2014 when unheralded Derek Edwards knocked him out in the first round. Since then, Jack has shown improvement in just about every facet of his game. And the move to light heavyweight appears to be something that he can handle well, as demonstrated by his demolition of Cleverly last August.

There’s a lot to like about Jack in this fight with age on his side and facing an opponent who hasn’t really been active for the past few years. Stevenson avoided a fight with Sergey Kovalev for as long as possible and opted to fight opponents who weren’t nearly the threat. Perhaps he sees Jack as someone he can steamroll in a couple of rounds. But as long as Jack can stay out of the way of that big left hand in the opening rounds, he could out hustle Stevenson to earn a decision victory. And at +122, it may be worth it.

This isn’t to say that Jack scoring a knockout is impossible because Stevenson’s only loss was by knockout to Darnell Boone back in 2010. However, it’s improbable unless Stevenson’s chin has aged terribly over the past few years.

There are also a few prop bets that you could find to be intriguing.

If Stevenson is going to win, it’s likely to be out of the judges’ hands. The opposite can be said for Jack. Over at Ladbrokes you can find Jack by decision sitting at +260 or Stevenson winning by KO at +162. Both are appealing but I’ll stay off of the prop lines considering that there’s a bit of uncertainty surrounding Stevenson with his age and whether or not Jack can take that powerful punch.

Stick with Jack and you should be good to go.

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