Stevenson vs Jack: Adonis Stevenson and Badou Jack battle to a majority draw
By Matt Horan
Last Updated: 20/05/18 5:06pm
Adonis Stevenson's world title clash with Badou Jack was scored a majority draw after a thrilling battle in Toronto.
WBC light-heavyweight champion Stevenson, 40, was dragged into deep waters by Jack and both fighters had commanding periods of success before scorecards of 115-113 to Jack and 114-114 twice meant the coveted green and gold belt stayed with 'Superman'.
Afterwards, the two fighters claimed they had done enough to take the decision and both said they would be happy to trade leather again in a rematch.
It was clear from the offset that Jack's gameplan was to test the fitness and age of Stevenson - making his ninth defence of the WBC belt - and he stuck to it astutely, patiently keeping out of range in the opening periods.
Stevenson, on the other hand, was keen to bring his thunderous left hand into play, seeking a familiar knockout blow, and after a cagey opener, the Canada-based Haitian started to find success in the second.
Jack remained comfortable though and continued to paw away with his jab from behind a tight guard, slowly growing in confidence, both men looking for openings.
The next few rounds were evenly contested as the action began to intensify, Stevenson, fighting out of a southpaw stance, on the front foot, the busier, but 'The Ripper' landing the cleaner, more eye-catching blows.
The contest then sparked into life in the fifth when the Haitian born champion went to work and a crunching left uppercut preceded heavy shots to the body that seemed to have Jack in some pain.
With the fervent Canadian crowd roaring him on, Stevenson came out for the sixth intent on finishing the job and he continued to fire home crippling body blows as he pushed the challenger onto the ropes, but Jack fought back resiliently, refusing to be over roared.
With 'Superman' seemingly in clear control, the momentum of the fight suddenly shifted massively in the seventh, a cracking combination from Jack forcing a hurt Stevenson onto the back-foot.
More heavy artillery continued to rain in as the 40-year-old title-holder started to look desperately tired and fatigued, seemingly on the brink of defeat.
A jolting right hand bloodied the nose of the southpaw in the ninth before a massive uppercut then rocked Stevenson in the closing seconds of the period.
With Jack well on top, victory seemed within his grasp, but there were more twists and turns to come as 'Superman' resolutely found a second wind and, in the tenth, the two light-heavyweights stood toe-to-toe in a pulsating round of action.
Suddenly Stevenson's earlier body work started to pay off in the next and, after a sustained attack to the midriff area, Jack was left wincing, now the one precariously trying to remain on his feet to see out the round.
The final three minutes saw both men doggedly trade on the inside and 'The Ripper' had his man badly hurt in the final moments, but the bell came to the rescue of the long-standing champion.
Speaking afterwards, Stevenson said: "I hurt him and I thought I won the fight. I went to the body and I saw that he was fatigued.
"Badou is a two-time world champion and a good fighter. I will give him a rematch."
A deflated Jack, who has two previous draws on his record, added: "I thought I definitely won the fight. No complaining, no judge had him winning.
"I can't do anything about it. Let's do a rematch, let's do it in Las Vegas - I came to his backyard."