In the light heavyweight division, Canadian Adonis Stevenson has been able to hold onto his WBC world title since June 2013, when he emphatically knocked out Chad Dawson at Centre Bell. What started off as a glorious rule has descended into a flurry of mismatches in which Stevenson has been accused of ducking legitimate contenders to his crown. Now aged 40, the WBC has stepped in and demanded that the Blainville, Quebec resident step up and fight the very dangerous Swede, Badou Jack.
Finally a fight Canada can get behind
As of the start of 2018, Adonis Stevenson is Canada’s only major talent in the professional world boxing rankings. The southpaw born in Haiti has managed to remain the light heavyweight world champion for nearly half-a-decade and, despite his recent rather impish matchups, he’s proven that he is an incredibly talented boxer throughout his career. But, now, finally, he’s set to engage in a massive dustup with budding superstar Badou Jack in a match that will either be a changing of the guard or the veteran Canadian putting the upstart Swede in his place.
The fight will most likely take place in Quebec, given Stevenson’s massive fan base compared to Jack’s, as well as eight of Stevenson’s nine title fights having taken place in either Montreal or Quebec City, so it’s set to be the biggest boxing event on the Canadian calendar.
The perfect time to cash in
Historically, one of the biggest aspects of boxing has been the gambling side. Punters from all over the world back their favorites in this purest of sports as, in the ring, anything can happen. Now, not only does Canada love boxing, but Canada also loves gambling, with Canadian casino gaming market revenue already at US$6,230,000,000 in 2015.
Gambling, particularly online gambling, is booming right now, with the top online casinos bringing their games to Canadian players. As shown by a recent Spin Palace Casino review, there is a draw to casinos that also host sports betting as well as games made by Microgaming, which may be down to their love of sports slots, such as the hockey-themed Break Away and Shoot!, which continue to be popular with Canadian players. So, with Stevenson finally having a massive fight, this active gambling Canadian crowd will be a huge market.
Coming into the fight, Adonis Stevenson – despite being the world champion – could very well find himself as the underdog. Badou Jack has proven himself able to take on the best of the super middleweight class and he trumped Nathan Cleverly for the WBA world light heavyweight title in his divisional debut. So backing Stevenson could provide the kind of alluring odds that Canada can really get behind.
Can Stevenson come out on top?
While Stevenson’s fights have by no means been against simple opponents, with the fights against Andrzej Fonfara and Thomas Williams Jr being fair fights in the division, he could have taken on more worthy adversaries. The major name that Stevenson has ‘ducked’ is Eleider Alvarez, who the Stevenson camp has given ‘step aside money’ to on multiple occasions to allow the Canadian to fight other boxers. Alvarez is a major contender but Badou Jack may actually more dangerous.
Badou Jack is a hardy boxer, one who can give it out as well as he can take it. In his last fight in the super middleweight division, against the dominant James DeGale, the fight was to-and-fro for 12 rounds until a final mixed decision draw came about as a fair result. The biggest take was that Jack looked restrained by the weight so he moved up to light heavyweight. Now at a more natural weight for his robust 6’1’’ frame, Jack has proven that he can take on the best, knocking out Nathan Cleverly in his light heavyweight debut.
Now in an era of new world champions breaking through, with Dmitry Bivol, Artur Beterbiev, and Badou Jack rising to the peak and Sergey Kovalev remaining a dominant force, Adonis Stevenson is the last bastion of the real old guard. This will be a huge fight for the 5’11’’ boxer known as ‘Superman,’ and it is set to be a money-bonanza for all involved, regardless of the result. Badou Jack is one of boxing’s rising stars, and Stevenson is Canada’s last remaining boxing superstar, possibly fighting his swansong in his backyard, so we could be in for a potential fight of the year candidate.