Not so long ago the obituaries were being written for the noble art, with a surging UFC threatening to replace boxing as the combat sport for the masses. But as the UFC struggles to find its next generation of superstars, boxing has had a meteoric resurgence and is most certainly back with one hell of a bang.
Just a few hours after Josh Warrington upset the odds in a terrifc fight, Adonis Stevenson and Badou Jack gave us a fight which will live long in the memory. While it might not quite match some of the light heavyweight scraps of the Matthew Saad Muhammad era, it certainly pushed it reasonably close.
After a tentative tactical start, the fight for Stevenson’s WBC light heavyweight title exploded into life in the 5th and the 6th, with Jack looking in real trouble. Stevenson looked for the killer punch, targeting the body, Jack covered up, and survived the mini crisis, and the 40 year old looked to have punched himself out trying to take his man out.
The fight turned in the 7th when it was the turn of Jack to have his chance to close the show, and an uppercut badly hurt Stevenson in the closing moments of the round. After that there appeared only one winner, Stevenson looked on the brink, his 9th defence looked to be his last.
But then in the 10th the tide turned again, this time the champion badly hurt Jack to the body, and through the 10th and the 11th Jack looked in real danger of being stopped. But then the fight was turned on its head yet again and with a gas tank now empty, Stevenson looked on the verge of defeat, the bell may have saved him.
One solitary scorecard of 115-113 scored the fight in favour of Jack, but two level cards of 114-114 made it a majority draw.
Both talked of a rematch, nobody will complain, most will demand it.