WBC super middleweight champion, Badou Jack, is looking to unify the super middleweight division. The last unified champion of the weight class was Carl Froch and Jack will need to defeat the fighter that took Froch’s vacant title, James DeGale in order to achieve his goal. The two fighters fought on the same card last month and are set to meet each other in the ring this fall.
In part 2 of my “On The Ropes” boxing radio interview with Badou Jack, I discuss the upcoming James DeGale fight and if he sees that match as the fight to decide the number one fighter in the weight class. I also talk to Badou about the division’s former champion, Andre Ward, and if he sees a move up in weight in his future. Additionally, Jack shares his views on a possible comeback for Floyd Mayweather and if he sees a Pacquiao rematch happening. Here is what Badou Jack had to say.
Jenna J: Badou, most people would feel a fight between you and James DeGale would be a fight to determine the best fighter at 168lbs, do you see it that way?
Badou Jack: Yeah I see it that way. There’s another guy named Gilberto Ramirez, the WBO champ, he’s pretty good as well, I would rate us three as the best super middleweights. There’s a lot of young, tough guys. The Dirrel brothers are really good, you got George Groves, there’s some good fighters.
Jenna J: What do you think of this transition period in the division since Andre Ward moved up?
Badou Jack: I think it’s a new era. I’m actually a year older than Andre Ward but there’s some young guys coming up. I don’t know how long I’m gonna stay at super middleweight, it might just be one or two more fights, but we’ll see.
Jenna J: The light heavyweight division is one of the most intriguing divisions. When it’s all said and done, who do you think is going to emerge as the best fighter of the division?
Badou Jack: I believe in myself, so if I come up, I believe in myself. As of right now, I think Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev. Kovalev already proved himself at light heavyweight. I like Andre Ward, he’s a very good fighter, so he’s just gotta prove himself. If Ward beats Kovalev, then he’s the number one guy. As of right now, Kovalev is the main guy. You can’t forget Adonis Stevenson as well, but Ward and Kovalev are better than him but he’s also a very good fighter.
Jenna J: Ward and Kovalev are set to face off against each other later this year. Who do you see taking this one?
Badou Jack: It’s hard, it’s a 50-50 fight I think. As far as boxing skills and boxing brain, that’s Andre Ward, but Kovalev can box too and he’s physically very strong. I don’t know, I’m looking forward to seeing that fight.
Jenna J: What has it been like working with Mayweather Promotions and Floyd Mayweather?
Badou Jack: It’s been a blessing working with Floyd, Leonard Ellerbe and the whole team, I couldn’t ask for a better promoter. I would never sign for anybody else, I’m very happy with them. They got some young fighters coming up. Right now I’m the only champion they got, but Mickey Bey is fighting for a title again and I think Ishe Smith is about to fight for the title, he’s in the WBC tournament. We got some good fighters. They just signed Sharif Bogere, he’s a good lightweight. We got some good talent.
Jenna J: Do you think Floyd Mayweather is done fighting or do you think he’s coming back?
Badou Jack: I think he may do one more. I have no idea, I haven’t talked to him about it, but it looks like one more fight.
Jenna J: If he does come back, do you think there’s any chance that he fights Manny Pacquiao again?
Badou Jack: Only for the money, he already proved he was way better. As far as making big money, yeah you can do a rematch. For a nine figure payday, it’s only Pacquiao and maybe a rematch with Canelo, or even the MMA fighter. For me it’s kind of embarrassing for boxing, but if they pay him two or three hundred million dollars to fight a guy like that, that’s an easy fight, so why not? They don’t belong in the same ring, I don’t think.
Jenna J: A lot of people were disappointed with the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight, do you think that’s more on Manny Pacquiao’s performance than on Floyd?
Badou Jack: Yeah because that’s how Floyd fights, he uses his boxing skills and his movement. Floyd didn’t do anything different than he did in his other fights. Manny Pacquiao had the excuse that he had a shoulder injury. Everything looks easy from the outside but Floyd is the better boxer, the better fighter.
Jenna J: When do you expect to be in the ring again?
Badou Jack: I think they’re working on September for the DeGale fight. I’m going to take a couple of weeks off and after that I’ll be back in the gym and start getting ready for that fight.
Jenna J: What is your prediction for your fight against James DeGale?
Badou Jack: Me winning, that’s it. It doesn’t matter if it’s a knockout, I just want a win.