Bivol Claims Money, Not Fear Is Why Jack Won’t Fight him
WBA light heavyweight champion, Dimitry Bivol figures Badou Jack isn’t afraid of him, but doesn’t think it makes financial sense to move forward with a high-risk, low-reward fight against him. Jack drew criticism for vacating the WBA light heavyweight title only four weeks after he won it by knocking out Nathan Cleverly on the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Conor McGregor undercard August 26 in Las Vegas.
The WBA recognized three light heavyweight champions when Jack took its world 175-pound championship from Cleverly. Bivol was the WBA’s interim champion and Andre Ward was its undisputed champion in the division.
In September, Ward retired from the sport which allowed the WBA to elevate Bivol from interim to world champion following Jack relinquishing his championship right after Ward announced his retirement. A WBA purse bid for a Bivol-Jack clash was scheduled for September 25, two days before Jack announced he had given up the title.
“I didn’t think [Jack] was concentrating on the fight itself [against me],” Bivol said through a translator Saturday night at Madison Square Garden.
“He wasn’t looking at it as a good fight or a bad fight. He was looking at it financially as well. There was nothing he was gonna gain from it. I didn’t think that he was a coward or didn’t wanna fight me. He just decided not to take a risk.”
Jack , also a former WBC super middleweight champion, wants to fight WBC light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson because he would make more money for that higher-profile fight, especially if he travels to Quebec to challenge Stevenson. The 40-year-old Stevenson still has to make an overdue mandatory defense against Colombia’s Eleider Alvarez, which could temporarily take away that option from Jack.
Regardless, Bivol suspected immediately after Jack knocked out Cleverly n the fifth round three months ago that Jack wouldn’t fight him.
“I thought there was a 40-percent chance that something was not gonna go right,” Bivol said.
“He didn’t mention my name, he didn’t say he wants to fight me. He just kind of never mentioned me at all, so I didn’t assume that the fight was gonna happen.”