Former two-time world champion Badou Jack relishing Dubai debut bout

The Swedish cruiserweight will take on Al Sands of the US at Motospace Dubai Investment Park on Nov. 26

In a little over two weeks, twice-world-champion Badou Jack will compete in the co-main event at the D4G Promotions boxing show, and the former two-division world champion is looking forward to performing in front of a Dubai crowd for the first time in his career.

Jack is part of a strong card, which also includes the likes of British fighters Ohara Davies and Rocky Fielding, along with Bader Samreen, a 21-year-old Jordanian who is widely regarded as one of the most promising young talents in the MENA region, and Pakistan’s Muhammad Waseem. The event will be held at Motospace Dubai Investment Park on Saturday Nov. 26.

Jack’s opponent in the cruiserweight bout will be Al Sands, from the US, and almost six months after his previous fight, a straightforward knockout victory over Dervin Colina, he is raring to go, particularly with the showdown taking place in a city that he has a strong affiliation with.

“My training camp has been going really well, I feel great and I’m already in good shape,” explains the 38-year-old. “I can’t wait for the fight, especially given the fact it’s in Dubai, which is like my second home. I actually lived in Dubai for a couple of months before moving back to the US, so I’m looking forward to performing there.

“I promoted a show through my company, Badou Jack Promotions, a couple of years ago, but this will be the first time I’ve actually fought in Dubai myself. I’m an international boxer; I’m from Sweden, I have roots in Africa and Gambia, I’m a Muslim, my wife is Middle Eastern and I live in the US. This is the middle of the world, so it’s perfect.”

Having started his professional career in his native Sweden, Stockholm-born Jack’s quality was apparent very early on and, after meeting Shannon Briggs, he moved to the US to train with the former world heavyweight champion, before being spotted by another boxing legend, Floyd Mayweather, and signed to his stable.

It was from that point his career took off, with Jack defeating Anthony Dirrell in 2015 to become the WBC super middleweight champion. The WBA light heavyweight title followed in 2017 when he overcame Nathan Cleverly, with the Welshman announcing his retirement soon after the fight.

While those particular achievements will always be a huge source of pride for Jack, however, his immediate focus is on the upcoming bout against Sands.

“I’ve fought eight world champions back-to-back in my career and I’m confident in my ability and my skills,” he says.

“With the way I train and prepare, I’m ready for anyone. I have so much experience so I can adjust regardless of my opponent.

“Boxing in Dubai, and the UAE, is getting bigger and bigger. There seems to be great fights almost every weekend right now so it’s a little different from when I was promoting a show there two years ago.

“It’s definitely growing. Even with guys from YouTube now getting involved in the sport, it can help to educate people who don’t necessarily know too much about boxing.”

Despite the fact he is 38 and approaching what some might describe as the twilight of his career, Jack still has plenty more to give. And such is his passion for the sport, his work within boxing also extends to outside the ring.

“Becoming a two-division world champion is obviously a huge achievement but I’m not done yet, I’m aiming to become a three-division champion,” he said.

“I fight for my fans, my family and my kids. I’m a Muslim so my faith helps me to be strong and I just love boxing.

“Now I’m also working in promoting with my company, Badou Jack Promotions. We’re happy to work with anybody, whether it’s Probellum, Mayweather Promotions, Mike Tyson, and I’m thankful for everybody who has helped me in my career.”

By Arab News

09 November 2021

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