Badou Jack won a world title in a third weight class today, scoring a minor but notable upset over Ilunga Junior Makabu to take the WBC cruiserweight title on the Jake Paul vs Tommy Fury undercard in Saudi Arabia.
Jack got the stoppage at 0:54 of the 12th and final round, with referee Mark Lyson stepping in during a barrage from the challenger, who was surely well ahead on the score cards.
Jack (28-3-3, 17 KO) had easily the best cruiserweight performance of his career at age 39, with the 35-year-old Makabu (29-3, 25 KO) frankly looking like the older, slower, more shopworn fighter.
Jack, who also won world titles at 168 and 175 lbs, had questions about how well he’d take proper cruiserweight power, but Makabu was the one struggling to take shots. He was down in the fourth round (somewhat questionably) and again in the 11th, and was badly staggered again in round 12 before Lyson stepped in to rightly stop the fight.
It’s a huge win for Jack, obviously, and another achievement in what has been a damn fine career overall.
“I was standing there too much. (My trainer) told me to box and move. That’s not really my style,” Jack said after the win. “I mean, box, yeah, but I like to come forward and fight. Makabu is a hell of a fighter. He’s an African brother of mine, we used to be training partners. He’s still my brother.”
There was a lot of speculation during the fight from other fighters on social media that fellow cruiserweights would be champing at the bit to get in there with the winner of this fight, and probably so, yes, because Jack still has questions at cruiser given his age and all that, he’s clearly not in peak form, but he’s still a fine, well-rounded fighter, and he got the job done in a big way in this fight. You can only congratulate him on upsetting the odds once again.
Makabu vs Jack highlights
More results and highlights
- Ziyad Almaayouf UD-4 Ronnald Martinez: Not an easy fight for local favorite Almaayouf, but he goes to 2-0 (1 KO) and deserved it. Martinez (3-2-1, 0 KO) scored a first round knockdown when Almaayouf walked onto a hard right hand, but Almaayouf won the next three rounds fairly clearly to edge it 38-37 on all three cards. Easy fight to score.
- Muhsin Cason RTD-1 Taryel Jafarov: Before this fight, Jafarov’s most notable bout was an RTD-1 loss to Olanrewaju Durodola, where Durodola dropped him twice and Jafarov didn’t come out for round two. Here, Cason (11-0, 8 KO) dropped Jafarov (18-6, 17 KO) once, and Jafarov claimed injury and didn’t come out for round two. Thrilling stuff. Jafarov’s has one of the paperiest paper records you’ll see in the world right now. He was dropped on the first punch of the fight and then survived for the rest of the three minutes.
- Bader Samreen TKO-1 Viorel Simion: 86-second fight. Samreen (8-0, 7 KO) is a prospect from Jordan, fighting at 140 lbs, not a blue chipper but has some upside. Simion (23-10, 9 KO) is just a veteran guy who goes and loses between 126 and 140 now, he’s 41 years old, but this was so quick because he did come to fight. He could come and waltz around, hold, frustrate, whatever, but he does try to fight. And that got him dropped and stopped.