Adonis Stevenson and Badou Jack fight to majority draw

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Highly-competitive contest gave fans in Canada plenty of reason to cheer, just not a conclusive ending.

It was a slow burner of a fight Saturday night, but once things heated up between Adonis Stevenson and Badou Jack at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, there were no lulls.

At the end of twelve rounds of their Showtime-televised main event, two 114-114 scores from Italy's Guido Cavalleri and Buffalo's Eric Marlinski overruled a 115-113 of Plano, Texas’ Jesse Reyes’ score in favor of Jack—rendering the bout a majority draw. Stevenson (29-1-1, 24 knockouts) retains his WBC light heavyweight title with the result. Though neither guy officially got the win, neither fighter looked the loser after their performances.

Stevenson built an early lead by simply being busier than Jack (22-1-3, 13 KOs). He did some great work to the body, and his game-changing power made it seem like Jack was hesitant to mix it up.

For Jack, it's a staggering fourth draw in 26 fights. The former two-division titleholder got off to a slow start against Stevenson, perhaps as a trap to setup his 40-year-old opponent for a quicker pace in the second half. It nearly worked, as Jack rocked Stevenson a number of times with big right hands down the stretch.

Jack was warned multiple times for straying south of the border with his body shots, and in the eighth referee Ian John Lewis called time and let Stevenson recover from a low blow. Stevenson was able to get away with holding on for dear life for much of the second half of the fight. Neither fighter lost a point.

The championship rounds were fought at a torrid pace, with Stevenson hurting Jack in the final minute of the 10th with a body shot. He tried going back to the body in the 11th but Jack was able to turn things around. The 12th round was dramatic and in the final seconds of the 12th, Stevenson seemed to barely hold on as blood came pouring out of his nose. At the end of it, both fighters had a strong case to be made they were the winner.

“I went to the body and saw that he was fatigued,” said Stevenson, who moves to 9-0-1 in world title fights. “I had to keep the pressure on him. He’s a slick fighter, a two-time world champion but I felt I won the fight.”

He’s a slick fighter, a two-time world champion but I felt I won the fight. WBC light heavyweight World Champ Adonis Stevenson

Jack felt similarly, and came to an odd conclusion on why he’s found himself at the end of so many draws.

“I thought I definitely won the fight,” added Jack. “No judge had him winning. I have no idea why I can’t get a decision. It could be that they’re jealous of Floyd and don’t like him. I’m one of his top fighters. I can’t do anything about it. I’m not the judge. I have to respect their decision."

When Gray pressed Jack about whether giving away the early rounds is what ended up costing him the fight, Jack sounded a bit incredulous.

“Gave away?” Jack asked. “He didn't really hit me either. Nothing happened. It is what it is, let’s get a rematch.”

The fight was a bit lackluster in the early goings but the second half of the fight definitely begs for there to be a rematch. Both guys seemed optimistic about the idea, with Jack hoping that the fight could take place in Las Vegas the second time around.

The fight also helped restore some credibility to Stevenson, who has been dogged for much of the last few years for failing to stay active and fighting mostly modest opposition when he did step into the ring. At 40 years old, it's pretty impressive to see him still fight at this level, and though he didn't get the win, he handled his six years younger opponent well.

Jack can also hold his held up high and should be in line for another title opportunity in his next fight whether it's against Stevenson or not. With Sergey Kovalev facing Eleider Alvarez in August, Dmitry Bivol and Artur Beterbiev remain the other beltholders and Jack would be either of those fighters’ biggests tests yet.

For a complete look at Stevenson vs Jack, check out our fight page.

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