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8CN Interview: Badou Jack Talks Upcoming Fight in Las Vegas

David Hopper of 8CN caught up with undefeated super middleweight Badou Jack (15-0, 10 KOs). Born and raised in Sweden, the 29-year-old fights out of Las Vegas and is signed with Mayweather Promotions. Jack will fight for the NABF super middleweight title against Marco Antonio Periban on Sept. 12 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The card, which also features the rematch between Shawn Porter and Julio Diaz and Hugo Centeno Jr. vs. Julian Williams, will be televised on Fox Sports 2. 

DH: How’s training camp going? 

BJ: Real good, I’ve been sparring with some guys from the Money Team. Ronald Gavril and a new guy Andrew Tabiti, a cruiserweight that just signed with Floyd. Everything is going great. 

DH: Are you still training with Eddie Mustafa Muhammad at the Mayweather Gym? 

BJ: Yes, at the Mayweather Boxing Gym. 

DH: In your last fight in July you fought your first 10-rounder against Farah Ennis. You won by unanimous decision. How was your conditioning in that fight? Did you get fatigued at all in the later rounds? 

BJ: No, not at all. That was an easy fight. 

DH: In your fight with Ennis you established the jab early and used it effectively throughout the fight. After the fourth round, your trainer told you that would be the key to victory, and he was right. Talk about the role the jab plays in your arsenal. 

BJ: My jab is my best punch. It plays a big role. Even though a lot of people say he (Ennis) was scared and felt my power, but even if he wanted to do something he couldn’t because my jab was beating him up. 

DH: You say your jab is your best punch, but many observers have commented on your bodywork. You’ve knocked out fighters with body shots. Is that always the game plan going in, to work the body? Do you plan to do that against Marco Antonio Periban on September 12? 

BJ: Yeah, I always do that with all my opponents. But with the awkward guys you can’t always do it. You have to have a Plan B. Like in the [Alexander] Brand fight, he didn’t want to fight. And the other guy, Ennis, didn’t want to fight. It’s hard sometimes. This is a Mexican guy. I know he’s not a typical Mexican guy. He can box too. It’s going to be an exciting fight. 

DH: Last time I spoke with you, you were gearing up for your fight with Alexander Brand. You won a close split decision over Brand. He had a very strange, awkward fighting style. He would throw wild punches from many angles and he would sometimes taunt you with his hands down. What was it like fighting him and would you say that was your toughest fight so far? 

BJ: I don’t know if it was the toughest fight, maybe one of the toughest. I had a bad night. We could do a rematch anytime and I would knock him out. That wasn’t me that night. He’s not a bad fighter but he’s not on my level. On that night he was. It was close. It could have gone either way. 

DH: You are signed with Mayweather Promotions. When did you sign with Mayweather and why did you choose to sign with him? 

BJ: I signed with him in December or January. Floyd always liked me. He would always give me the dibs in sparring. He asked what he had to do to get me on the team. I said, ‘You have to buy me out from my other contract.’ He said, ‘Alright, done deal. I’ll do it Monday.’ It was a done deal. 

DH: Are you going to have a certain number of fights as part of your contract with Mayweather? 

BJ: We have a three-year contract with him. 

DH: Periban is coming off his first and only pro loss to Sakio Bika in an action-packed brawl. Periban thought he was robbed. What were your thoughts on that fight and whom did you feel won? 

BJ: It was close, but I think Bika landed the cleaner shots. Periban is a better boxer, but I think he tried to slug too much. He has too much fight. He’s a Mexican. If he were to outbox him, he would have won. It was a good fight for the fans. 

DH: Do you feel your fight with Periban will be a good one for the fans? 

BJ: Yeah, he’s not going to be like my last opponent, just trying to survive. He’s a Mexican so he’s going to come to fight and that will be better for me. 

DH: What do you see in Periban as a fighter and what do you expect from him? 

BJ: I’m expecting a tough fight. I’m ready for war. That’s what they said about the last fight. They said it would be a tough fight and every round would be close. And I won every round. Who knows? Because he’s coming forward and he’s trying to bang. That will be better for me. I expect a tough fight but it might be easy. 

DH: This fight will be for the NABF super middleweight title, is that right? 

BJ: Yes. 

DH: Does knowing that it will be for a title give you an extra push in training? 

BJ: Yeah, Leonard Ellerbe called me the other day and told me about it. It gives me an extra push. It’s not a world title but it’s a North American title. That’s my first title. 

DH: Have you become friends with Mike Tyson? I have seen you two together several times. 

BJ: Yeah, I met him at the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame dinner. 

DH: I remember he walked out to the ring with you before one of your fights. 

BJ: It was the Brand fight. 

DH: Has Tyson given you any boxing advice? 

BJ: Yeah, every time he tells me I’ve got to move my head. Be smart. He always says that the smarter fighter lasts longer. The tough guys, they don’t last long. And he’s one of the toughest fighters in the world. It’s weird to hear something like that from him. 

DH: The fight with Periban will be televised on Fox Sports 2. You have, of course, fought on Showtime several times. What has the TV exposure done for your career in terms of your popularity. 

BJ: Yeah, I’m really thankful to Showtime for giving me that opportunity. It’s because of Floyd. He’s giving all of his fighters opportunities. Ishe Smith hadn’t had a fight in 18 months. Everyone was saying no to him. Floyd gave him two fights and then he fought for the world title. Now he’s world champion. I was supposed to be on the main [Mayweather-Alvarez] card on the 14th but now I’m the co-main event on Fox Sports so that’s good. 

DH: Shawn Porter will have his rematch with Julio Diaz on that card, and Hugo Centeno Jr. will fight Julian Williams. Do you expect those fights to be good? 

BJ: Yeah, Shawn Porter is training in my gym so I know him a little bit. That will be a good fight. The whole week is going to be a great week of boxing. 

DH: Do you plan on attending the Mayweather-Alvarez fight? 

BJ: Yeah, of course, I’ll be in the dressing room with everybody. My whole team is fighting. 

DH: Do you expect another dominant performance from Mayweather? 

BJ: Yeah, I think so. Canelo is a great fighter, but Floyd is looking real good in training camp. I think his experience and boxing skills will win the fight. 

DH: A lot of people are looking forward to the Danny Garcia-Lucas Matthysee fight. Who are you picking in that one? 

BJ: Lucas Matthysee, I think he will win. But you can’t count out a puncher like Danny Garcia. He’s a world champion for a reason. That will be a real good fight. It’s a 50/50 fight. 

DH: Anything you’d like to add or say to your fans? 

BJ: Thanks for supporting me and tune in to Fox Sports on September 12. My Twitter and Instagram is @BadouJack.

August 26, 2013

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