Badou Jack stopped Ilunga Makabu
Badou Jack stopped Ilunga Makabu in the twelfth and final round to capture the WBC cruiserweight title. The co-main event of Jake Paul vs Tommy Fury certainly impressed as both laid it all on the line.
Jack started the contest well, probing with his jab and backing up the WBC champion with measured straight punches. Not too much was landed of note in the cagey opener, but the Swede had the better moments.
Makabu, who has been largely inactive since picking up the green belt in 2020, plodded forward with slow telegraphed shots but upped the intensity in the final few seconds, landing a couple of sharp hooks and uppercuts to nick the second.
In the third, Makabu began to find his rhythm, halting Jack’s advances with stiff straight shots to the body. Jack began to set up the right uppercut as his adversary dipped low but was ultimately overwhelmed by the Congolese boxer’s tempo.
BADOU JACK IS A THREE WEIGHT WORLD CHAMPION! ������������
He stops Ilunga Makabu in the 12th round! ������#PaulFury | BT Sport Box Office ▶️ https://t.co/3OyKxNePSD pic.twitter.com/s5JhVH6aJw— Boxing on BT Sport ������ (@BTSportBoxing) February 26, 2023
At the quarter-way mark, Makabu took his foot off the gas momentarily allowing Jack to get a foothold back in the contest. Landing a huge right hand, Makabu was sent tumbling to the canvas as he squared up his hips following a wayward backhand of his own. 10-8 Jack.
Both men holding their feet exchanged heavy blows in the centre of the ring. Jack found success with the naked right hand while Makabu landed a thudding jab regularly.
Lighter on his feet in the sixth, Jack began to make Makabu miss with educated half steps. However, the Swede didn’t take advantage of the openings and was outworked for the entire three minutes.
Badou Jack became a three-weight world champion
Back to holding his feet again, Jack opened up the seventh with a couple of sharp 1-2s. Makabu responded with well-timed shots to the body. Jack then shelled up and responded with reactive counters, confidence always building.
By round eight it was clear Makabu was tiring but found further success as he bit down on his gumshield and backed Jack up against the ropes. With success came a second wind in round nine with the WBC champion pounding away with clubbing hooks that made their way around Jack’s guard.
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But just as it seemed Makabu was taking control of the contest, Jack hurt the champion with a couple of hard right hands in round ten. Makabu responded well with strong flurries but again Jack poured on the pressure finding a home for his left hook and left uppercut that buckled Makabu’s knees.
At the start of round eleven, Jack dropped Makabu again with a chopping right hand. Sensing victory, Jack poured on the pressure and hurt Makabu with a straight right to the body. The most dominant round of the fight so far. 10-8 Jack again.
In the final round, Jack came out looking for the finish and quickly staggered Makabu with another right hand before pouncing on his foe with a vicious flurry as the referee stepped in.
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