Ilunga Makabu vs Badou Jack Set In Motion
Ilunga “Junior” Makabu (29-2, 25 KOs) will make the third defense of the WBC cruiserweight title against #3 ranked contender Badou “The Ripper” Jack (27-3-3, 16 KOs) on February 26 in Riyadh, Saudia Arabia. This match was announced by WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman and will air live on ESPN+.
The defending champion captured the then-vacant WBC strap with a unanimous decision win over Michal Cieslak in January 2020. At one point, he was expected to face undisputed super middleweight champ Canelo Alvarez. However, in his last performance, Makabu was less than impressive in a split-decision win over Thabiso Mchunu which effectively destroyed those talks.
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Jack has held world titles at super middleweight and light heavyweight. He made the jump to cruiserweight in 2021. Currently ranked in the top ten by all four sanctioning bodies, The Ripper comes into this contest off a split-decision victory over Richard Rivera in August 2022.
NO SPRING CHICKENS
The 35-year-old Makabu is one of the hardest punchers in the division. Although, he’s also one of the more vulnerable world champions in the sport. His defense is leaky and he’s been hurt numerous times during his career.
At his best, Jack is a well-rounded fighter with an excellent jab and a savage body puncher. However, the 39-year-old is past his prime. He looked old, slow and out-of-shape during the win over Rivera, which contributed to his struggle victory.
Makabu vs Jack may come down to who has more left in the tank!
By: Michael Wilson Jr.