We go over what happened in the two main fights of the Premier Boxing Champions event that took place last Saturday at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia.
Jean-Pascal vs. Badou Jack Recap
Jean-Pascal (35-6-1, 20 KOs) survived a late scare and won a controversial split decision over two-division champion Badou Jack (22-3-3, 13 KOs) in an exciting fight, retaining his WBA and WBC silver light heavyweight titles.
The scores were 114-112 for Jack, 114-112 for Pascal and 114-112 for Pascal.
It was a terrific back-and-forth bout. Jack dropped Pascal in the 12th round and had time to finish him off but Pascal’s durability was on full display, as he fought his heart out until the end.
“I won this fight. It was a close fight,” Pascal told Jim Gray after the fight. “Badou’s a great fighter, but nobody can say it was a robbery. It was a close fight, it was a split decision. But I definitely won that fight because I’m the champ.”
Pascal once again stressed that he definitely deserved the win.
“I think I was in control the whole fight,” he added. “I kept control of the middle of the ring most of the time. Badou Jack is a great fighter, but I won the fight.”
Jack disagreed, as expected, but didn’t complain. “I don’t know, I felt I won the fight,” he said. “But this is my brother, Pascal, he’s got a great chin. Maybe he was the better man tonight. I don’t know. I thought I was winning, but maybe I’m wrong. I would love a rematch.”
This is what Jack said when asked if he’d do a rematch: “Any time.”
The boxing odds at SBR favored Jack this time. Pascal was available at between +217 and +230 at the online sportsbooks monitored by SBR Odds. Would Pascal still be the underdog in a potential rematch?
Gervonta Davis vs. Yuriorkis Gamboa Recap
Gervonta Davis made his lightweight debut and while it wasn’t the most impressive performance from him, he did drop Yuriorkis Gamboa three times to earn a one-sided win via 12th round stoppage and become the new World Boxing Association World Light champion.
Davis (23-0, 22 KOs) was fighting what many considered a weak opponent in Gamboa (30-3, 18 KOs), which is why he was favored to win the fight from -1450 to -3000, depending on the line you shopped.
Davis did struggle with his stamina, he faded a bit, though he clearly won most of the rounds in the fight. You could see the 25-year-old breathing hard as the fight went to distance. He probably wasn’t expecting it to go so far but he still extended his knockout streak to 15 while remaining undefeated.
When “Tank” Davis dropped Gamboa in the second round, it seemed that the fight would end early, particularly because Gamboa complained to his corner that he was not able to walk. He looked down at his leg immediately after he got dropped.
Apparently Gamboa’s shoe sort of exploded on him and he had to wrap it up with tape after the fifth round. However, once the fight ended Gamboa said he suspected he’d ruptured his Achilles tendon.
“I think I ruptured my Achilles tendon,” he said through a translator. “I’m a warrior and I kept going, but as soon as I felt it, I knew it was ruptured. I can’t put pressure on it. I wanted to keep going, I’m a warrior.”
The 38-year-old did his best considering that he was unable to put much weight on the leg and sit down on his punches. That said, even at full strength he was not expected to last and the problems he had with the shoe or leg or both clearly did not help him.
In the fifth round, Davis gave him some brutal shots and in the eight he was dropped again. Gamboa would then be knocked down in the 12th round, with 1:17 left in the fight.
“He’s a vet. I was catching him, I was hurting him, but he still was alert,” Gervonta Davis said after the fight. “He was different from any opponent I’d fought before. I knew he was a great opponent. I believe my performance tonight was a C+.”
When asked about the troubles he had making weight on Friday, Davis said: “I blame myself, I don’t blame nobody around me.”
Regarding future fights with top lightweights, including Vasiliy Lomachenko, Davis told Jim Gray: “I’m the top dog. There’s no safety on this glock, so bring ‘em on.”
As for Gamboa, he won’t be hanging up the gloves any time soon: “I’m going to keep going,” the Cuban added. “135 is my weight, I want to stay here.”