Less than a month after Badou Jack won a secondary light heavyweight world title he has vacated it.
Jack sent a letter to the WBA on Saturday formally relinquishing the 175-pound “regular” title belt he won by one-sided fifth-round knockout of Welshman Nathan Cleverly on the Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor undercard on Aug. 26 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
A purse bid for Jack’s mandatory fight with interim titlist Dmitry Bivol, of Russia, was scheduled to take place on Monday.
Jack told ESPN on Monday that vacating the title after he won it was part of the contract he signed when the fight with Cleverly was made and that Mayweather and Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe have something else in the works for him.
“They’re working on something big so I just got to stay patient,” Jack said. “It was part of the agreement for us even getting the fight with Cleverly that we had to vacate it after we won.”
Jack (22-1-2, 13 KOs), 33, a Sweden native fighting out of Las Vegas, who has faced several quality opponents, said he was by no means trying to avoid a mandatory fight against Bivol (11-0, 9 KOs).
“I’m not ducking a guy who has 11 fights. Look at the guys I have fought. My promoter is looking for bigger and better things for me,” Jack said.
Jack, a former super middleweight world titleholder, vacated his title at 168 pounds after slugging his way to a draw in a unification fight with James DeGale in January in order to move up in weight. Jack has also faced Anthony Dirrell, George Groves and Lucian Bute. Now he wants to challenge light heavyweight world champion Adonis Stevenson (29-1, 24 KOs), the big puncher from Montreal.
“I’m looking forward to seeing what’s next. I’m ready for whoever’s next and the big checks,” Jack said. “I want to fight Adonis Stevenson. He’s a big name and he’s probably the biggest name in the light heavyweight division now that Andre Ward has retired. If there’s a bigger money fight give that fight to me. If it’s (former unified titleholder Sergey) Kovalev, give me him.”
Jack said whatever Mayweather Promotions has in store for him he expects to next fight either in December or in early 2018.
“I’m staying patient,” Jack said. “When Floyd promised me a light heavyweight title shot he delivered. He’s always delivered for me. My job is to train and be ready for the next fight but I want to fight the biggest and best names in the light heavyweight division.”