FORMER WBC super-middleweight champion Badou Jack bit back at Nathan Cleverly’s claims that the jump to light-heavyweight will be too much. Jack moves up to the 175lb division to challenge Cleverly on the Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor undercard after defeating George Groves and holding James DeGale to a draw, and suggested the Welshman is inferior to both of them.

“Cleverly’s bigger,” Jack told Boxing News. “Skill-wise, Groves and DeGale are better, but styles make fights: you never known, he’s a bigger guy. I haven’t fought him yet so I can only speak about DeGale and Groves, but they’re similar. DeGale’s probably more athletic Groves, and has better wins than Groves.”

Badou Jack

Jack is favourite to take Cleverly’s secondary WBA light-heavyweight title inside the T-Mobile Arena, but this will not be his first step into the division having campaigned there earlier in his career. And once he’s done in this division, 33-year-old Jack insisted that even the cruiserweight class would not be out of his reach.

“I’m not overlooking Nathan Cleverly,” Jack explained. “I’m just getting comfortable at this weight and I’m going to be focused on performing on fight night. If all goes well though, I could see myself finishing my career at cruiserweight someday.

“I’ve been fighting big, strong guys since Cleverly was a teenager. We’ll see who is the stronger man when we’re in the ring on Saturday.”

Jack was a revelation at 168lbs after upsetting Anthony Dirrell in 2015 to take the title. He insisted he will carry his strength and stamina into his new division.

“I’ve got great stamina in there. I’m never going to get tired. I train hard for this. Every punch in a fight is important. We have a great gameplan and we’re going to execute it.

“I want to fight the best. I have the skills to beat anyone. If they say I can’t beat someone, that’s the fight I want the most. The one who’s got the skills and who they say I can’t beat. I want a tough challenge. I don’t want an easy fight.”