By Lem Satterfield
A deal is close for two-division champion Badou Jack to face unbeaten southpaw Marcus Browne in a 175-pound undercard bout to a WBA “regular” welterweight title defense by Manny Pacquiao against four-division title-winner Adrien Broner on January 19 at The MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Showtime Pay-Per-View, according to a report from RingTV.com.
Earlier this month, Jack (22-1-2, 13 KOs) confirmed to BoxingScene.com a return “as early as January,” desiring to “be more active,” with “Sir” Marcus Browne (21-0, 16 KOs) being “a consideration.”
“It looks like my next fight won’t be against another champion,” said Jack, a 35-year-old nicknamed “The Ripper” who was born on Halloween in Sweden. “I want to be more active, fighting three or four times a year.”
Browne also expressed interest in fighting Jack to BoxingScene.com, having registered a combined five knockdowns over three straight stoppage wins during an 11-month period ending in January.
“[Jack’s] ahead of me, and I don’t wanna fight anybody who is behind me. If I’m what they claim I am in the boxing world, then he’s a person I should fight. [Jack] responded to me on Instagram saying he wanted to fight,” said the 6-foot-1½ Browne, whose 28th birthday was on November 10.
“He’s not busy, I’m not busy, and the champions have other fights. So I feel like I’m in a great position, and I’m waiting for Badou Jack to step up to the plate. I can’t wait to fight him and beat his ass. [Jack’s] performance against Stevenson was solid. I don’t really see anything special about him, but at the end of the day, he’s a two-time world champion and a solid name. I want to beat him before going after the champions in no particular order.”
Jack is 6-0-2 with two knockouts since being stopped in 61 seconds by Derek Edwards in February 2014, and 4-0-2, with one stoppage victory in his past six fights, all of which were title bouts.
In his last fight in May, Jack battled through a grueling, toe-to-toe draw with left-handed WBC champion Adonis Stevenson (29-1-1, 24 KOs), a 41-year-old whose ninth defense happened before his partisan fans at Air Canada Center in Toronto, Canada.
In his last four 168-pound bouts, Jack dethroned switch-hitting, previously unbeaten WBC champ Anthony Dirrell (April 2015) before defending his crown by split-decision over former titleholder George Groves (September 2015), disqualification against left-handed ex-titlist Lucian Bute (April 2016), and battling to a unification draw with ambidextrous IBF counterpart James DeGale (January 2016).
Jack then relinquished his super middleweight world championship to dethrone Nathan Cleverly as 175-pound titleholder in August 2017 by fifth-round knockout before vacating to challenge Stevenson.
A Staten Island native and 2012 U.S. Olympian, Browne’s last fight in August was a unanimous decision over Lenin Castillo, whose previous record of 18-1-1 (13 KOs) included three consecutive knockouts.
Browne’s rise began last year with KO victories over left-handed title challenger Thomas Williams Jr. and previously unbeaten Seanie Monaghan in the sixth and second rounds.
In January, Browne’s first-round stoppage of Francy Ntetu at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center improved his mark to 12-0 with eight knockouts at the New York venue.