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Badou Jack dismisses negativity ahead of first fight since gruesome cut

·Combat columnist
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JANUARY 18:  Badou Jack poses on the scale during his official weigh-in at MGM Grand Garden Arena on January 18, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Jack will face Marcus Browne for the interim WBA light heavyweight title on January 19 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Badou Jack estimates it took 75 stitches to close the cut he suffered in his last bout against Marcus Brown in January. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Badou Jack has been one of the best fighters of his era, an entertaining and competitive fighter who has held world titles in two weight classes and on Saturday in Atlanta, will look to become a two-time light heavyweight champion when he meets Jean Pascal in a bout on Showtime.

As good as he is as a fighter, he’s even better as a man. His charitable works are extensive and you’d struggle to meet someone to say so much as a cross word about him.

But despite that, Jack may well be best known for the picture that emerged of his face following his unanimous decision loss to Marcus Browne in January. Speaking of the man Jack is, he had dedicated that bout to refugee children around the world.

Jack suffered a gash on his forehead after a clash of heads with Browne that left a wound that looked like a lightning bolt. It bled relentlessly and combined with his sweat, made him look like the legendary former wrestler Abdullah the Butcher used to appear following many of his matches.

He tweeted a close-up photo of the wound, which looked wide enough and deep enough to hide a quarter in.

He isn’t sure how many stitches it took to close it, but he estimates it was 75 since there were 25 on the outside and he was told by his doctor it was repaired in three layers. The scar goes from nearly his hairline down to the top portion of his nose.

Jack will fight for the first time since that injury and shrugged off any negativity or concern.

“I don’t even think of it unless I’m asked about it,” Jack told Yahoo Sports. “I was cleared by my doctor in Vegas at the end of March, so I’ve been good for a while. To be honest, I think my scar is tougher than my regular skin, so if I’m going to get cut, it’s probably going to be someplace else.”

Badou Jack, left, fights Marcus Browne in the WBA interim light heavyweight title boxing bout on Jan. 19, 2019, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Badou Jack, left, fights Marcus Browne in the WBA interim light heavyweight title boxing bout on Jan. 19, 2019, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

Jack, who said he is considering a move to cruiserweight next year, conceded he wasn’t at his best in his fight with Browne, but wasn’t about to heap too much praise on the 2012 U.S. Olympian.

Jack said he couldn’t see from the time of the cut on, but he still managed to make it to the finish line.

“Obviously, he won the fight,” Jack said. “But if you have a guy who is pouring blood all over his face and he can’t see ... it was like fighting a guy with only one hand. There’s not a lot of challenge in that. But he won and it is what it is, and that’s in the past. I put it behind me right away and I’m ready to move forward.”

Jack said he’d texted promoter Floyd Mayweather and told him he wanted to fight the winner of Browne against Pascal. Browne was a favorite, but Pascal dropped him three times and won a technical decision after eight rounds.

That win ended the notion that Pascal had come to the end of the line, and stands as one of 2019’s most significant upsets.

Jack said he’s prepared to once again hold a light heavyweight belt and isn’t expecting to donate another pint or so of his blood in the process.

“People may have written him off, but I’m too smart to do that,” Jack said. “I know he’s dangerous and he’s got a lot of experience. I just have to be myself, fight smart and take advantage of what I see. I believe in my skills and the last time out, it was just one of those nights that happen. I have respect for [Pascal] for the fighter he is and what he has done, but believe I’ll show myself in this fight.”

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