Super middleweight world champion Badou Jack has endured a long road on the way to his highly anticipated super middleweight world championship unification showdown against James DeGale taking place Saturday, January 14 from Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Jack comes from a unique background for a boxer but has persevered through the same struggles that professional fighters face every day. He’s faced obstacles that few are able to overcome and now, with a huge a main event looming, Jack is on the cusp of stardom.
Take a look below at some interesting facts that have led Jack to his January 14 showdown:
1. Jack was born in Sweden to a Swedish mother and Gambian father. He has six siblings — two older sisters, two younger sisters and two younger brothers.
2. He started boxing on his own curiosity and has already gotten some of his younger siblings interested in training. Professional boxing was banned in Sweden from 1969 through 2007
3. Began boxing in 2000 and took quickly to the sport before starting his international amateur career.
4. Qualified for the 2008 Olympics for Gambia. He remains the only boxer to ever represent the country in the Olympics and was the flag-bearer and one of three athletes to represent Gambia at the Beijing games.
5. Jack is the first Swedish-born man to hold a boxing world title since Armand Krajnc held a middleweight title in 2001. The only other Swedish-born world champion was Ingemar Johansson, who famously won the heavyweight world title by knocking Floyd Patterson down seven times in one round on his way to a stoppage in 1959.
6. Came to the U.S. to pursue boxing after the Olympics and first began training at Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn.
7. Was discovered by former heavyweight world champion Shannon Briggs and he temporarily moved to Miami to work with Briggs. He maintains a close relationship with Briggs today.
8. After moving to Las Vegas, Jack met Floyd Mayweather in 2012 while sparring Andre Dirrell and eventually signed with Mayweather Promotions.
9. After winning his world title in 2015, he was a finalist for the Swedish Athlete of the Year.
10. He traveled to Gambia earlier this year and last year, along with Ishe Smith, to deliver training equipment and other donations to the country.