John Dennen speaks to new super-middleweight world champion Badou Jack in Las Vegas
Was the Anthony Dirrell fight [to win the WBC super-middleweight title] easier than you expected it to be?
No fight is easy but I felt really good and we did what we had to do to get the victory. I wanted a knockout but it was hard. [Click HERE to read our ringside account]
At the weigh-in the day before his supporters started rushing at you, why were you so calm? [Click HERE to see our footage]
Even though people were talking trash they wanted to get in my head so I lose my focus. You’ve always got to stay focused no matter what. You can’t lose your head in the biggest fight of your career. If after the fight they come talk s***, that’s another story. I’ve got to be professional and stay calm.
He went too far but he couldn’t back it up in the real fight… He did that for show, trying to sell the fight, trying to get into my head but it didn’t work.
He knew he was in a real fight. I think he was kind of nervous. That’s why he did it. I was always calm. I believe in my condition. I believe in my skills. I knew what I could do.
He started well, what were the keys to winning the fight for you?
Anybody can start fast. Even people here that’s not even a real fighter, they have one round in them. Everybody can start fast. But in a 12 round fight, you’ve got to pace yourself, you’ve got to fight for 12 rounds, not just for one or two rounds.
Was your training camp different to what you’ve done in the past?
I had a new strength and conditioning coach [Memo Heredia]. We did a lot of exercises, swimming, running in the mountains, a little bit of weights, medicine balls, explosive training. I was in perfect shape. I also didn’t have any injuries or distractions during camp.
What’s it like in the Mayweather gym?
When I train, I train early so it’s just me by myself. Close to when Floyd trains there’s too many people there. I like my privacy.
Did you see much of how Floyd was preparing for the Manny Pacquiao fight?
Not too much, I’ve seen him work out four, five, six times and on the Saturday after my fight. He looked really good. That was the last time he sparred… He looked like a beast. Throwing hard punches. It was a pleasure to watch.
Are you expecting George Groves to be next for you?
I think so. I’m not sure. He’s the mandatory challenger. I don’t know if we’re going to fight him or if we’ve got to get a rematch. Whoever’s next I’ll be ready.
Would you like to fight Groves next?
I’d love to fight him. He’s a big name in Europe, I’m from Europe [Sweden]. That’s a winnable fight for me too. I want to test my skills against the best in the world and he’s one of them, at least top five, top 10 in my weight class. So why not?
He seems to be a little bit of a front runner. Same like Dirrell. But I expect him to be a little bit better than Dirrell. We have to wait and see. Styles make fights so you never know.
Would you like to fight him in the UK, in Europe or in America?
Right here, where we stand, at the MGM Grand. Maybe on Floyd’s undercard in September.
What do you want to do in the long run?
To unify the titles and make a lot of money and make history and make my fans and my family proud.
What did it mean to you when you won the title?
It means everything. I’m half Gambian, I’m the first boxer ever from that country [to win a world title], it means everything. I think I’m the third or fourth world champion from Sweden. It was an amazing feeling.