Oleksandr Usyk vs Anthony Joshua II has its first undercard fight between former world champion Badou Jack and undefeated prospect Richard Rivera. Jack – who held the WBC super-middleweight strap between 2015 and 2017 – is no stranger to being a part of huge bills having featured on the undercards of Floyd Mayweather vs Conor McGregor and Mike Tyson vs Roy Jones Jr in recent years.
The Swede, now 38, is operating at cruiserweight but spent the majority of his career at super-middleweight and light-heavyweight. His opponent, Rivera is largely untested in the paid ranks and has only fought six men with winning records during his 21-fight stint.
Jack burst onto the world scene when he captured the WBC super-middleweight title from Anthony Dirrell back in 2015 at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago. He would then, retain the title against George Groves and Lucian Bute before drawing with IBF champion James DeGale in their unification bout.
Following the draw, ‘The Ripper’ moved up to light-heavyweight where he defeated Nathan Cleverly, picking up the WBA (regular) belt in the process. However, despite coming close, Jack never won a major world title at light-heavyweight as he drew with WBC champion Adonis Stevenson.
Both men were unknown quantities coming into the fight and it seems the same can be said for Rivera. ‘Popeye The Sailor Man’ is currently ranked as the 21st best light heavyweight in the world according to BoxRec and has taken fights between 175lb and 200lb with 16 of his 21 wins coming by way of knockout.
The pair will square off on August 20 at the Jeddah Superdome, Saudi Arabia. In the main event, Joshua rematches Usyk in the most highly anticipated fight of the year. The Brit will be looking to become a three-time heavyweight champion after dropping his WBA (super), IBF, and WBO titles to the Ukrainian in September on home soil.