Sweden’s boxing ban could end

Professional boxing has been illegal in Sweden since 1970, but it could be time to start booking ringside seats after the new Martial Arts Delegation has its first meeting in Örebro today, Dagens Nyheter reports.

The delegation consists of three people: a legal expert, Petra Lundh; a medical expert, Björn Lindvall; and a board member from the Swedish Sports Confederation, Helen Wiklind Wårell. Both the boxing and the martial arts federations have appealed the inclusion of Wiklund-Wirell but she will remain on the board until further notice.

The ban on professional boxing has recently been replaced by a new law, which leaves decisions on martial arts or boxing events in the hands of the newly formed Martial Arts Delegation.

When the delegation today convenes for the first time it will decide on four applications, three of which are boxing-related.

The new law came into being in order to protect those who participate in violent sports from brain injury. As a result it is possible that professional boxing will soon be welcomed back into the Swedish sporting community, if it is seen to take the necessary precautions.

“I don’t like professional boxing the way it is now, but I hope it is allowed because it would be good for the boxers,” ringside doctor Sanna Neselius told The Local.

Neselius was once a professional boxer herself, competing primarily in Germany and Finland, and has personal experience of the medical dangers.

“I would like the rules to be changed so that it becomes more like amateur boxing, with fewer rounds and better protection,” she said.


Swedish boxer Badou Jack misses title after draw with Canada’s Adonis Stevenson

Haitian-born Canadian Adonis Stevenson retained his World Boxing Council light-heavyweight title on Saturday after fighting Sweden's Badou Jack to a majority draw in which no judge scored him a winner.

Swedish boxer Badou Jack misses title after draw with Canada's Adonis Stevenson
Badou Jack (L) punches Adonis Stevenson (R) during their WBC Light Heavyweight title fight in Toronto on Saturday. Photo: Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images/AFP
Stevenson, a 40-year-old southpaw, kept the title after two judges scored the bout 114-114 and the third saw Jack as a 115-113 winner in the title bout at Toronto. In a fight nobody lost, both fighters saw themselves as winners.
“I thought I definitely won the fight,” Jack said. “No judge had him winning.”
Stevenson's record went to 29-1-1 while Jack settled for his third career draw against 22 wins and a lone defeat.
“I feel I win the fight,” Stevenson said. “I hurt him in the body. He got slowed down. I keep pressure on him. He moved slick but I touched him more all the time. I think I win this fight.”
All three judges awarded Jack the 12th round to lift him into the draw, which could set the stage for a title rematch.
“I feel I win this fight but Badou is a good fighter, two-time world champion,” Stevenson said. “I can give him a rematch if he needs one.”
Jack is ready, but wants Stevenson to fight outside Canada for the first time since September 2011. On Twitter, the Swedish slugger set the stage for another bout against the Canadian. 
“Let's do a rematch. Let's do it in Vegas,” Jack said. “I came to his place. Now it's his turn to come to my place.”
Jack settled for a draw two fights ago in January 2017 with James DeGale and wondered if the fact he is promoted by retired unbeaten champion Floyd Mayweather played a role in his struggles to get more than draws.
“I have no idea,” Jack said. “It could be they are jealous of Floyd. I'm one of Floyd's top fighters. I don't know. I can't do anything about it. I'm not the judge. I've got to respect.”
Stevenson extended the second-longest active reign in boxing. He knocked out Chad Dawson for the crown in 2013 and since then stopped six of eight prior foes with two other victories by unanimous decision.
Stevenson, who had not fought since stopping Poland's Andrzej Fonfara last June in Montreal, dominated early but struggled late as Jack, with Mayweather at ringside cheering him on, bloodied the champion's nose in the eighth round and controled the pace to the finish.
Jack, a 2008 Olympian for his father's homeland of Gambia, owned the WBC super-middleweight crown from 2015 to 2017 and stopped Britain's Nathan Cleverly last August for the World Boxing Association crown, but relinquished the title for the chance to fight Stevenson.