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Jackson braced for ‘heavyweight fight’ against Mahomes as Ravens take on Chiefs

Lamar Jackson has likened his upcoming duel with Patrick Mahomes to a heavyweight fight, predicting a thrilling battle between two of the league’s best when the Baltimore Ravens host the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.

Jackson is the favourite to be named NFL MVP after leading the Ravens to their first AFC Championship game since the 2012 season, when they went on to beat the San Francisco 49ers at Super Bowl XLVII.

He produced a fine display as Baltimore made light work of a potentially tricky divisional matchup against the Houston Texans last week, guiding them to a 34-10 win after the game was tied 10-10 at the half.

Jackson threw for 152 yards and two touchdowns with no turnovers as well as rushing for two further scores, totalling 100 yards from 11 carries.

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That victory teed up this weekend’s meeting with the reigning Super Bowl champions, with Mahomes preparing to lead the Chiefs into their sixth successive AFC Championship game.

Speaking to the media on Wednesday, Jackson said viewers should brace themselves for an epic showdown between two up-and-coming greats.

Asked what he liked about competing against Mahomes, Jackson joked: “I don’t like competing against him at all!

“He’s a great quarterback, definitely a Hall of Famer, that’s a no-brainer. I believe it’s just going to be two up-and-coming greats going toe-to-toe, like a heavyweight fight. That’s how I see it.

“We can’t overlook what’s in front of us right now, at all. Those guys are the Super Bowl champions, and to be a champion, you’ve got to go through a champion. That’s pretty much our mindset.”

Jackson has previously faced Mahomes on four occasions and has a 1-3 record in those games. The Chiefs are one of just two teams he has a losing record against as a starting quarterback, also going 2-4 against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Having been able to combine Jackson’s MVP-worthy form with one of the league’s best defenses, the Ravens are viewed by many as Super Bowl favourites.

Jackson, however, is simply taking things one game at a time, saying: “The mission isn’t complete. For us to be in this situation, I didn’t put pressure on myself.

“I just take every game the same way, with the same mindset, going one play at a time. You know the saying; one play at a time, one game at a time. I don’t put pressure on myself.”

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