Daniel Jacobs belongs in any discussion among boxing’s elite.
He proved as much, even in defeat, when he battled Gennady Golovkin in March.
Jacobs was a major underdog, and given his knockout loss to Dmitry Pirog seven years ago, the general sentiment called for a GGG finish inside the distance.
Sure, enough, it appeared that was exactly what was coming after a Golovkin combination sent Jacobs crashing to the canvas in Round 4.
But Jacobs (32-2, 29 knockouts) weathered the storm and proved that he can not only absorb a punch, but also that he deserves another crack at the sport’s elite.
That won’t take place Saturday when he faces contender Luis Arias. Jacobs will have to wait for such an opportunity.
The fight does represent a new beginning for the Brooklynite. It’s Jacobs’ first venture under his new deal with HBO, and also with British promoter Eddie Hearn, who is breaking ground in the U.S. with this, Matchroom Sport’s first show on American soil (on Long Island, New York).
“When you think of the success that Anthony Joshua has had over in the UK, I think (Hearn) coming to America and making the same success, it would be that much easier because of the experience that he has,” said Jacobs, 30. “If I can get on the train at the first stop with nobody on it, for the ride, I think I am in a great position.
“HBO is backing me as well, so I think it’s a dream come true to have the best manager, promoter and network, to have the best team with the potential to make me a superstar that is backing me.”
He should be a star. He owns the look, the charisma and the back story. No can take that away from Jacobs after he battled osteosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer, and not only returned to boxing, but found his best success following the disease.
Now on the heels of his career-best performance, Jacobs need to keep winning, and look good doing so. In Arias, he faces a young, hungry fighter who has been running his mouth the entire promotion.
His trash talk has built interest in the fight. Jacobs now needs to capitalize and put his power on display once more.
“He has to be superhuman to beat me and I will be his kryptonite,” said Jacobs, who owns a KO 1 over Peter Quillin. “I don’t think he has the mentality. … Yeah, you can make it sound good outside the ring — you can trash talk and you can try and hype yourself up but it’s a totally different story once you get inside that ring.
“You get hit, then you realize you are in there with a totally different caliber of fighter. I am elite compared to the caliber of opponents he has fought in his professional career. … There are levels to this game and I am going to show him that on November 11.”
After the dust settles on Jacobs-Arias, the middleweight title picture will become a bit more clear. The winner will be in prime position for a shot at whoever comes out on top on December 16, when Billy Joe Saunders defends his WBO title against David Lemieux.
That’s a fight Jacobs relishes, and he’ll be ringside in Montreal to scout both potential foes.
And then, of course, there’s the big fish. Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin will likely rematch in May, and Jacobs hopes to gain a crack at one of them.
But he’ll have to be patient, though that’s a hard ask when you’ve only received one title shot.
“I am a realist and I understand the business of boxing,” said Jacobs. “And I know that even though these guys aren’t really fearful of me, right now I’m in a lose-lose situation with those guys because I am not technically a champion.
” … I’d rather continue to do my job, climb the ladder, get a title eventually and maybe chase these guys, but to fight me right now? I don’t see that happening. These guys are looking at it from a business perspective, not from a true champion want to be dominant of the sport perspective and I understand that so I need to go in there and not get frustrated, let my team do their job and I continue to do mine.”
Jacobs doesn’t need to worry there, because Hearn and his manager, Keith Connolly, will make sure to keep banging the drums for the big fights.
“I feel like Danny Jacobs is the guy outside of Canelo and Golovkin,” Hearn said. “I think we need to keep moving forward, but there is not sort of desperate ‘we need him or we need that,’
“We want the Canelo Golovkin winner and that’s the reason why Danny signed with HBO so in the meantime if that fight is going to happen in May, Danny will box in April then we want the winner of that fight. Who we box in April could be the Lemieux-Saunders winner – we would love to have a shot at the world title in April.”
Jacobs would, too. He’s already among the elite. Soon, if all goes according to plan, he’ll finally be a champion, too, and more importantly, a star.
Mike Coppinger is the Senior Writer for RingTV.com. Follow him on Twitter: @MikeCoppinger
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Source:: The Ring – Boxing