Lara wants Jacobs-Quillin winner
(Photo Credit: Anthony Causi) By Dan Ambrose: WBA junior middleweight champion Erislandy Lara is picking challenger Peter Quillin (32-0-1, 23 KOs) to defeat WBA “regular” middleweight champion Daniel Jacobs (30-1, 27 KOs) in their fight this Saturday night on Showtime from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Lara feels that it’s going to be a competitive fight for the most part, but he sees Quillin ultimately winning because of his better experience against quality opposition. Lara would like to move up to 160 to face winner of the fight. Lara isn’t just targeting the winner of the Quillin vs. Jacobs fight.
He’s also interested in facing Gennady “GGG” Golovkin and the winner of the Andy Lee vs. Billy Joe Saunders fight on December 19th. The odds of Lara getting any of those fights probably aren’t too good right now. Lara lost to Saul “Canelo” Alvarez last year in July, and since then, he’s been facing lower level opposition in defending his WBA title against Ishe Smith, Delvin Rodriguez and Jan Zaveck.
None of those fights were big enough to interest a lot of boxing fans, and it seems pretty clear that Lara is just spinning his wheels with his career and not gaining any traction due the poor opposition he’s been facing for most of his career.
“This is a great matchup between two young hungry fighters and I think it’s going to be a very close fight,” Lara said. “With that being said, I’m picking ‘Kid Chocolate’ to win. He’s got Cuban blood running through his veins and has fought better competition. I’ll also be watching very closely because the winner could be one of my future opponents.”
Lara is probably right about Quillin winning the fight against Jacobs this Saturday night, but it really doesn’t matter much. Jacobs is seen as a paper champion by a lot of boxing fans and writers. If Quillin beats him, he’ll likely be seen as nothing more than a paper champion as well.
The only way that the Quillin vs. Jacobs fight would have any real meaning with the boxing community is if both guys were to promise to face Golokvin in their next fight. Since none of them are doing that, they’re not getting a lot of interest in their fight. It’s pretty disappointing because their fight is only three days away, and it’s not really being discussed by the fans in the Internet forums.
You can get a sense for what the fans are interested in when you check out the forums, and the Quillin vs. Jacobs fight is being ignored by a lot of fans. It is what it is. The fight is being advertised as the battle of Brooklyn, and that’s pretty much all it is. A fight that is interesting for a tiny segment of people in the U.S, but not for whole nation.
Quillin has an unbeaten record but he’s beaten largely weak opposition his entire career. Quillin’s best wins have come against Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam and Gabriel Rosado. This is after 10 years as a pro. Quillin failed to beat Andy Lee earlier this year in having to settle for a draw.
Jacobs still hasn’t fought anyone good since his loss to Dmitry Pirog five years ago. Jacobs won his WBA paper title with a win over Jarrod Fletcher last year in September. Since that fight, Jacobs has taken two easy title defenses against weak opposition in Caleb Truax and Sergio Mora and not looked good in either fight. Right now, I think Jacobs would be beaten by contenders like Tureano Johnson, Chris Eubank Jr., Arif Magomedov, Antoine Douglas and David Lemieux. It wouldn’t take Golovkin to beat the likes of Jacobs. I think he loses to the above contenders. The same with Quillin.
It’ll be interesting to see how long it takes for the winner of the Jacobs vs. Quillin fight to finally face a good fighter. Both of them have been matched very carefully for a number of years, and I can’t see that changing. However, the Jacobs-Quillin winner will need to face Eubank Jr. in 2016 if he beats Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan in their WBA middleweight title eliminator bout this month on December 12th. The winner of that fight will become the WBA mandatory challenger. That means that winner of the Jacobs vs. Quillin fight will need to make a decision whether to vacate the WBA title in order to dodge the fight against Eubank or O’Sullivan, or take the fight.