Hearn wants Jacobs vs. Lemieux in March
By Jim Dower: Promoter Eddie Hearn hopes to match his new Matchroom Sport fighter Daniel Jacobs (32-2, 29 KOs) against former IBF middleweight champion David Lemieux (38-3, 33 KOs) next March after Jacobs fights on November 11 against Luis Arias (19-0, 9 KOs) on HBO Boxing.
Lemieux has the kind of power to reduce Jacobs to rubble if he lands one of his left hooks on the button. Hearn might be mistaking Lemieux is being an easy mark for Jacobs based off of what Gennady Golovkin did to him. Jacobs isn’t Golovkin, and he might not have the chin to make it past Lemieux.
Golden Boy Promotions and Eye of The Tiger Promotions are the promoters for Lemieux. It’s thought that Lemieux has been rebuilt to get him ready to eventually face Canelo in a PPV fight on HBO. Lemieux was stopped in the 8th round by Gennady Golovkin in October 2015. Golden Boy probably won’t be too excited at putting Lemieux in a risky fight against Jacobs no matter how much money Matchroom Sport offers him.
There’s likely more money for Golden Boy in making a fight between Lemieux and Canelo. These two middleweights are about the same size, so it’s a great fight for Canelo. Jacobs is more of a super middleweight, who is able to drain down to make 160. There would be a size disadvantage for Lemieux in facing Jacobs.
Hearn signed the 30-year-old Jacobs this week to a multi-fight contract with his Matchroom Sport promotional company. Hearn’s ultimate goal is to turn Jacobs into the number 1 fighter in the middleweight division. To achieve that, Hearn wants to match Jacobs against Lemieux, 28, in March, and then hopefully the winner of the Canelo-Golovkin rematch after that if possible. Hearn feels that Jacobs can beat both Golovkin and Canelo. Jacobs lost to GGG on March 18 of this year in a fight shown on HBO PPV, but Hearn days Jacobs should have won the fight. He had him edging it, and he feels that justice wasn’t done in Golovkin getting the nod.
“He feels like he can be given top priority with HBO, and we’ll announce his November fight this week,” said Eddie Hearn to secondsout.com about Jacobs. “We want to fight Canelo or Triple G. Until that draw last week, we were looking at that fight for the one after this one. Now it might take a little while longer like the one after this fight. We’re trying to box 3 times per year, maybe even 4 times, but the Canelo-Triple G fight is an obvious fight,” said Hearn.
Hearn is pretty excited about Jacobs. It would be a wiser if Hearn took one fight at a time. If Hearn starts banking on Jacobs blasting by Arias and Lemieux, he could find out the hard way that he might not have the chin to get past those guys. Hearn needs to focus on getting Jacobs past one guy at a time right now. Arias a good fighter, and he’s not someone you overlook. Lemieux is also a very dangerous threat to a fighter like Jacobs, who was knocked out by a guy with less power than Lemieux in Dmitry Pirog.
“I had Danny Jacobs winning that fight, just barely,” said Hearn about the Golovkin vs. Jacobs fight last March. “It’s a pick em fight, so the rematch is a natural fight. [David] Lemieux is a great fight. Billy Joe Saunders is a big fight. You pay him a lot of money. That’s generally how it works,” said Hearn in explaining how he would get Saunders to agree to fight Jacobs. “There’s no fascination with getting a belt as quick as possible [for Jacobs]. This is about building Danny Jacobs. This is about building his brand, turning him into a big draw he can be. By the time I finish with him, his value will increase so much by that time he steps inside the ring in a pay-per-view fight. He’ll get paid handsomely.” said Hearn.
Hearn sounded pretty cocky during the interview, as if he felt certain that he would be able to get Jacobs fights against the likes of Lemieux, Golovkin, Canelo and Billy Joe Saunders. Hearn might find out the hard way how tough it is to get Jacobs fights. If it was easy to match Jacobs, his previous promoter would have already matched him against all those guys. Jacobs is not a big enough star for the good fighters to risk fighting him.
What hurts Jacobs’ chances of getting the big fights, besides him not being really popular, is his size. He’s a really large fighter that has fought most of his career at over 160 pounds in the super middleweight division. Hearn is going to need to make some tremendous offers to the promoters to get them to agree to put their fighters in with Jacobs. Hearn could probably get the most dangerous guys, Jermall Charlo and Sergiy Derevyancneko to fight Jacobs, but the risk would be too high to him. Those guys can punch and Jacobs has already shown a weakness in the chin area.
“I believe he can beat Canelo, and I believe he can beat Triple G,” said Hearn in talking about Jacobs. “It’s not the case of get the fight and get the payday. The payday is important, but we want the fight. That’s to prove he’s No.1,” said Hearn in laying out his goal of turning Jacobs into the No.1 fighter at 160.
Becoming the No.1 fighter at 160 shouldn’t be what the goal that Hearn is aiming at for Jacobs. Golovkin is already viewed as the No.1 fighter at 160, and he’s not nearly as popular as Canelo. What Hearn needs to do is have Jacobs change the way he fights. Jacobs will never have the popularity that Canelo has in the U.S, because he doesn’t have the built in fan base that he possesses. What Hearn needs to do instead of have Jacobs fight in a more exciting manner, and not use so much finesse type fighting like we saw against Golovkin? That was boring to watch.
Jacobs moved around the ring for most of the fight, and he wasn’t going on the attack. To turn Jacobs into a popular fighter, he needs to fight more like Golovkin so he can get more knockouts. It doesn’t matter if Jacobs becomes the No.1 fighter at 160 if he’s boring to watch. He needs to be exciting to watch for that to translate into him making more money by becoming a pay-per-view attraction. I’m sure that’s why Jacobs signed with Hearn. He wants to make as much money as possible. It doesn’t matter if Jacobs is the No.1 fighter. If he’s not making Canelo type of fighter, then it’s not worth it to become the No.1 guy, because only the hardcore boxing fans keep track of whose No.1. The casual boxing fans want to see fighters that are exciting and who fight the best. Jacobs wasn’t exciting against Golovkin. He was boring to watch most of the fight.
“The next date is March, and then go in the summer,” said Hearn about his plan in having Jacobs fight in November, March and then sometime in the summer. “Just keep active until the right fight comes up. Lemieux is an obvious choice. Golden Boy has Lemieux. He’s on the same network [HBO]. I really like that fight. As a fan. It’s a fun fight,” said Hearn.
If Hearn can get Golden Boy to let Lemieux fight Jacobs, then you have to give him a ton of credit. I don’t think it’s going to happen though. Golden Boy has spent 2 years trying to rebuild Lemieux after his oss to Golovkin. They’re not going to throw that all away for a small payday against Jacobs. The money that Hearn can offer Lemieux to fight Jacobs is probably no more than $2 million at best. Lemieux will make more than that if he fights Canelo. He’ll make a lot more, because Canelo is a PPV fighter. Jacobs isn’t a PPV fighter, and he may never reach that status. Jacobs is about to turn 31, and he doesn’t fight on a frequent basis. Hearn wants to change all that. Jacobs is getting up there in age. It’ll be interesting to see if Hearn can fight him 3 to 4 times a year to turn Jacobs into a star.