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Danny Jacobs to fight in April

Image: Danny Jacobs to fight in April

By Dan Ambrose: Following his one-sided 12 round unanimous decision over contender Luis Arias (18-1, 9 KOs) Daniel Jacobs’ promoter Eddie Hearn plans on having him fight in 5 months from now in April against who hopes will be one of the following fighters: Gennady “GGG” Golovkin, Saul Canelo Alvarez, David Lemieux or Billy Joe Saunders.

Hearn will need to keep his options open for Jacobs’ next fight, considering it’s unlikely he’ll get any of those fighters to face Jacobs in April. Golovkin and Canelo won’t fight Jacobs. It’s not that they’re afraid of him. They’ll make more money fighting each other. Jacobs isn’t a big name. Golovkin already found that out when he fought him on HBO PPV last March, and the fight brought in dreadful numbers. Jacobs still needs to build his brand for him to be an option for Canelo and Golovkin. Golden Boy Promotions does the match-making for Lemieux, and they want to match with Canelo at some point.

Putting Lemieux in with Jacobs isn’t a move that Golden Boy will make, because there’s no money in that fight. Likewise, Saunders wants Canelo or Golovkin. He’s not going to fight Jacobs for less money.

Jacobs won an easy 12 round decision last Saturday night in beating previously undefeated #11 WBO and #12 WBA middleweight contender Arias by the scores 118-109, 120-107 and 119-108. The fight was more of a cat and mouse type of affair, with Jacobs chasing a weaker, smaller, limited fighter around the ring for 12 rounds. It’s abundantly clear why Jacobs picked Arias to fight. Jacobs admitted that he picked Arias. It’s obvious that Jacobs wanted someone he could beat without having to worry about losing, again. Arias’ absence of power made it an easy fight. Jacobs struggles with guys that punch back, and Arias didn’t have the fire power to worry him.

Jacobs says he wasn’t impressed with his performance against Arias. He thinks he should have thrown more combinations, and he’s right. Jacobs should have thrown a lot more combinations, but he looked like he didn’t want to get hit with Arias’ counters. Those occasional shots made Jacobs hesitant to throw more than 2 punches at a time. In the past, Jacobs was dropped by the light hitting Sergio Mora in 2015 when he was throwing a combination. I think that taught Jacobs a lesson.

“I thought it wasn’t one of my best performances,” said Jacobs after the fight. “I definitely thought I dominated the fight, and I wanted to get a really impressive knockout. I think that’s what I was looking for, and I think a bit more than I should have. I should have put my combinations together, but I’ve been out for some time. Now I can stay more active. I think I’ll be sharper in the future,” said Jacobs.

Jacobs wasn’t going about it the right way in attempting to KO Arias. He admits it himself. Jacobs didn’t throw combinations for some reason. Jacobs wasn’t going to knockout Arias by throwing one punch at a time, because he lacked the power to stop him that way. Jacobs has a high knockout percentage, but almost all of those KOs have come against poor opposition. When Jacobs fights good fighters, he doesn’t usually knock them out. Jacobs has fought 3 good fighters during his career in Dmitry Pirog, Gennady Golovkin and Peter Quillin. Jacobs lost to Golovkin and Pirog, and beat Quillin. As such, Jacobs’s record against good opposition is 1-2. He knocked out Quillin, who clearly wasn’t the same guy he’d once been by the time he fought Jacobs.

”In the early rounds, I hurt him,” said Jacobs. ”That’s why he started going back. He talked a good game, because I didn’t think he was going to run like he said. I thought he was going to meet me in the center of the ring, but I should be more knowledgeable in the game with my experience to know that skills pay the bills. I have to stay dedicated to my game plan. I thought I won all the rounds. I’m a boxer/puncher. Even though my knockout ration screams, I’m a knockout artist; I do like to get the experience, because it adds to my experience. It adds to my value, and it allows for me to get better fights,” said Jacobs.

It didn’t look like Jacobs ever hurt Arias in the fight. Arias appeared fine in the early rounds. Jacobs and Hearn seem to think Arias was hurt, but it didn’t look that way. In the 11th, Jacobs did knock Arias down, but that was from a punch to the back of the head. Arias wasn’t hurt. He just got hit with a rabbit punch, which is illegal. The referee blew the call by allowing Jacobs’ rabbit punch knockdown to count.

”I believe it’ll be a good year [in 2018,” said Jacobs].” Hopefully with the upcoming fights in the middleweight division, I do believe I’m in popular demand, and I don’t think these guys will view me as they did in the past, which is, ‘Jacobs is too high of a risk with no reward.’ Now I’m starting to build my brand, and now these guys are starting to respect me. Also, there’s nowhere to go,” said Jacobs.

Jacobs sounds deluded. He’s not in popular demand unfortunately. The only guy that is talking up a fight with Jacobs is the unbeaten Jermall Charlo, and Hearn doesn’t want to make that fight, not surprisingly. The rest of the top guys aren’t showing interest in fighting Jacobs. That’s not because they’re afraid of him. It’s more of a case of Jacobs not being a big draw in the U.S. Jacobs isn’t a PPV fighter.

If Jacobs was a big money guy, he’d have no problems getting Canelo, Golovkin, Lemieux and Saunders to fight him. Jacobs is not though. Jacobs’s talks like he’s popular, but he’s not. Hearn should make the fight between Jacobs and Charlo for April, because that’s only super talented fighter in the middleweight division right now that wants to fight Jacobs. Hearn can probably get Sergiy Derevyanchenko to take the fight with Jacobs in April if he pays him enough. Hearn hasn’t mentioned wanting to match Jacobs against Derevyanchenko though.

“We’re going to go to Montreal, and we’re going to wait on those guys and see if they step up to the plate,” said Jacobs in discussing the Billy Joe Saunders vs. David Lemieux fight.

Jacobs should save his money and his time by not going to Montreal for the Saunders-Lemieux fight, because I don’t think hes going to get either of them to fight him. Even the loser of the Saunders vs. Lemieux fight likely won’t want to fight Jacobs. Why would they? Like I said, Jacobs isn’t a popular fighter, and he’s not a PPV guy. Why would Lemieux or Saunders want to fight him? Until Jacobs picks up a fan base, he’s not going to be getting the top guys to fight him. Hearn should bring Jacobs over to the UK and feed him some of the top middleweights and super middleweights in that country so that he can become popular over there. Perhaps if Hearn can turn Jacob into a star in the UK, it’ll filter over into the U.S so that the likes of Canelo, GGG and Lemieux want to fight him.

Right now, I don’t think any of those fighters will give Hearn and Jacobs the time a day. If Hearn wants a good opponent for Jacobs, he’s going to have to bite the bullet and back up his tough talk about him wanting to fight the best by putting him in with Charlo or Derevyanchenko. I don’t think Hearn will do that. Hearn will likely assemble a small list of fighters with the same talent level of Luis Arias, and Jacobs will hand-pick from the list like he did for this fight. So, instead of Jacobs fighting a guy that is talented and a real threat to beating him, he’ll select another beatable guy for him to pad his record. It’s the story of Jacobs’ career. That’s how it’s been done, and that’s why he’s not a popular fighter. Jacobs has concentrated too much on fighting soft jobs and not enough on fighting the best.

“I think he showed his level,” said Jacobs’ promoter Eddie Hearn. “He said to me in the ring at the end, ‘I wish I hadn’t hurt him so early,’ but he did, and I think Arias realized the level he was up against tonight. Credit to him. He’s a young fighter. He stepped up to the plate, but you saw the difference in levels tonight between a world class fighter in Arias, and an elite middleweight in Daniel Jacobs. Don’t forget as well, he was out of the ring for 8 months. This is not active enough for a world class middleweight. He had a good performance against Golovkin. He should have been in the ring earlier, but that’s okay. He got 12 rounds under his belt. We’re boxing in April, very, very simple, probably the week before Cinco de Mayo for Golovkin against Canelo. We’re already speaking to the Barclays Center, and HBO. We plan effectively. It doesn’t matter if it’s Lemieux, Canelo, [or] Golovkin. I said to Tom Loeffler last week, ‘if they [Canelo’s promoters at Golden Boy Promotions] want to stall the rematch, he’ll go with Triple G again in the spring.’ But we’re not going to be chasing anyone. We’re going to be doing our thing, mapping our future. That was a world class, master class for Daniel Jacobs,” said Hearn.

Hearn says Jacobs isn’t going to be chasing anyone, but he clearly is. He’s chasing Golovkin and Canelo. Now he’s also chasing Lemieux and Saunders. If Jacobs wasn’t chasing them, then he and Hearn wouldn’t be talking about those fighters all the time. Golovkin, Canelo, Lemieux and Saunders aren’t mentioning Jacobs’ name. They’re not chasing him, because he brings nothing to the table. Hearn needs to do his job as a big-time promoter by building Jacobs’ brand by matching him against one of the Charlo brothers, Derevyanchenko or Demetrius Andrade. Even Tureano Johnson would be a huge step up for Jacobs from the guys that he’s mostly been fighting in the last 7 years.

Hearn should make one of those fights, because Jacobs needs his brand to be built still for him to get the bigger names to fight him. It doesn’t matter that Jacobs is now fighting on HBO. If all Jacobs is going to be doing is facing hand-selected fighters like Luis Arias, then he’s wasting his time. He’s going to need to become a mandatory challenger to Golovkin to force a second fight with him. Even then, Jacobs will probably need to wait a year or more. I don’t know how much longer Golovkin plans on staying around at 160. He says he wants to continue his career for many more years, but he might not stay around at middleweight for too much longer.

Jacobs isn’t get pushed to the No.1 spot in the middleweight rankings fighting guys like Arias. He needs to fight some of the talented guys like Jermall Charlo, Derevyanchenko or Andrade if he wants to get pushed to the top. It’s unfortunate that Hearn has already ruled out matching Jacobs against Charlo, because that shows you that he’s trying to protect him. It also shows that Hearn is naive with the way that he foolishly believes he can get Jacobs a fight against Golovkin, Canelo or the Saunders vs. Lemieux winner in 2018. My prediction is 2018 will come and go, and Jacobs won’t get any of those fighters to face him next year.

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