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Daniel Jacobs fighting on April 28 at Barclays Center

Billy Joe Saunders Daniel Jacobs

By Juan Flores: Daniel Jacobs will be fighting on April 28 against an opponent still to be determined on HBO at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Jacobs and his management want Billy Joe Saunders, who beat David Lemieux last Saturday night on HBO. However, if Saunders chooses not to take the fight, then Jacobs will look to his Plan-B option.

Saunders would have to come to New York to take the fight with Jacobs. That would be another fight in hostile territory for Saunders.

Saunders (26-0, 12 KOs) is waiting for the outcome of the May 5 fight between Saul Canelo Alvarez and Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin. Saunders wants the winner, and thinks they’ll fight him in 2018. It’s quite likely Saunders will stay inactive until that fight takes place. A fight against Jacobs would be risky for Saunders, who can’t punch with power. Saunders wins his fights by being mobile, making his opponents miss, and frustrating them.

The chances of Saunders coming over to the U.S to fight the Eddie Hearn promoted Jacobs are slim and none. Saunders is going to wait on the Canelo-Golovkin fight and hope they want to fight him for his WBO title. Whatever chances Saunders had of getting Canelo to fight him probably went down the drain with last Saturday night.

With the way that Saunders fought Lemieux, staying in motion at all times and rarely engaging, you can forget about him getting a fight with Canelo. He doesn’t value collecting titles just for the sake of it the way Golovkin does. If Golovkin had any sense, he’d ignore Saunders as well. Jacobs wants to fight him because he’s got quick feet and he doesn’t mind chasing him around the ring for 12 rounds. Jacobs has the foot speed to catch up to Saunders and give him problems.

”We will try to make the fight,” said Jacobs’ manager Keith Connolly to ”Danny legitimately wants the fight but I don’t know if Billy Joe Saunders or (promoter) Frank Warren will do it. We would like Billy Joe Saunders to come over and fight Danny. I think it’s the fight that makes the most sense for Danny, but I don’t know if Saunders will come over,” said Connolly.

Jacobs’ manager needs to start thinking about a good Plan-B option for him to fight on April 28, since it’s not realistic that Saunders will agree to fight him. It’s a pipe dream that Saunders will agree to come over to the U.S and fight a dangerous guy like Jacobs. It’s going to be tough for Jacobs’ management to find someone good enough to make HBO happy. They signed Jacobs to a multi-fight deal recently, and they obviously assumed that he would be fighting good opposition. That hasn’t happened yet. In Jacobs’ first fight with HBO, he fought Luis Arias in a mismatch, a boring one at that, last month on November 11. If Jacobs’ management brings in another lackluster opponent for him to fight on HBO, it’s going to look bad.

Jacobs’ promoter Eddie Hearn says he wants to turn him into a star in the U.S. Hearn was hoping that he could match Jacobs up against David Lemieux in April. That was the plan. Unfortunately, that plan is now out the window with Lemieux’s loss to Saunders. Hearn and Connolly are going to try and get Saunders to agree to fight Jacobs, but the odds of that happening are low.

Saunders has a chance for the Golovkin fight because he wants to pick up his WBO belt to round out his collection of titles at 160. Since Golovkin hasn’t said otherwise about him having changed his mind about wanting to fight Saunders for his WBO belt, it means that Billy Joe is going to likely play it safe by sitting until the Canelo-GGG fight is done. Jacobs has virtually no chance of fighting Saunders.

If HBO can bring enough money to the table for Jacobs to get a good opponent for his April 28 date, he might be able to get someone like Andy Lee, Matt Korobov or Demetrius Andrade. I doubt that Hearn will get any of those guys to fight Jacobs. It’s more likely going to be someone that has a lot of mileage on them. It wouldn’t be surprising if they try and get Gary O’Sullivan to take the fight with Jacobs. O’Sullivan has a chance of getting a title shot against Saunders in early 2018. He probably won’t take a high risk fight with Jacobs in New York.

HBO might not have realized how tough it would be for Jacobs to get guys to fight him. Jacobs is too good of a fighter for guys to just volunteer to fight him, especially now that he’s no longer a world champion. Why would one of the top contenders take a big risk for low money fighting a non-champion like Jacobs? Signing Jacobs would have made sense for HBO if he was one of the champions at middleweight, because that would have guaranteed that he’d get some good opposition to fight him. But he’s not a champion now, and he’s trying to rebuild his career following his loss to Golovkin earlier this year in March.

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