Daniel Jacobs calls out Jermall Charlo after beating Sulecki
By Dan Ambrose: Daniel Jacobs (34-2, 29 KOs) used his opportunity last Saturday night to call out former IBF 154lb champion Jermall Charlo (27-0, 21 KOs) after beating Polish fighter Maciek Sulecki (26-1, 10 KOs) by a 12 round unanimous decision.
As banged up as the 31-year-old Jacobs was from the fight, it didn’t look like he had position to call out the unbeaten Charlo. If anything, Jacobs should have been talking about giving Sulecki a rematch, as the fight was a lot closer than the scores – 116-111, 117-110 and 115-112 – turned in by the three judges last night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Jacobs looked very tired from the 6th round, falling off balance after throwing shots. A good fighter like Charlo would have countered Jacobs immediately if he was off balance as often as he was last night against Sulecki.
Being out of position against Charlo would have been bad for Jacobs. Sulecki didn’t have the power to hurt Jacobs when he was catching him with shots when he was off balance. Jacobs was still beaten up though in the fight, as you could tell by listening to his post-fight interview. Jacobs sounded almost drunk when he was talking. That was caused by the accumulation of heavy shots that Sulecki had hit Jacobs with during the fight.
I’d be very surprised if Jacobs’s promoter Eddie Hearn lets him anywhere near Charlo. If Jacobs wants the Charlo fight, he’s probably going to have to seriously push Hearn to give him permission to take it, because I doubt the British promoter will ever agree to that fight. Hearn is the type of promoter who matches his fighters against guys where they have all the advantages – speed, power, size and fighting in their hometowns.
If Hearn allowed Jacobs to fight Charlo, the only advantage he could count on for him is having the fight in his hometown, and that probably wouldn’t be near enough for him to win. Charlo will take the crowd and the 3 judges out of play by knocking Jacobs out quickly. We wouldn’t get a chance to see the crazy scores that we saw last night from the Jacobs-Sulecki fight, because Charlo would likely knock Jacobs out.
“Charlo,” Jacobs said at the post-fight press conference last night when asked who he wants to fight next.
That’s all Jacobs said about Charlo at the post-fight press conference, and you have wonder whether he has his heart truly in to wanting to fight him. It sounded to me like Jacobs was merely saying that he wanted to fight Charlo because he had been saying it recently, and the boxing media was expecting him to stay on key to continue to call him out. I don’t think Jacobs his heart into wanting to mix it up with the 27-year-old Charlo, because he’s a much more dangerous fighter than Sulecki, with better hand speed, punching power, size and talent.
Jacobs did not look good, and it’s quite possible that Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin took something out of him from their fight last year in March. Despite running most of the fight, Jacobs still took a lot of heavy shots from Golovkin in the second half of the contest. That’s when Jacobs stopped moving as much and tried to fight. It’s possible that the wear and tear from the Golovkin fight did something to Jacobs, leaving him less of a fighter afterwards. The Jacobs that we saw against Sulecki last Saturday night looked like he’d lost a significant part of his physical skills from his fight with GGG.
The Jacobs-Sulecki fight was televised on HBO Boxing, and at times, it seemed as if the commentators were cheer-leading for Jacobs, who has a contract with the network. Jacobs looked like the house fighter with the HBO talking heads pouring compliments over his head by the bucketful as he struggled BADLY against the B-side guy Sulecki. It was a different fight than the ones that the HBO commentators were describing to the fans, as Sulecki was giving Jacobs all he could handle.
“Ultimately, we want the guys with the belts. If we can’t get them, we will go down the list. If Brooklyn wants [Jermall] Charlo, where you at Charlo? Come see me,” Jacobs said.
You can argue what Jacobs is doing is name dropping Charlo’s name to get attention from the boxing public, but without any true intent in taking on the hard hitter. I seriously doubt that Jacobs was fight Charlo. Calling him out was likely little more than a public relation moves on Jacobs’ part to make look brave, and to lump himself up in the same class as him. In other words, to try and ride the crest of the wave with Charlo, who has suddenly become very popular following his 2nd round knockout win over Hugo Centeno Jr. in their fight a week ago.
If he’s serious about wanting to fight the 6’0” Charlo next, then Jacobs better start talking to his promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing to get him to negotiate the fight with the popular Showtime fighter, because he’s not going to get a fight with against any of the middleweight champions anytime soon. WBA Super World middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin has a fight next Saturday night against replacement opponent Vanes Martirosyan.
After that, Golovkin could possibly be facing his IBF mandatory challenger Sergey Derevyanchenko in July or August. If GGG wins that fight, then he’ll be facing Saul Canelo Alvarez on September 15. Then there could be a unification fight for Gennady against WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders. In a best-case scenario, Jacobs is looking at having to wait until the second half of 2019 before he gets a shot at Golovkin if he’s still the WBA 160lb champion. If Golovkin loses to Canelo, then that could mix things up in a big way. Canelo might vacate the WBA belt rather than fight Jacobs.
Canelo could also face Golovkin in a third fight. In that case, it would mean that Jacobs would likely need to wait until 2020 before he gets a title shot. However, Jacobs is under contract with HBO, and they’re not going to be happy to see him being matched against guys from the 154lb weight division like we saw last night, and they’re probably not going to be pleased if Hearn continues to match him against bottom feeders like Luis Arias.
HBO will expect Jacobs to be matched against quality fighters from the 160lb. weight class for him to stay on their network. The thing is, if Jacobs is forced to fight only good fighters, he’s going to run the risk of getting worn down from those fights if he’s forced to go the 12 round distance each time he fights, and that could lead to him losing. The Sulecki fight was Jacobs’ third consecutive 12-round fight since 2017, and you have to wonder whether his punching power is overrated, because he did not look powerful last night. Jacobs just looked like a slapper, who was often badly-off balance and out of position after he would throw a shot against Sulecki.
“He was a tough customer. I came prepared for everything he had, I was trying to go for the knockout because the fans wanted a good show,” Jacobs said afterwards,” Jacobs said. “I thought I done very well to grab a unanimous decision.”
I don’t think Jacobs did “very well,” as he says to get the decision. I think Jacobs did just enough to get the victory by squeaking it out, but I wouldn’t describe him as having done “very well” or even close to that. This performance by Jacobs has to be viewed as a real disappointment for him and for his boxing fans, because he looked so incredibly beatable throughout the contest. When you’re matched up against a fighter that has been selected by your promoter from the 154lb. weight class in Sulecki, you’re expected to beat that fighter with flying colors, and Jacobs didn’t do that last night. He had major problems with the Polish fighter.
Jacobs was allowed by the World Boxing Association to fight a junior middleweight for their WBA 160lb title eliminator rather than one of the highly rated contenders from the sanctioning bodies’ top 15. That gave Jacobs a huge break, because he didn’t have to fight someone that was closer to his own size and with more punching power. Had the WBA put Jacobs’ and his promoter Hearn’s feet to the fire by insisting that they face Jermall Charlo last night, it would have been interesting to see how things would have gone for them. For me, I’d just like to have seen whether Jacobs and Hearn would have agreed to take the fight in the first place against Charlo. I don’t think they would have.
“My corner told me I was up so I was confident going into the last round,” Jacobs said about Sulecki. ”I didn’t feel his power that it shook me up but he definitely showed he has power and grit and belongs at middleweight.”
As I mentioned, Jacobs was not impressive against Sulecki, and he looks like he’s lost something from the GGG fight. Charlo is at the top of his game right now, and still getting better. Jacobs is not ready to take on a lion like Charlo, because the result of messing with that kind of fighter would be very, very bad for the ‘Miracle Man.’ Hearn thinks he can turn Jacobs into a star in America. I’m wondering if he still feels that way after watching Jacobs fight last Saturday night.
If Hearn still believes Jacobs is going to be a huge star in the U.S, then someone needs to sit him down, give him a strong cup of coffee and then show him some video of Jermall’s recent fights so he can understand what he’s up against. I think it’s academic at this point that Jacobs is on the downside of his career, and he’s not going to become a star. Hearn can maybe squeeze out one more title shot against Golovkin if he’s careful, but the only way to do that is to steer Jacobs around the likes of Charlo, Demetrius Andrade and Sergey Derevyanchenko. At this point, I’m not sure that Jacobs could even beat the likes of B-level fighters like Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan or David Lemieux.
As clumsy and out of position as Jacobs was last night, I think he would be at great danger of being knocked out by O’Sullivan and Lemieux if either of those fights happens. Hearn is not going to let Jacobs fight Charlo. No way is he going to let that fight take place. You can bet that Hearn will have a good excuse for not making that fight. It could be something along the lines of, ‘Charlo’s people priced themselves out’ or ‘Charlo is on a different network than Jacobs, so the fight can’t happen.’
It’s a given that Hearn won’t let Charlo anywhere near Jacobs. It’s all about Hearn making sure Jacobs doesn’t get beaten again until he gets a rematch with Golovkin or a fight against Canelo. The only way Hearn can ensure that Jacobs doesn’t look before then is to keep him away from the good middleweights like Charlo and Derevyanchenko. Look at last night’s fight. Do you believe that it was an accident that Hearn picked out Sulecki from the 154lb. weight class for Jacobs to fight? That obviously was a move that Hearn made on purpose. He selected Sulecki from the junior middleweight division, and Jacobs STILL almost lost the fight.
Forget about the wacky scoring by 2 of the judges, Jacobs almost lost the fight, period. In my view, the only judge that scored the fight correctly last night was the one that scored it 115-112, and that’s a very close score. That’s not the type of score you’re supposed to see when a middleweight is facing a junior middleweight. Hearn said before the Jacobs-Sulecki fight that Jacobs is the best middleweight in the division bar none. That obviously is not reality. Jacobs fought like the 10th best middleweight, and he might not even be the 4th best junior middleweight. Based on how Jacobs looked against Sulecki, I would pick these 154lb fighters to beat him: Jermell Charlo, Jarrett Hurd, Erisland Lara, Erickson Lubin and Kell Brook.
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