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Jacobs not interested in fighting GGG, wants Canelo

Canelo Alvarez Daniel Jacobs Gennady Golovkin

By Dan Ambrose: Danny Jacobs (35-2, 29 KOs) won the vacant IBF middleweight title last Saturday night in beating Sergiy Derevyanchenko (12-1, 10 KOs) on HBO, and he’s now targeting Saul Canelo Alvarez for a unification fight next May.

According to Jacobs, he’s not interested in defending his IBF title against GGG. Jacobs was beaten by GGG last year by a questionable 12 round decision, and he’s wanted to avenge the loss ever since. But now that the tables or turned and Golovkin is coming off of a loss to Canelo, Jacobs is turning up his nose at the thought of throwing a bone to the 36-year-old Kazakhstan fighter in his time of need for a title shot.

Jacobs needs to let his next promoter do the talking for him, as he could mess things up and end up having to make simple title defenses against the International Boxing Federation’s top 15 contenders like Jack Culcay, Martin Murray, Kamil Szeremeta, David Lemieux or Patrick Wojcicki. The IBF would be doing Jacobs a HUGE favor if they ordered him to defend against #4 IBF Golovkin in his first defense of their belt, because there’s a good chance that he won’t get the Canelo fight that he longing for. Canelo isn’t going to want to fight a runner like Jacobs, because what we saw last Saturday was Erislandy Lara 2.0, as far as I’m concerned. Jacobs was spoiling the entire time against Derevyanchenko, and it wasn’t pretty.

With all the talking Jacobs has been doing about how he deserved the victory over Gennady Golovkin in their fight 1 1/2 years ago in March 2017, you would think that he would want to finally get the rematch with him so that he can show the boxing world that he’s the better fighter. That would the logical thing for Jacobs to do if he can’t get the fight against Canelo next May that he’s hoping to get. Jacobs saying he doesn’t want to fight Golovkin, who easily is the second biggest payday out there for him after Canelo, is surprising. Jacobs shouldn’t be ruling out a rematch with Golovkin, because that doesn’t make sense at all.

The way that Jacobs fought against Derevyanchenko last Saturday, you can’t blame Canelo Alvarez and his promoters at Golden Boy Promotions on putting him on ignore forever. The last thing Canelo needs is a fighter that is going to run from him for 12 rounds. Jacobs would likely push to have the fight with Canelo take place in New York, and there’s no telling what kind of scores the judges would hand in.

Golovkin’s record in his last three fights is 1-1-1, and he could really use a title shot against Jacobs right now if the New Yorker was intested in facing him again. It doesn’t matter that Golovkin was seen as the winner of his two fights against the Mexican star Canelo by the boxing public. The only thing that counts is GGG came up empty against Canelo. Golovkin didn’t learn his lesson the first time he agreed to fight Canelo in his favorite fighting city in Las Vegas, so he got even worse treatment in the rematch in terms of scoring.

“GGG is no longer a champion. I want to go after the champions,” Jacobs said via ESPN. “Only time will tell, but I really feel like I’m in my prime. I showed true grit tonight, and I had another tank in me. [As for Canelo, absolutely. I think that’s the fight the fans want. This would be a great fight for the fans. Let’s make the fight happen,” Jacobs said.

Golovkin’s promoter Tom Loeffler doesn’t see Canelo Alvarez looking in Jacobs’ direction for his next fight after he faces Rocky Fielding on December 15. It doesn’t matter that Jacobs beat Sergiy Derevyanchenko last Saturday night to win the vacant IBF middleweight title. Jacobs is just a belt holder, and not a star or a fighter that beat a huge name to win his belt. There’s a difference. Of course, it would be worthwhile for Canelo’s promoters at Golden Boy to match him up against Jacobs if he was a bigger name or if he was coming off of a huge win over a major talent, but unfortunately that didn’t happen. Jacobs, 31, barely beat Derevyanchenko by a 12 round split decision. The scoring by the two judges that had Jacobs winning by the scores 115-112, 115-112 saw a different fight than the ones that a lot of boxing fans did. They saw Jacobs running out of gas in the last six rounds, getting lit up constantly by Derevyanchenko, and running around the ring in looking to survive rather than fight.

Now that Jacobs’ contract with HBO expired, he’s potentially heading towards DAZN, the same streaming platform that Canelo Alvarez signed on with. Jacobs signing with DAZN would put him in position for fights against Canelo and WBO champion Demetrius Andrade. Jacobs’ recent promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing USA would love for him to re-ink with him so that his fights could be streamed on DAZN. Hearn would then have a puzzle piece to lure Golden Boy Promotions to match Canelo against Jacobs. Hearn obviously wants Canelo to fight Jacobs and Andrade. Canelo is already scheduled to fight WBA ‘regular’ super middleweight champion Rocky Fielding on December 15 on DAZN at Madison Square Garden in New York. Fielding is signed with Hearn’s Matchroom stable. So, if Canelo agrees to fight Andrade and Jacobs, it would be a huge positive for Hearn, as long as Daniel re-signs with him. Jacobs has options available to sign with ESPN at Top Rank, Golden Boy Promotions or Premier Boxing Champions. Signing with Hearn or Golden Boy would mean that Jacobs’ fights will be streamed on DAZN. If Jacobs signs with PBC, then his fights will be shown on Fox or Showtime.

Jacobs received a big purse of $1.6 million for his fight against Derevyanchenko last Saturday night. That’s the kind of money former IBF/WBA/WBC middleweight champion Golovkin received for his fight against Vanes Martirosyan. Jacobs making similar money against Derevyanchenko is surprising given that he wasn’t a world champion, and had looked bad in his three previous fights against Luis Arias, Maciej Sulecki and Golovkin. Depending on who you talk to, Jacobs didn’t look last Saturday night against Derevyanchenko. Jacobs only sporadically landed nice shots. After the first six rounds, Jacobs fought defensively, running around, fighting off the ropes, and getting the worst of it in every round. You can make an argument that Derevyanchenko deserved to win the last six rounds based on his aggression, and cleaner landing shots. Jacobs’ body language in the last half of the fight was that of a fighter that was just trying to survive.

Jacobs needs to keep his options open and not burn bridges in case he doesn’t get the fight that he desires against Canelo Alvarez in 2019. What Jacobs wants and Canelo and Golden Boy Promotions want might not be the same thing. Jacobs says the boxing public wants to see him fight Canelo, but I’m not so sure about that. Based on how poorly Jacobs has fought in his last four fights, he’s not someone that the fans care to see fight Canelo OR Golovkin. The problem Jacobs has is he’s morphed from from a slugger into a safety-first fighter, and he’s now more of a dull runner in the Floyd Mayweather Jr. mode than the exciting fighter that he was in the first quarter of his career when he was knocking everybody out. It looks age has done something to Jacobs’ mindset, turning him into a guy that just wants to do the minimal to win his fights, and it makes him boring to watch. At this point in Jacobs’ 11-year pro career, his fighting style is identical to former WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders. That’s fine for the small percentage of boxing fans that like to see defensive artists, , but it’s not what the mainstream boxing fans want to see. The fans want to see punchers like Canelo and Golovkin, not defensive fighters looking to conserve energy and protect their chins.

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