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Joe Smith Jr and Daniel Jacobs in talks for fight in Fall

Image: Joe Smith Jr and Daniel Jacobs in talks for fight in Fall

By Jeff Aronow: Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn has put in a large offer to WBO light heavyweight champion Joe Smith Jr for a title defense against Daniel Jacobs in the fall, according to The Ring.

Joe Smith’s promoter Joe DeGuardia of Star Boxing, is weighing the offer which is said to be a sizable one. Smith recently captured the vacant WBO 175-lb title on April 17th with a 12 round majority decision victory over Maxim Vlasov.

After that victory, the plan was for Smith (27-3, 21 KOs) to take on IBF/WBC light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev (16-0, 16 KOs) in a unification fight in the fall. That’s a match that Top Rank promoter Bob Arum was interested in.

It’s a tough choice for Arum to make, as there are a lot of boxing fans nationally in the U.S that would likely prefer to see Joe Smith Jr take on Beterbiev rather than Jacobs, who is starting to look like he’s past it.

After Jacobs’ last performance against Gabe Rosado, he hardly deserves a world title shot. What Jacobs should be doing is giving Rosado a rematch to clear up the controversy.

Smith vs. Jacobs would be a good fight for the East Coast, but it does nothing for fans elsewhere in the U.S.

With the offer from Hearn for Smith to defend against 34-year-old former IBF middleweight champion ‘Miracle Man’ Jacobs (37-3, 30 KOs), it’s a tempting move for him to take that fight first and then face Beterbiev.

Jacobs and Smith Jr are from New York, making a natural fight because it would bring in a big crowd at Madison Square Garden in NYC. Smith is From Long Island, and Jacobs grew up in Brooklyn.

Smith Jr offered career-high payday

“I think it was a great offer that Eddie [Hearn] made. It’s multiple times more than Joe Smith has ever made in his life,” Keith Connolly, Jacobs’ manager, said to The Ring.

Image: Joe Smith Jr and Daniel Jacobs in talks for fight in Fall

“It’ll be the biggest fight between New Yorkers in New York in a long time.

“I think Barclays Center and Madison Square Garden would be really interested in the fight. It would be a huge fight for New York and for boxing.”

It’ll be up to Top Rank promoter Bob Arum and Joe Guardia of Star Boxing if they want to agree to the offer to defend against Jacobs. Arum was eager to make the fight between Smith and Beterbiev, but perhaps he’ll put it off if he believes Jr can successfully get past Jacobs.

Based on how Jacobs looked in his last fight against Gabe Rosado, Smith Jr would have to be a huge favorite.

Jacobs was given a controversial 12 round split decision win over Rosado last November in Hollywood, Florida. Many boxing fans believed that Rosado did enough to get the victory in that fight.

Jacobs hasn’t looked good lately

For Jacobs, it was another lackluster performance from him after a less than impressive fifth-round stoppage victory over the shot Julio Cesar Chavez Jr in December 2019. Jacobs hasn’t looked good since his close 12 round unanimous decision defeat at the hands of Canelo Alvarez in May 2019.

“Joe against Beterbiev or against Danny is a big fight in New York but the fight with Danny is probably a bigger event,” Smith’s promoter Joe DeGuardia said.

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“We’re going through them and sitting down with Joe and with (Top Rank chairman) Bob (Arum) and when all is said and done, we will collectively decide.”

Jacobs would come up to 175 from 168 to challenge Joe Smith Jr for his WBO title. Ideally, you’d like to see Jacobs earn a title shot at 175 by beating a top contender in the World Boxing Organization’s rankings.

If Jacobs were to beat Joshua Buatsi, Maxim Vlasov, or Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez, he would rate a title shot against Joe Smith Jr. But off of Jacobs’ last performance against Rosado, it sends the wrong message for him to be given a world title shot.

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