Tuesday, March 28, 2023  |



Easter wants to unify titles, Jacobs wants GGG

Fighters Network

The Santander Arena, in Reading, Pennsylvania, is tucked away on a side street in this little hideaway slightly over a 90-minute drive west of Philadelphia. On Friday night, it served as a stage for newly minted lightweight titlist Robert Easter Jr. and his outlandish size and a 29-year-old middleweight standout, Danny Jacobs, who seems to have been around forever, currently chasing a name he may never snag.

A chunk of Toledo, Ohio, came out and made a piece of Reading their home during the Spike TV telecast. It appears that’s the kind of command the 5-foot-11 Easter has over the northeastern Ohio town.

The Easter faithful stood throughout his fight against Ghana’s Robert Commey for the vacant IBF lightweight title, clogging the aisle ways of the arena, standing on chairs and filling the chilly air of the place with chants of “USA, USA, USA,” and the indelibly incessant “Box him Robert, box him Robert!” (enough for bystanders to hear that chorus in their sleep tonight).

Apparently Toledo can travel. But where will they be willing to go after Easter (18-0, 14 knockouts) beat Commey (24-1, 22 KOs) by split-decision, to become the new IBF lightweight beltholder?

“I’m looking to collect more straps, I don’t duck or dodge anyone,” Easter said. “Commey was a tough opponent, a tough warrior. I proved I could stand my ground with anyone. I definitely want to get back into the ring before the end of the year. There’s more belts out there to be won, and there will be guys coming to take my belt.

“This crowd is only going to get bigger as I keep fighting. To me, it doesn’t matter who I fight next. As long as they have the straps, I’ll be in there. Who is ever brave enough to sign up for it, and my weight is good. Like my nickname, I’m trouble for anyone as long as I’m in this weight class.”

Concluding the night was Jacobs (32-1, 29 KOs). The middleweight easily extinguished Sergio Mora at 2:08 of the seventh round knocking “The Latin Snake” down five times—three times in the seventh—in that round to retain the “regular” portion of the WBA middleweight title.

It’s says a portion because the guy that Jacobs yearns to fight holds the “super” level of the WBA middleweight title, and that’s Gennady Golovkin, who Jacobs says he’ll be watching closely when “GGG” fights Kell Brook in London on Saturday.

“GGG is the only one on my mind, because like I said, I wanted to fight (WBO titleholder) Billy Joe Saunders, Chris Eubank Jr., and those guys didn’t come back with anything, they didn’t want to fight, so why not keep looking at the top,” Jacobs said. “I’m taking three weeks off and getting right back into the gym. We have date in mid-December at the Barclays Center, and we’ll see what Al [Haymon] has in store.

“But of course I’ll be looking at GGG’s fight with Brook. GGG is the main guy at middleweight. He’s the one the fans recognize and the real champion. He’s the one I want to fight.”

Jacobs said the closest he ever came to GGG was one time in Panama when they sat next each other watching a silly Roberto Duran try and salsa. Otherwise, there’s been no real movement in a Golovkin-Jacobs showdown.

“That’s as far as any talking we’ve done,” Jacobs said. “I don’t know as far as management what they’ve said to each other. I don’t really get involved with that. My main job is staying in shape and signing on the dotted line. As far as [Golovkin fighting an opponent coming up two weight classes], it’s a business move. Boxing is a business. To go and fight a guy he knows he can make millions of dollars off of, whether he’s a middleweight, junior middleweight or welterweight. It’s a business move that I can respect.”

But why would GGG want any part of Jacobs?

Jacobs is a true middleweight. He’s stopped his last 12 opponents. He’s coming into his own physically and mentally.

“This is boxing and no one is scared of nobody, and like GGG says, ‘This is boxing, this boxing.’ Why would any man come into the ring fearful of another man? You can argue that [compared to GGG] I have the toughest guy in Peter Quillin.

“GGG is still tough, though. You can’t take anything away from him. If it can happen, I know I can be the victor [over Golovkin].”

Jacobs knows the likelihood of a fight with GGG in December is remote. His plans are to fight in December and then think of GGG in 2017. There is a possibility of fighting Andy Lee in December at Barclays. It wouldn’t be a step forward for Jacobs, but it would be a parallel move of the type of opponents Jacobs has fought.

“I won’t go backwards [financially] if a GGG fight could be made,” Jacobs said. “If they come at me with some numbers and I’m happy, that’s what the number will be. I know that I want to fight the best and I want to be compensated for it. I want to know my son will be set for the rest of his life. I know the [economics] aren’t there for a megafight, because [GGG] doesn’t sell. But as far as two of the best middleweights, we build it up and he’s already a superstar. The numbers just don’t match his superstar status. What am I do to? I just have to keep doing what I did tonight.”