Monday, March 20, 2023  |



Checking in with Daniel Jacobs

Photo / Tom Hogan-K2 Promotions

New York fight fans are set for the first stage of a majestic—on paper—March when on Saturday ace welterweights Danny Garcia and Keith Thurman collide in a Brooklyn beat-down elimination which will have the winner being able to boast they are the kingpin at 147….Until, arguably, Errol Spence and Kell Brook sort it out in England.

That scrap unfolds at Barclays Center, and on CBS, in prime time, and it stands as the best chance for the sport to make its largest single-night eyeball grab since Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao waltzed in 2015.

Then, looming on the very near horizon, Madison Square Garden will play host to another glamour division mega-match. Gennady Golovkin, one of the five or so hitters who play co-lead dogs in the sport while Mayweather does the hiatus thing, will put his middleweight titles on the line against an explosive and ambitious Brooklyner, Danny Jacobs, on HBO PPV March 18.

Jacobs boasts a 32-1 record, and recently took part in a conference call with media who wanted to hear how the 30-year-old Brownsville native was thinking and feeling as we tick closer to fight night.

“I am feeling a lot of anxiety at this point,” said Jacobs, who bested Sergio Mora, in a rematch, in his last ring outing.  “Getting close to the fight – nerves are flaring up and I want to be able to go and tackle greatness. I want to go into Madison Square Garden and see my family and see my friends and see everybody there for me, and I’m really just waiting for that moment. I am ready for my fans to be in my corner for the opening round and everyone standing up and cheering and when that first bell rings – just going at it. It’s a big opportunity for me and I’m looking forward to it.”

I haven’t met a single soul who isn’t seeing this one ending in a KO. And yes, I hear most all leaning GGG.

Jacobs was asked, does he think it’s inevitable that this fight ends in a knockout?

“No, I don’t see that that is the only route,” he answered. “You have to understand that I am a boxer and we both come from boxing backgrounds. We do have a lot of knockouts as professionals. If adjustments need to be made it could go the distance. I’m not saying that my plan is to go in there and knock somebody out. This is boxing – you can’t really say what is going to happen because anything can happen in that square ring.”

Yep, it sounded like Jacobs has his head screwed on tight. He’s basically saying no way to know what will happen, till it unfolds.

You have to be impressed with his coolness at taking press queries, especially ones which touch on the fact that he’s been stopped out once before. “It would be easy to say ‘if anyone would go Jacobs would go,’” the boxer stated. “I could see how people would say that. But like I say this is a sport where you have to continuously prove yourself. So no matter what the past says, no matter what people say, it’s really up to me to go in there and do the job.”

Sounds like a change of scenery, doing camp in Cali, is suiting him…

“The Bay Area is awesome despite a little bit of rain,” Jacobs said. “The area is amazing and the weather is nice, the air is fresh.  I go out for a run and see all the mountains and see all the nature – it just adds to a good mental state. I love oysters too – they have really good oysters out here. Being out here with these top contenders and champions and the interest in having them know that they want me to win this fight and hoping I do good. I can genuinely feel that everybody is supporting me. I’ve had a great camp out here in the Bay Area and I look forward to doing it again.”

Jacobs said he’s enjoyed being in the mix with “Virgil’s All-Stars,” like Amir Khan, Andre Berto, and Andre Ward, as he soaks up some tutorial from Virgil Hunter. Andre Rozier is still head trainer, though.

The fighter closed on an up note: “I am really happy with the sparring that we’ve got and it’s going to be one of those things that on March 18 we are going to shock the world.”

My take: Jacobs has deftly and impressively answered direct queries from press on his chin history. But of course, the real and true answer to that matter won’t appear till March 18. If he can get through four or five rounds, and his chin holds, this tussle could well be closer than many GGG fanatics are thinking.