Daniel Jacobs manager talks Sulecki fight and GGG-Derevyanchko situation
Keith Connolly is by no means new on the scene, being that he’s been side by side with Danny Jacobs since the Brownsville boxer was a teenager. Jacobs is now no teen; powered by Connolly’s deal-making savvy, the 31 year old with a 33-2 mark signed a new deal with HBO last fall, and he’s now in a position to elevate himself from the top tier of the middleweight division to the tippy top.
OK, not if and when he beats Maciej Sulecki (26-0; from Poland; best win over Hugo Centeno) on April 28 at Barclays Center, that “W” won’t vault the fighter past GGG and Canelo Alvarez or put him neck and neck with them. No, he’ll have to beat Sulecki and then have pieces fall into place which gets him another step-up fight, like the one he engaged in with Golovkin in March 2017. That scrap shows up as an “L” on Jacobs’ resume but a “W” when we talk about his rep. There is no shortage of smart pundits who think he beat the Kazahk ace.
Jacobs did a media workout, alongside Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller, at the famed and fabled Gleason’s Gym on Thursday, the fight factory now housed on Water St in DUMBO, as owner-properietor Bruce Silverglade made the rounds, shook hands with various fightgame lifers, and made sure everyone was comfortable.
I grilled Connolly as Jacobs answered queries from the scrum of videographers, who now out-number writers at such events as these.
Is this one going to be more “fan-friendly” than Jacobs’ last tango, against Luis Arias, more interested in ducking and dodging than landing?
“Just speaking to Danny throughout training camp, he wants to be really impressive,” Connolly told me. “Arias ran last time, made it a stinker. It wasn’t Danny’s fault, but it looks the way it did. He’s assured me he’s going to come out and look devastating. He’s predicting a knockout within five rounds. The main goal is not only to win, but to look devastating. He thinks it’s gonna be a quick, decisive knockout!”
We also discussed the kerfuffle, the on-going soap operatics involving Canelo-clenbuterol-Golovkin, etc. Connolly said that really, the fallout from Canelo falling off that May 5 date which is supposedly still a go, somewhere, not Las Vegas, with GGG vs. Someone, isn’t affecting Jacobs.
“He’s gotta win this fight and then he becomes the mandatory for the WBA. What it has changed, is things for Golovkin, he’s gotta fight my other guy Sergey Derevyanchenko, if his fight is cancelled, so, he has two choices: He can give up the IBF belt, or he can fight Sergey next. But he can’t avoid Sergey now, and wait for Canelo. I’m very confident in my legal stance on that! If he tries to go straight to Canelo in September, and sit out, Team Derevyanchenko is ready to take legal action. I’m very comfortable in our legal position as far Sergey being owed the fight next.”
He promised that he and Team Derevyanchenko would go the legal route “if they don’t fight us.” If he doesn’t want to fight Derevyanchenko, GGG should be stripped, he stated confidently.
These next couple weeks, he said, will be spent counting down to Jacobs’ April 28 rumble and looking out for Derevyanchenkos’ interests. He can add seeking total clarity on the in-the-works Sergey Kovalev vs Marcus Browne fight; it’s looking like it lands July 14 in NYC, but Connolly is waiting to get word that it’s a full on go, for his client Browne.