by David P. Greisman
With Showtime’s usual analyst, Paulie Malignaggi, fighting in the ring tonight, middleweight contender Daniel Jacobs will be joining the network’s broadcast crew. But there’s another benefit to Jacobs doing so — he’ll be scouting middleweight titleholder Peter Quillin, who is defending against Lukas Konecny, and a fellow New Yorker whom Jacobs could meet sometime soon.
Jacobs spoke with BoxingScene.com on April 18.
BoxingScene.com: Have you done boxing commentary before?
Jacobs: “I’ve done it on one occasion before, on a smaller stage, but at the same time I got comfortable doing it. I loved doing it. I love to show my fans and my supporters a different side of me. Sometimes guys will be like, ‘When you was in the ring, you were only in there two or three rounds. We want to see more.’ So this is an opportunity for my fans to get to see a little bit more of me. My family and everyone’s just been showing so much support. They’re very happy for me at this moment. This is a big stage for me. This is a great opportunity. This is something that can possibly lead into another career for me down the line.”
BoxingScene.com: You mentioned you’re also here to support Paulie Malignaggi, who’s also from Brooklyn. But what about Peter Quillin?
Jacobs: “We’re looking to get a title shot. If Peter Quillin gets the victory, we can be set up or placed in the Barclays Center this summer. We’ll see what happens. I do have a vested interest in that particular fight, so it’s all up to him to win and get the victory. And if he does, we’ll see what happens after that.”
BoxingScene.com: Ringside is a prime location for you to be scouting Quillin.
Jacobs: “Right, I’ll be working and scouting (laughs).”
BoxingScene.com: Does that then mean when you’re doing commentary and you notice weaknesses in his game, do you not mention them because you don’t want him to know that you saw them?
Jacobs: “Oh, no, this is a different lane for me, so I want to keep it strictly professional. I don’t want to put any of my ego or any personal feelings I have, or even if I see anything, I just want to do my job, announce the fight, give the fans a boxer’s perspective, and do a great job. I’m not looking to bash him in any way. He’s still a great guy. I’m just looking to pretty much see how he does. I’ll be scouting at the same time.”
BoxingScene.com: How long have you known him?
Jacobs: “I’ve known Peter — wow, I’ve known him since the amateurs, maybe since 2006, 2005.”
BoxingScene.com: And did you ever think you’d be on this collision course to face him?
Jacobs: “Never. I was still an amateur when he first turned pro. And I remember seeing him, I was like, ‘Wow, this guy’s strong. He’s a New York guy. I didn’t know too much about him, but over the years he started building a name, and then we started seeing each other at local shows and became cool. Every time we see each other, we’ll speak and have conversations. And now he’s at this point now where he’s a world champion, where he’s been through a lot and overcome a lot.”
BoxingScene.com: Is it difficult to be potentially fighting somebody that you’re friendly with, or does that go back to the amateur days when you were fighting a lot of people that you knew?
Jacobs: “Here’s the thing, in boxing you can’t really befriend a lot of people. You have to keep it strictly business. My thing is my family is my priority, and they’re my life, and in order for me to be where I want to be in my life, I have to become champion and fulfill my dreams. He’s standing in the way of that. No one comes before my family. No friendship. No person or anything I have with anyone else.”
BoxingScene.com: What impresses you about Quillin, and what flaws do you see?
Jacobs: “I think it’s evident, the flaws that he has, especially being at this elite level. My game plan will be a little bit different, but at the same time, we’ll have to see. He fights different every time he’s in that ring.”
BoxingScene.com: You said his flaws are evident. What flaws do you see?
Jacobs: “I would say defensively. Defensively. He has power in both hands, and that’s why he’s been able to maintain champion for so long. But at the same time, I see a lot of flaws. And I want to be able to capitalize on that, as opposed to giving it out to someone else.”
BoxingScene.com: Given the journey you’ve had, if you win this world title after everything you’ve been through, what is that moment going to be like?
Jacobs: “You know what, it’ll be a key moment in my life and my career, to prove to myself that I am the creator, I am the master of my own destiny. And if I set my goals to do something, no matter what obstacles are in front of me, I can accomplish it and do that. That in itself, not even cancer — just everything I’ve been through in my boxing career. I’ve been through ups and downs, so for me to get to this point and have a title shot again and get the victory, that’s unheard of.”
BoxingScene.com: Anything else you want your fans to know?
Jacobs: “I continue to thank you for all your support. I continue to do the things that I have to do to be a great champion. I’ve lived this life. I have the second opportunity at becoming a champion right at my cusp. This is going to be something I’ll cherish for the rest of my life, this moment right now.”
Pick up a copy of David’s new book, “Fighting Words: The Heart and Heartbreak of Boxing,” at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsamazon or internationally at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsworldwide. Send questions/comments via email at firstname.lastname@example.orgTags: Daniel Jacobs , Peter Quillin