By Ryan Maquiñana
Daniel Jacobs has been a middleweight titleholder all of 2 ½ weeks, but “The Miracle Man” already has his sights set on conquering the rest of the division.
“It still hasn’t hit me -- maybe one day it will -- but I think the fact that it hasn’t hit me has kept me grounded and keeps me hungry,” the Brooklynite told BoxingScene.com on Friday. “It keeps me setting goals for myself.
“I want to be recognized as the No. 1 guy in the middleweight division, and I don’t consider myself a champion until I beat all the guys they consider to be the No. 1 guys.”
Due to the heavy helpings of alphabet soup that muddle pro boxing’s title picture, identifying a true champion can be as difficult as catching a gazelle with a grocery bag.
But Jacobs (28-1, 25 KOs), who has been moonlighting as a commentator for Fox Sports 1, is one of the more honest fighters in the sport; without hesitation, he acknowledged that he does not yet sit atop Middleweight Mountain.
“I think Gennady Golovkin, obviously, is the No. 1 guy,” Jacobs said. “We’re going to make a hit list, and we’re going to work our way up to him, but obviously, he’s the No. 1 guy in the division.”
Jacobs then ranked fellow New York-based middleweight titleholder Peter Quillin and Puerto Rican star Miguel Cotto, who reigns as lineal champion after dethroning Sergio Martinez in June at Madison Square Garden.
“I would say Petey’s No. 3,” Jacobs said. “Cotto has to be No. 2, so hopefully we can work our way up.”
With both Quillin and Jacobs under the umbrella of powerful advisor Al Haymon, it appears more and more likely that the 160-pounders will face off in Brooklyn’s Barclays Center sometime in the foreseeable future. Jacobs, however, was quick to point out that such a clash would have to wait.
“Petey has a mandatory with Matvey Korobov,” Jacobs said. “So, if he looks impressive and gets a victory against Matvey, it’s almost natural to make that fight [with Quillin] to be made in Brooklyn.
“With Roc Nation [Sports] behind that and them being promoters now, it makes it that much easier for that fight to happen. I think that fight will happen. It’ll be tough for both guys.”
As a result, the newly minted titleholder is still unclear about the identity of his first challenger. When asked about Gabriel Rosado, who recently outdueled Bryan Vera in the new “BKB” series, Jacobs said the Philadelphia fighter “looked great” and would be open to traveling whichever road his adviser shepherds him next.
“I don’t know my situation yet as far as if I have a mandatory coming up, but I look forward to see what the future has in store,” said Jacobs, whose remarkable triumph over cancer has captivated the boxing world. “I can fight anyone from contenders to champions, so I’ll leave it in the hands of Al Haymon.”
Ryan Maquiñana is the Boxing Insider at Comcast SportsNet Bay Area and the Editor-in-Chief of Norcalboxing.com. He is a full member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow him on Twitter @RMaq28 or email him at [email protected].