By Keith Idec
Luis Arias doesn’t see Daniel Jacobs the way most boxing observers view the hard-hitting middleweight from Brooklyn.
Milwaukee’s Arias doesn’t think the man he’ll face November 11 is an elite middleweight. And Arias definitely doesn’t consider Jacobs a legitimate former middleweight champion.
“I do feel like he’s overrated,” Arias said during a conference Friday to promote their fight. “I just feel like Danny Jacobs has a lot of things in his story that makes him a lot better. He comes from a big city. He comes from New York. You know, the amount of media and amount of attention anyone from New York gets compared to everyone else around the United States is different. He’s always had just a big name. But if you really go and look at his record, you know, I don’t see anybody that he’s beat.”
Arias also made reference to Jacobs winning the WBA world middleweight title by beating Australia’s Jarrod Fletcher in August 2014. That shouldn’t really count, according to Arias, because everyone knows Gennady Golovkin has long been the WBA’s real middleweight champion.
“Eddie mentioned him adding another world title, but realistically he never was a world champion,” Arias said, referring to Eddie Hearn, Jacobs’ new promoter. “Everyone knows the WBA has two world champions in the same weight class, and that’s not even right. There should only be one world champion per weight class. So he’s had two opportunities to be a world champion, and he didn’t win. He’s shown plenty of flaws in his game, he’s been down plenty, he’s been hurt plenty and I don’t see a lot of tough fights. And the tough fights that I’ve seen, you know, he lost.”
The 30-year-old Jacobs (32-2, 29 KOs) lost his last fight for Golovkin’s middleweight titles by unanimous decision, but gained respect worldwide for getting up from a fourth-round knockdown and giving Golovkin arguably the most difficult fight of his career March 18 at Madison Square Garden. Former WBO champion Dmitry Pirog stopped Jacobs in the fifth round of Jacobs’ first middleweight title fight in July 2010.
Arias acknowledged Jacobs is a “good fighter” after questioning the cancer survivor’s credentials.
“But he is a good athlete, a good fighter … he’s exciting,” Arias said. “We’ll see, man. But me, personally, I do think he’s a little overrated. I think he still hasn’t really cemented his name completely in the game yet. Like I said, he hasn’t been a legitimate world champion. These last couple years, Triple-G’s been having all the belts. And [Billy Joe] Saunders, but he’s just holding on to that [WBO] belt. But he’s a good fighter, man. He’s got a lot of experience. We’ll see, man. But I think he’s overrated. It’s a mixture of me being underrated and him being overrated. Maybe that’s it.”
HBO will televise Jacobs-Arias as the main event of a “World Championship Boxing” tripleheader November 11 from Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, New York.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.