By Keith Idec
UNIONDALE, New York – Luis Arias admitted Daniel Jacobs’ speed, strength and intelligence gave him plenty of problems Saturday night.
But according to the Milwaukee middleweight, his biggest problem was his right foot. Arias limped into their post-fight press conference early Sunday morning, detailed how a blister began forming on the sole of his right foot during the second round and contended it kept him from performing up to his capabilities in his HBO debut.
“I felt like the first three, four rounds was a little tactical,” Arias said. “And then, after that, I couldn’t get off. I just couldn’t. My foot was on fire. And I don’t wanna make any excuses, but it’s hard to shoot an overhand [right]. I’ve got a perfect right hand, a very strong right hand. And it’s hard to plant that right hand when your foot is on fire.”
Arias’ right sock was bloody when he took it off following his 12-round, unanimous-decision defeat to Jacobs. He told BoxingScene.com that the blister didn’t exist before the bout began.
“The first three rounds, you know, it was real cool, real tactical,” Arias said. “We were both moving, you know, I was shooting shots, he was shooting shots. And I just must’ve stepped on it and I’ve got a blister the size of a baseball on my right foot. And the moment I took my shoe off, my whole sock was bloody. So, like I said, it’s kind of hard for me to plant my foot when my foot just kept, man, it just kept burning, kept burning.
“It’s just part of adversity. You know what I mean? I was able to stick it through. I still tried to fight my heart out. I really wanted a war. I really wanted to sit there and duke it out with Jacobs. You know what I mean? I took what I could, I tried my hardest and tried to duke it out with him. But like I said, he was the bigger, smarter man tonight.”
Andre Rozier, Jacobs’ trainer, said he noticed Arias favoring his right foot during the fight. Jacobs (33-2, 29 KOs) wasn’t as forgiving after defeating the trash-talking Arias (18-1, 9 KOs) by big margins on all three scorecards (120-107, 119-108, 118-109).
“Oh, he had a blister now?,” Jacobs joked when told about Arias’ blister. “I don’t know. Maybe if he didn’t run then, or if he’d have met me in the middle, he wouldn’t have had a [blister]. Much respect to Arias. … Listen, man, at the end of the day, it speaks for itself.”
Nevertheless, Arias emphasized that the blister was a factor in his performance.
“Honestly,” Arias said, “after the third round, all I was just thinking about was my foot. … If I would’ve had my feet most of the fight, I would’ve been a lot more offensive.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.