By Keith Idec
NEW YORK – Daniel Jacobs acknowledged Tuesday that he wasn’t quite prepared for Luis Arias’ audacious trash talk at their press conference.
Nothing about Arias will surprise the former WBA middleweight champion when they enter the ring November 11, though. Jacobs (32-2, 29 KOs) is well aware that their fight is the opportunity Arias has awaited to change his career and the Brooklyn native will approach his preparation accordingly.
“You have to realize this guy may not be known to the public,” Jacobs told BoxingScene.com before their press conference in Manhattan. “This guy may not be the big, bad Joe that people know. But inside the boxing world, a lot of people know who he is. He’s what we would call a sleeper. You sleep on this guy, and he will ruin all your plans.”
Jacobs’ fight against Arias will mark the beginning of a his new multifight deals with HBO Sports and promoter Matchroom Boxing USA. HBO will televise their 10-round middleweight match as the main event of a “World Championship Boxing” broadcast from Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, New York.
The 27-year-old Arias (18-0, 9 KOs) will make his debut on a premium-cable channel. He’s beyond hungry after fighting mostly in anonymity since he turned pro in November 2012.
“He’s 18-0,” Jacobs said. “He was linked with Floyd [Mayweather], which says a lot. Now he’s linked with Roc Nation, which says a lot. And he’s just looking for an opportunity to get his name out there. In this boxing world, very few are chosen. And if you can get through the cracks and get your opportunity, you’ve gotta make the best of it.
“That’s how I’m looking at this fight. I’m not looking at this fight as, ‘Oh, he’s an up-and-comer and he’s never fought a guy like me.’ I’m not looking at it like that. I’m looking at it like this guy is trying to come and spoil all my plans. So I have to prep for that.”
In his last fight, Milwaukee’s Arias dominated Russia’s Arif Magomedov (18-2, 11 KOs) en route to a fifth-round technical knockout victory on the Andre Ward-Sergey Kovalev undercard June 17 at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.
“I have to go by his last fight, and his last performance, he did exceptionally well,” Jacobs said. “I didn’t really know of the guy that he fought. I seen that [Arias] was fairly good and I just have to prepare for what I’ve seen in his last fight, and an even better version. And that’s just simply it.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.