Daniel Jacobs wants a shot at Billy Joe Saunders’ super middleweight title next if they win their upcoming fights.
Jacobs and Saunders are set to fight a week apart, thus they’re schedules would align perfectly for a bout sometime in the first half of 2021. The 33-year-old Jacobs also is the WBO’s third-rated contender for Saunders’ 168-pound championship, two spots below top-ranked Canelo Alvarez, Saunders’ primary target.
First, of course, a heavily favored Jacobs (36-3, 30 KOs) must beat Gabe Rosado (25-12-1, 14 KOs, 1 NC) in a 12-round super middleweight fight Friday night in Hollywood, Florida. England’s Saunders, meanwhile, will make his second defense of the WBO super middleweight crown December 4, when he’ll encounter countryman Martin Murray in a 12-round, 168-pound championship match at Wembley Arena in London.
Brooklyn’s Jacobs has appealing alternatives to Saunders because his contract with DAZN will expire after the Rosado bout, but facing Saunders is toward the top of his list.
“I think it looks fantastic,” Jacobs said Tuesday during a virtual conference call. “It’s definitely appealing to me. I think it’s a fight that could be made easily. But I’ve been calling Billy Joe out for some time now. And so, hopefully we’re in this position to where we both can win our fights and that’s a strong possibility for us to go into the near future. It only makes sense, you know?
“I didn’t catch him at middleweight. Hopefully, I can catch him at super middleweight. But my whole, main focus is to be a two-division world champion and future Hall-of-Famer. So, the fact that I have options and opportunities to fight other fighters if one fighter don’t wanna fight, or if something falls through, I’m just very fortunate to have these opportunities. But I do think a Billy Joe Saunders fight makes sense.”
Handicappers have installed Jacobs as a 25-1 favorite to defeat Philadelphia’s Rosado in a main event DAZN will stream Friday night from Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino (8 p.m. EST; 5 p.m. PST). Saunders (29-0, 14 KOs) is consistently listed as a 20-1 favorite to get past the 12th-ranked Murray (39-5-1, 17 KOs) in another DAZN main event a week after Jacobs and Rosado headline a five-fight card.
Saunders hasn’t fought in more than a year.
In his first defense of the WBO super middleweight title, unknown Argentine challenger Marcelo Coceres surprisingly tested Saunders last November 9 at Staples Center in Los Angeles. Coceres (29-1-1, 15 KOs) was ahead on one scorecard through 10 rounds before Saunders dropped him three times in the 11th round and stopped him.
Jacobs will return Friday night for his first fight since Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. quit on his stool following five rounds against him last December 20 at Talking Stick Arena in Phoenix. Mexico’s Chavez came in 4¾ pounds overweight for their super middleweight bout, but Jacobs went through with their main event anyway and defeated Chavez (51-5-1, 33 KOs, 1 NC) in what had been a competitive contest before Chavez declined to continue.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.