By Keith Idec
Once his own fight against Luis Arias ends November 11, the next middleweight fight that’ll matter to Daniel Jacobs is Billy Joe Saunders-David Lemieux.
Jacobs expects to defeat Arias and then travel to Laval, Quebec, to scout the Saunders-Lemieux middleweight title fight December 16. Brooklyn’s Jacobs (32-2, 29 KOs) hopes to challenge the winner, perhaps in the fight after facing Milwaukee’s Arias (18-0, 9 KOs) at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, New York.
The former WBA 160-pound champion knows winning the WBO middleweight title from the Saunders-Lemieux winner will make him a more attractive opponent for whoever wins the eventual Canelo Alvarez-Gennady Golovkin rematch.
“I think it’s a great opportunity for me,” Jacobs said during a conference call Friday. “Like I said before, we’re going for these top guys. If we’re gunning for these guys, it would be that much better if we have a title. I think it’s a great possibility for the fight [against the Saunders-Lemieux winner] to happen. I think it definitely makes sense because those guys have been avoiding me for some time now, verbally and publicly.
“But now that they’re fighting each other, it’s like, where else do you go if these guys are contractually tied [to HBO]? So yeah, we’re gonna go to Montreal. We’re gonna go [if] we get this victory, which I’m sure we will. We’ll go up and be present. It doesn’t matter who wins to me. In my opinion, I think B.J. might edge him a little bit. But this is boxing. Anything can happen. But it doesn’t matter. I think the winner makes total sense to fight me in the future, the near future.”
HBO will televise Jacobs-Arias and the bout between England’s Saunders (25-0, 12 KOs) and Montreal’s Lemieux (38-3, 33 KOs). Jacobs’ bout represents the beginning of his new multi-fight agreement to fight exclusively on HBO and his new partnership with British promoter Eddie Hearn, who also spoke during the conference call about Jacobs boxing the Saunders-Lemieux winner.
“When he leaves the ring on November 11th, I’m certain we will know the date of his next fight,” Hearn said. “That gives him an opportunity to plan his camps, spend some time with the family and plan out his schedule. Wanting to box three times in 2018, if one’s in the UK, no problem. And you look at future opponents, of course everyone looks at Danny Jacobs against the Golovkin-Canelo winner. But you’ve got Billy Joe fighting Lemieux on December the 16th, and that’s a fight where Danny’s a natural fight for the winner of that fight. Could be in Canada, could be in the UK, could be New York.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.