By John Angus MacDonald
With the middleweight division currently in a state of uncertainty, promoter Eddie Hearn, feels that Daniel Jacobs is ideally positioned to capitalise.
WBC, WBA, IBO and IBF champion, Gennady Golovkin will defend his titles against Vanes Martirosyan on 5 May, at the StubHub Center, California.
Golovkin was originally scheduled to face Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez on the same date, until the Mexican tested positive for the prohibited substance, Clenbuterol.
Alvarez is currently serving a six month ban from the Nevada State Athletic Commission, which leaves him ineligible to box until 17 August.
Given that the first bout between Golovkin and ‘Canelo’, last September, resulted in a controversial draw, the rematch is the most financially lucrative option for both.
Any rescheduled contest could be complicated by sanctioning bodies enforcing Golovkin to make a mandatory defence. At present, Sergiy Derevyanchenko is IBF mandatory and - as interim champion - Jermall Charlo is WBC’s mandatory challenger.
Danny Jacobs (33-2, 29 KOs) is hoping to become the WBA’s mandated challenger, when he faces Maciej Sulecki (26-0, 10 KOs), at the Barclays Center, Brooklyn.
Hearn believes victory will leave Jacobs perfectly poised to recapture a world title, having previously held the WBA “World” title.
“I think the middleweight division is breaking up nicely and Danny is very well placed,” Hearn told BoxingScene.
Derevyanchenko’s team had lobbied the IBF to force Golovkin to face their charge on 5 May, after Alvarez had withdrawn from the contest. It appears unlikely that Derevyanchenko would be willing to step-aside to allow the ‘Canelo’ rematch to take place, once the Mexican has served his ban. Given that the IBF stringently enforce their mandatories, it is possible that the belt could become vacant.
Jacobs is currently the second highest ranked contender with the IBF, at #3, behind only Derevyanchenko (#2 is vacant).
Hearn confirmed his fighter could face the Ukrainian, if Golovkin was to be stripped of the belt.
“Victory on Saturday would mean [Jacobs] will become mandatory for GGG’s [WBA] middleweight crown, and if the IBF becomes vacant then it would be Danny versus Derevenchenko for the belt,” he said.
Hearn was also keen to suggest that Jacobs could face Jermall Charlo, who continued his rich vein of form with a two-round destruction of of Hugo Centeno Jr, last Saturday.
Charlo is fast establishing himself as one of the top middleweights in the world, but Hearn believes Jacob is up to the challenge.
“There is also the Charlo fight and that’s one Danny really likes,” he said. “Charlo is a talented young fighter, but I get the feeling Danny wants to put manners on him and that could be a huge fight for New York.”
Despite discussing future options, Hearn stressed that Jacobs was not underestimating Sulecki. The undefeated Pole is stepping back up to middleweight having competed at junior middleweight for the last three contests.
However, Sulecki does have form at middleweight, having stopped Centeno Jr, in the 10th round, in June of 2016.
“The whole team is really expecting a tough fight on Saturday,” he said. “Sulecki is an undefeated, tough, tough man and has the absolute dream shot on Saturday. A win for him would change his life, so Danny has to be on it and he is. I really feel you are going to see an unbelievable performance from Danny on Saturday in a very exciting fight.”