By Keith Idec
Daniel Jacobs believes he’ll challenge Gennady Golovkin for middleweight supremacy before Canelo Alvarez ever embraces that dangerous fight.
The WBA world middleweight title-holder wants nothing more than to upset Golovkin and earn recognition as one of the best boxers in the world. It’s a career-defining fight the Brooklyn native expects to happen sometime in 2017.
Jacobs understands, though, exactly why his harshest critics and even some of his strongest supports have grown frustrated while waiting for his fight against Golovkin to occur. He also wants them to understand he must be compensated correctly for this extremely difficult fight to be made.
Thus far, preliminary negotiations Jacobs says have taken place between representatives for him and the unbeaten Golovkin haven’t resulted in a deal because the money wasn’t quite right.
“Right now it’s just about making everything work to please both sides of the field,” Jacobs told BoxingScene.com. “Like I’ve said, this is a super megafight. I’ve never been the type of person who counts other people’s money, like saying Amir Khan got his or Canelo got this, or any other people. I don’t count other people’s money, but I know my worth. You understand what I’m saying? And every time I get in that ring, I want to make sure I’m compensated accordingly.”
The 29-year-old Jacobs just hopes naysayers don’t translate those statements into meaning he doesn’t want the fight.
“I don’t understand how people don’t get that,” Jacobs continued. “I don’t get people who think that somehow I’m using this as an excuse to avoid Triple-G. Hell no! There is so much riding on the line when it comes to facing Triple-G – being the best middleweight in the world, being one of the best, pound-for-pound, in the world. Do you know how much of an accomplishment that would be for me?
“So I’m not avoiding that. I just think these people don’t understand the business side of it. And to be frank with you, I don’t care because if you’re my fan you’re gonna support me regardless. You’re gonna support the sport of boxing and you’re gonna tune in regardless. So just enjoy the journey. It can be a bit frustrating … but to my fans and to my critics, stop the craziness because it’s coming. It’s coming.”
What’s coming in the near future are middleweight title defenses for Jacobs and Golovkin that each boxer just as soon would not have to make.
Kazakhstan’s Golovkin (35-0, 32 KOs) wants to fight Canelo Alvarez (47-1-1, 33 KOs) in what indisputably would be the most lucrative fight of his 10-year pro career. He settled for a profitable-but-predictable showdown with IBF welterweight champ Kell Brook (36-0, 25 KOs) on September 10 in London (HBO).
Jacobs (31-1, 28 KOs) would’ve settled for facing WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders (23-0, 12 KOs) in his next bout, while waiting for Golovkin and Alvarez to produce perhaps the biggest fight the sport currently can offer.
The likeable cancer survivor instead will battle Los Angeles’ Sergio Mora (28-4-2, 9 KOs) in what, deep down, Jacobs views as an unnecessary rematch against an opponent he stopped in the second round nearly 13 months ago at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. Mora suffered an ankle injury while falling from a second knockdown during the second round and immediately began campaigning for a rematch.
Mora hasn’t fought since they met a year ago. Jacobs hasn’t boxed in the nearly nine months since he scored a stunning first-round TKO against ex-WBO middleweight champ Peter Quillin (32-1-1, 23 KOs) on December 5 at Barclays Center.
Spike will broadcast Jacobs-Mora II on September 9 from Santander Arena in Reading, Pennsylvania.
If he beats Mora again, Jacobs would like to fight Saunders in a partial unification fight in December at Barclays Center.
Meanwhile, the WBA hasn’t forced a bout between Golovkin and Jacobs, despite that Jacobs won the WBA’s interim 160-pound championship two years ago by stopping Australia’s Jarrod Fletcher (18-3, 10 KOs) in the fifth round at Barclays Center. The WBA has since elevated Jacobs to “world” champion and crowned its inexplicable third middleweight title-holder in Venezuela’s Alfonso Blanco (12-0, 5 KOs).
Blanco won the WBA interim middleweight title by out-pointing Ukraine’s Sergey Khomitsky (30-13-3, 13 KOs) on October 10 in Caracas, Venezuela. The Venezuelan sanctioning organization hasn’t made it clear when or if Golovkin, its “super” middleweight champion, or Jacobs will have to make a mandatory defense against Blanco.
Regardless, Jacobs wants to fight Golovkin sometime in 2017. He didn’t divulge the specific figure that’ll make the Golovkin fight more appealing to him, but stressed that it’ll need to be markedly more than he has been offered thus far.
“It just wasn’t the number we were looking for,” said Jacobs, who is advised by Al Haymon. “It didn’t have the potential to make what I believe was fair. I made a career-high, on record, of $1.5 million for the Quillin fight. And to have it kind of close to that, I was like, ‘Wait a second. I could fight two Peter Quillins and make the same thing.’ So let’s up the numbers just a little bit to make me happy. I’m not asking for no crazy double digits [eight figures] or anywhere close to that. But do me right, man.”
Jacobs acknowledges that Golovkin-Alvarez is a significantly more marketable bout than Golovkin-Jacobs. The difference between him and Alvarez, he says, is that he actually wants to fight Golovkin.
“I definitely think I’ll fight Triple-G before Canelo does,” Jacobs said. “I’ve said I wanna fight Triple-G within the next year. So definitely 2017 is probably gonna be the calendar [year] when we step into the ring. But I think Canelo was saying the end of 2017 or 2018, or something like that. It’s crazy. It’s very frustrating.
“In my opinion, [Golovkin-Jacobs] is the most competitive fight in the middleweight division. Canelo’s a bigger name, so if that fight [Alvarez-Golovkin] was to be made, that fight has the potential to probably be the far more lucrative fight. But as far as it being competitive between two true middleweights – not watered-down middleweights – the fans understand that we’re the best middleweights in the world.”
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.