By Keith Idec
Daniel Jacobs acknowledges that his rematch with Sergio Mora on Friday night wouldn’t have been scheduled if he had his way.
He would’ve preferred fighting WBO title-holder Billy Joe Saunders in a middleweight championship unification fight, but Saunders (23-0, 12 KOs) wasn’t nearly as interested in it. And while appealing from the standpoint of potentially strengthening his legacy, Jacobs contends a showdown with fellow middleweight knockout artist Gennady Golovkin (35-0, 32 KOs) wouldn’t have paid him what he thinks that admittedly dangerous fight is worth.
So here he is, preparing to meet Mora 13 months after their first fight resulted in a second-round technical knockout loss for Mora, who suffered an ankle injury as Jacobs dropped him a second time in their August 2015 bout at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.
While this wasn’t Jacobs’ first choice for his first fight in nine months, he is very personally invested in it. The 29-year-old Jacobs has taken some criticism because the light-punching, 35-year-old Mora floored him with a counter left hook during a fascinating first round in which Mora hit the canvas first.
“I think what bothers me the most is he’s living off the fact that he knocked me down,” Jacobs told BoxingScene.com. “Like that’s the highlight of his whole, entire career – at least as of recently. And he’s making it seem like he would’ve went on to stop me, or he’s turned into this puncher and he’s willing to stand toe-to-toe with the best. That’s not Sergio Mora whatsoever.
“When I got clipped, it was simply me coming forward to finish the job which I had already started. And I got careless in doing that. It was a simple mistake, but I got up. And mind you, that was the only punch he landed – the only punch he landed. So for me it just left a bitter taste in my mouth and I wanna get it out already.”
Brooklyn’s Jacobs (31-1, 28 KOs) will defend his WBA world middleweight title against Los Angeles’ Mora (28-4-2, 9 KOs), a former WBC super welterweight champion, in the main event of a Spike broadcast from Santander Arena in Reading, Pennsylvania (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT).
The Mora rematch will be Jacobs’ first fight since he scored an impressive first-round technical knockout against Peter Quillin (32-1-1, 23 KOs) on December 5 at Barclays Center. Mora hasn’t fought since he lost last year to Jacobs.
Jacobs is a 30-1 favorite, according to several Internet sports books.
Spike’s telecast also will include a 12-rounder between Robert Easter Jr. (17-0, 14 KOs), of Toledo, Ohio, and Ghana’s Richard Commey (24-0, 22 KOs). They’ll fight for the vacant IBF lightweight title.
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.