By Keith Idec
Daniel Jacobs is close to securing an opponent for his next fight, just not the one everyone expected.
Keith Connolly, Jacobs’ manager, confirmed to BoxingScene.com on Monday that negotiations are ongoing for Poland’s Maciej Sulecki to battle Jacobs on April 28 in a fight HBO would televise. If a deal is completed for the Jacobs-Sulecki fight, it will be the main event of a card at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, Jacobs’ hometown.
“We’re in negotiations for Danny to fight Sulecki, but the deal isn’t done,” Connolly said. “We’re hoping to have it finalized soon. We’re looking forward to Danny fighting April 28th at the Barclays Center.”
Irish middleweight Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan wanted to fight Jacobs (33-2, 29 KOs) and expressed through social media recently that he had accepted an offer for that bout. O’Sullivan’s handlers at Golden Boy Promotions, which exercised its multi-fight option on O’Sullivan after he won his last fight, want him to fight someone else and wouldn’t move forward with a Jacobs bout.
That left Eddie Hearn, Jacobs’ promoter, to pursue another opponent.
Sulecki (26-0, 10 KOs) has been competing at junior middleweight and is in position to fight longtime contender Vanes Martirosyan (36-3-1, 21 KOs) in a WBC 154-pound elimination match. Had Sulecki chosen that route, the winner would’ve fought WBC super welterweight champ Jermell Charlo (30-0, 15 KOs) in his following fight.
The 28-year-old Sulecki presumably will make more money for facing Jacobs, though, thus he has decided to move back up to the division in which he has boxed for most of his seven-year pro career.
Sulecki isn’t considered a puncher, but he knocked out then-unbeaten Hugo Centeno Jr. (26-1, 16 KOs, 1 NC) in a middleweight match in June 2016. Centeno, of Oxnard, California, will encounter Houston’s Jermall Charlo (26-0, 20 KOs) for the WBC interim middleweight title March 3 at Barclays Center (Showtime).
In his last fight, Sulecki out-boxed Ecuador’s Jack Culcay (22-3, 11 KOs), a former WBA super welterweight champion, to win a 10-round unanimous decision October 21 at Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.
O’Sullivan (27-2, 19 KOs) pulled off a mild upset in his last outing, a seventh-round knockout of Antoine Douglas (22-2-1, 16 KOs). HBO broadcast that bout December 16 from Place Bell in Laval, Quebec, Canada.
In Jacobs’ most recent action, he out-classed Milwaukee’s Luis Arias (18-1, 9 KOs) and won a 12-round unanimous decision November 11 in Uniondale, New York.
Jacobs, 31, wants a rematch with Gennady Golovkin (37-0-1, 33 KOs) or a fight against Canelo Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KOs), but the IBF/IBO/WBA/WBC middleweight champion and Alvarez are headed toward a rematch May 5. Jacobs’ handlers also sought a shot at WBO middleweight champ Billy Joe Saunders, but England’s Saunders (26-0, 12 KOs) opted to face fellow Brit Martin Murray (36-4-1, 17 KOs) on April 14 in London.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.