The Friends Of Daniel Jacobs
By: Sean Crose
I just recently caught the classic 70s crime film “The Friends of Eddie Coyle,” starring Robert Mitchum and Peter Boyle. Eddie Coyle’s friends in the movie aren’t exactly the kinds of friends you and I would ever want, as Eddie and his associates are Boston based crime figures. What’s interesting about the film, however, is the way these dysfunctional characters are, for better or (more likely) worse, all a part of a group that works towards a common goal (robbery). Middleweight slugger Daniel Jacobs is no criminal, but, like Coyle, he’s surrounded himself with an essential group of friends of his own. And like Coyle’s associates, the friends of Daniel Jacobs are driven by a single goal.
That goal? Not robbery, but a single victory against the most feared man in boxing. For Gennady Golovkin is widely regarded as the king of the middleweight division. Should he prove victorious upon meeting Jacobs in combat Saturday at Madison Square Garden, all doubts regarding the guy’s supremacy may well be erased. With potential celebrity opponent Canelo Alvarez preparing to face Julio Caesar Chavez Jr, there’s really no greater challenge for Golovkin around the 160 pound mark at the moment than Jacobs.
And Jacobs means to rise to the occasion – with, of course, a little help from his friends. Aside from loyal trainer Andre Rozier, Jacobs has created a unique team from a diverse group of people to help him prepare for the Everest that is the fearsome Golovkin. He’s been training out in Oakland, in the gym of notable ring general Virgil Hunter. That means getting input not only from Hunter but potentially from Hunter’s stable of name fighters. Amir Khan, Peter Quillin, Andrzej Fonfara, Andre Berto – even Andre Ward – have been around. Just being in the presence of such a high-end element can up one’s confidence. And taking the opinions of serious members of the boxing community can prove invaluable.
Then there’s Chris Algieri. Yes, Jacobs has hired his fellow Empire State native to be his nutritionist. Those familiar with Algieri know the fighter (and former junior welterweight champ) is a master of nutrition and fitness (as well as cooking). And so he’s become a cook and running partner for Jacobs during camp. People can roll their eyes at Jacobs’ chances against the feared fighter known as GGG, but he’s clearly surrounded himself with people who know what they’re doing.
Come Saturday night in Manhattan, however, the friends of Daniel Jacobs won’t be there to help him. It will just be Jacobs and a certain destructive force other name fighters have chosen to avoid. No doubt those friends of Jacobs will hope they’ve prepared him well.