Daniel Jacobs: “By Popular Demand”
By: Sean Crose
“I know that real recognize real,” IBF middleweight champ Daniel Jacobs said to me on a Monday conference call. I had just brought up the fact that Jacobs seemed very self-assured that he would get another big fight after he had just lost a controversial decision to Gennady Golovkin back in 2017. “I knew that it would be by popular demand that I would be back at this stage.” Sure enough, Jacobs was right to trust his gut, for he’s set to battle WBA and WBC champ Canelo Alvarez in a title unifier May 4th – Cinco de Mayo weekend – in Las Vegas.
Even though he was unhappy with the decision loss to Golovkin, the cancer survivor was quick to let the world know some very big things emerged from the experience. “So many opportunities arose from just that one fight with Golovkin,” the 35-2 fighter continued. “I knew this opportunity would present itself.” Jacobs pointed out that, while some fighters allow themselves to get destroyed by close, controversial losses, he didn’t let the experience of losing to Golovkin get the better of him. “I knew it wasn’t the end of me,” he added. “I knew that it was a matter of time before we got to this level (again).”
Jacobs is the rare fighter who is able to be interesting without being overtly showy. Aside from his victorious battle against cancer, the 32 year old carries with him a confidence that assures people he can let his ability speak for itself. In this sense, he is similar to Canelo, another fighter who doesn’t feel much of a need for smack talk. “It’s never been in my nature,” Jacobs said of trash talking. “I know that boxing is just a sport.” Jacobs also made it clear that he was grateful Canelo takes the same mature approach to matters as he does. “This has been a breath of fresh air for me,” Jacobs stated of the overall promotion.
Matchroom honcho Eddie Hearn, who represents Jacobs, said he’s happy with the relationship Matchroom and Canelo’s team, Golden Boy Promotions, have as well. “We’ve always worked well on fights together,” he said when I brought up the two companies’ working relationship. Hearn also admitted that having both fighters appearing on the DAZN streaming service proved to be helpful, too. “It was a game changer,” he said of Jacobs agreeing to fight on DAZN. Continuing on in the spirit of good sportsmanship that has permeated the leadup to the May 4th battle, Hearn went on to give credit to Canelo for taking the match.
“I actually feel Canelo deserves respect, as well,” he said. “This is the roughest fight out there for him.”