Jacobs Has GGG Rematch On His Mind Heading Into Sulęcki

The recent failed drug test of Canelo Alvarez, though its significance has been widely contested, has had a ripple effect throughout boxing. His opponent, Gennady Golovkin, who he was set to face in a rematch of their 2017 classic, is still fighting on Cinco de Mayo, but Vanes Martirosyan is now his opponent. Meanwhile, just a few weeks out from their fight this Saturday at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, Daniel Jacobs and Maciej Sulęcki saw their fight become a bout to determine the next mandatory challenger to Golovkin’s WBA Middleweight Super Championship. It’s a sudden change this late in camp and could weigh on a lot of fighters minds, but going into Saturday, Jacobs is fairly insistent that he’s not one of them.

“I think as a professional, you have things in the back of your mind, not to say you’re overlooking it—we’re still human beings, unconsciously we overlook a lot of things,” he told FIGHT SPORTS.

“Especially with this opportunity that presented itself, I just know that I have a specific job to do and I have to do it impressively to secure that opportunity in the future. So it’s more so not looking over my opponent, but knowing that if I look impressive, then the pot of gold and the glamour and everything I’ve worked so hard for is right around the corner.”

Besides, it’s not as if he didn’t know that something like this might be coming. “I do realize I’m top five, maybe top three in all of the sanctioning bodies,” he added. “So I knew it was a matter of time, probably a little faster than expected, but I’m just grateful for the opportunity. Because I’ve been calling out a lot of these top guys , and as much as they’ve been avoiding me, that was just me getting that much closer to the sanctioning bodies mandating me.”

While the mandatory challenger system is controversial, Jacobs does see some of the benefit to having such a rigid structure to who gets a title shot…but not always. “Sometimes it can get frustrating, but sometimes it works to your benefit,” he said. “We sign up with something where we already know what we’re getting into, so we can’t cry over spilled milk. I think that at the end of the day, I have a job to do, and I have a team that’s set in place to make sure that all of those other things are taken care of so I can just focus on one thing.”

Jacobs made a point to single out the key members of that team and give them the credit that they’re due.

“Getting with HBO and being with [Matchroom Sport promoter] Eddie Hearn and having my amazing, incredible manager Keith Connolly, it shows, you know,” he said. “Having a great team means something, and I’m very fortunate for that. But now it’s really time for me to do my job, go inside that ring, and prove what, all along, I’ve been saying this whole time: That I’m the best middleweight in the world.”

And he’s ready to show it. “I think I’m in the best place possible,” he added. “Like I said, it’s just a matter of time. I do think this year, or the beginning of 2019, God willing, the the title shot will be knocking.”

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