Jacobs Want Saunders In Brooklyn
Following his North American debut on December 16th, Billy Joe Saunders has an invitation to return to the continent from Daniel Jacobs.
Jacobs is likely to have his first fight of 2018 on April 28 at Barclays Center in his native Brooklyn, and wants to face the WBO middleweight titleholder. Saunders being willing to travel to Quebec fro a title defense against Montreal’s David Lemieux gives Jacobs’ team at Matchroom confidence that Saunders would seriously consider defending his championship against Jacobs in Brooklyn.
“We’re definitely looking to fight Billy Joe Saunders next because Triple-G and Canelo most probably will have their rematch May 5th,” Keith Connolly, Jacobs’ manager, told BoxingScene.com.
“So the guy that makes the most sense for Danny is Saunders. I’ll contact his people and see what their level of interest is. But I think that would be a huge fight in New York City for Danny.”
While Saunders would prefer to fight Canelo Alvarez or Gennady Golovkin, their potential rematch keeps that on an indefinite pause. Jacobs has an exclusive contract with HBO, the network that just aired Saunders decision victory over David Lemieux.
The 28-year-old Saunders could make an easier optional defense against a lesser opponent instead of Jacobs due to fulfilling his mandatory obligation with the WBO by facing Lemieux.
“I can see him avoiding Danny because Danny is such high-risk and Saunders is looking to cash out in a Canelo or Triple-G fight,” Connolly said. “But to fight one of those guys, he should go through Danny first. Danny, in my eyes, is the best middleweight in the world. But in the eyes of a lot of people, he’s the third-best middleweight in the world.
“So it should be a mini-middleweight tournament, with Canelo and Triple-G in one bracket in the rematch in May, and Danny and Saunders in the other. And then the winners fight each other in September. That would be the logical and the most entertaining thing for fans at this point, to have some sort of a middleweight tournament.”
Saunders enhanced his status in boxing by beating Lemieux so easily. An athletic, intelligent Saunders used his stiff jab and terrific footwork to befuddle Lemieux, and fought a very disciplined defensive fight to soundly defeat the hard-hitting Lemieux (120-108, 118-110, 117-111).
“I thought Saunders proved that he’s one of the elite middleweights in the world,” Connolly said. “He had great stamina, great boxing ability. It was a total shutout. I couldn’t find one round to give to Lemieux and he proved that he belongs as one of the top five or six middleweights in the world. He was definitely a lot more impressive than I expected him to be.”