Jacobs Takes First Steps To Unify At MSG
Over a year ago, Daniel Jacobs would take Gennady Golovkin to the distance for the first time in his pro career. On Saturday night, Jacobs looks to chase that loss away and take the vacant IBF middleweight title that alluded him against Golovkin.
Standing in the New York native’s way is mandatory challenger Sergiy Derevyanchenko, who was passed over twice by Golovkin in-order to set up fights with Vanes Martirosyan and Canelo Alvarez. And while the mandatory challenger refuses the idea that GGG “ducked” him, he now has to contend with Jacobs a former WBA middleweight champion that only has only two losses in his career.
While both men have earned their way to the title showdown, a conflict of interest almost put a stop to the fight, as both men shared the same trainer in Andre Rozier and a manager Keith Connolly.
“I’d definitely say we’re very familiar with each other’s styles, weaknesses and strengths,” Jacobs said to ESPN about the 300 rounds of sparring both fighters had together.
“This is an individual sport and when we spar it’s some really great sparring matches and when the fight comes it will be the same thing. We’re both standing in the way of each other’s opportunity and I can’t stand for that from anybody — not my friend, not my associate, not anyone. I want to be the middleweight champion of the world, undisputed, and he’s in the way of that.”
With both fighters appearing on the penultimate card in HBO’s 45-year history of airing boxing, both fighters are eyeing a bigger future ahead of them by winning on Saturday night. That future being a fight against the man with the richest contract in sports, Canelo Alvarez.
“If I have the belt, that opens up all the opportunities for me and for other fighters, and real fighters who want to be champions should fight guys that have the belts,” Derevyanchenko said. “And if I have a belt, all it should do is make people excited and hungry to challenge me.”
Quotes Provided by ESPN