Milwaukee's Finest: Luis Arias makes his stand against Daniel Jacobs
Published: November 10, 2017
Boxing is a sport of opportunity and opportunities do not come as often for some boxers as they do for others. For Milwaukee, Wisconsin’s Luis “Cuba” Arias (18-0, 9 KOs) this weekend represents his chance to make a name for himself as a top contender in one of boxing’s most prominent divisions at middleweight (160). Arias will face former middleweight champion Daniel Jacobs (32-2, 29 KOs) at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York. Jacobs, who hails from Brooklyn, New York, is the favorite going into the bout as he has an edge in experience having faced top competition such as Gennady “GGG” Golovkin and Peter Quillin. The former middleweight champion started his career in 2007 and was once thought of as the heir apparent to the middleweight crown, while Arias began his professional career in 2012 and was a somewhat forgotten prospect until recently.
When Arias steps in the ring with Jacobs this Saturday night, he will be heading into the squared circle for the third time this year. In his last bout in what may have been the most impressive performance of his career to this point, Arias faced Russian middleweight contender Arif Magomedov (18-2, 11 KOs). From the opening bell, Arias was able to showcase his movement and ability to go to the body while showing power in his right hand. The bout on paper looked like a close match up between two middleweight contenders but instead was turned into a blowout for Arias. The Milwaukee native was able to score a fifth-round stoppage after dropping Magomedov with a right hand. With the bout-taking place on the undercard of the highly anticipated rematch between Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev, the victory gave Arias a boost and forced boxing fans to pay attention.
While Jacobs does have the edge in experience as a professional concerning level of competition, Arias has been boxing since the age of eight. He had a successful amateur career winning multiple national titles and amassed a record of 140-25. This led to Arias signing with Mayweather Promotions to start his career. Unfortunately, the relationship did not last long as Arias was dropped from the promoter via phone call after ten fights. In February 2015, Arias signed with the relatively new boxing promotion Roc Nation. Since signing with Roc Nation, Arias’ has been one of if not the most active fighter on the Roc Nation roster having fought four times in 2015, three times in 2016 and will now fight three times in 2017. While Jacobs has had his issues with inactivity, Arias will not show any signs of ring rust when he faces the New Yorker on Saturday.
In the aftermath of Jacobs’ fight with Golovkin this past March, many labeled the former middleweight champion as one of the biggest in the division who would eventually move up to the super middleweight (168) division. Against Arias, Jacobs will not have a size advantage as the Milwaukee native is the same size as Jacobs and has fought multiple times at super middleweight.
Arias, who is of Cuban and Nicaraguan descent, decided to take a wrestling heel turn by making himself the antagonist for his fight with Jacobs. Having grown up in a city like Milwaukee, Arias is not intimidated by anything that Jacobs brings to the table.
There is no question that Arias is confident going into the fight with Jacobs. Fans have seen Jacobs knocked out, knocked down and lose close decisions. Whether Arias can put his name on the list of people that have defeated Jacobs remains to be seen. This could be the end of the beginning of Arias career. The end of being a prospect and perennial underdog. Fans and pundits could be witnessing the beginning of the next contender for the middleweight throne. Jacobs stands in the way to the next stage of his career. Arias will be there to stand on his own and push Jacobs out of the way.
(Feature Photo: Michael Sears)