Will Others Follow in Daniel Jacobs Footsteps?
Published: November 08, 2017
This weekend at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York one of the best middleweights in the world will step back in the ring as Daniel “Miracle Man” Jacobs (32-2, 29 KOs) makes his return. The Brooklyn native will take on a formidable opponent in Milwaukee’s Luis “Cuba” Arias (18-0, 9 KOs). The matchup itself is intriguing as it puts two of the most powerful punchers in the middleweight division together. Jacobs is the favorite going into the bout; however, Arias is the younger fighter who is more than capable of pulling off the upset against an opponent who has been knocked out in the past.
While the fight between Jacobs and Arias is interesting the real story behind the match was the announcement that came before it. Back in September during the HBO telecast of lightweight champion Jorge Linares title defense against Luke Campbell, Jacobs announced that he had signed a multi-fight deal with HBO and U.K. promoter Eddie Hearn joining the Matchroom Boxing stable. The news of Jacobs signing to a promoter came as a surprise to many as Jacobs has been a part of the Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) stable for the last few years. Most of the fighters under the PBC umbrella have performed on HBO’s main competitor on Showtime. Hearns has worked with Haymon advised fighters in the past putting some of the biggest names in his stable like Kell Brook (36-2, 25 KOs) and Anthony Joshua (20-0, 20 KOs) against Haymon fighters. The ambition of the U.K. promoter to branch out his business to the United States led him to sign Jacobs, the first American fighter signed as part of the venture.
Jacobs’ new alliance with HBO makes it easier for fights with the most prominent fighters in the division to take place such as a rematch with Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (37-0-1, 33 KOs) and a fight with boxing’s current biggest star Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KOs). The question for many will be if other fighters that are advised by Haymon will follow the same path as Jacobs.
Recently, within the last few months there have been headlines of Golden Boy Promotions offering contracts to Haymon advised fighters such as Errol Spence Jr. (22-0, 19 KOs), Danny Garcia (33-1, 19 KOs) and more specifically Mikey Garcia (37-0, 30 KOs) to face Miguel Cotto (41-5, 33 KOs). Those offers were rejected by all three men as none of them wanted to sign any multi-fight deals with Golden Boy. Although not many fighters have come out and complained about any issues they may have, there is a growing underbelly suggesting that there are some fighters who are not happy with the level of activity that is provided to them. Due to a variety of reasons fighters like Keith Thurman (28-0, 22 KOs), Danny Garcia, Lamont Peterson (35-3-1, 17 KOs) and Errol Spence will only fight once in 2017. In October, former 130-pound champion Jose Pedraza (22-1, 12 KOs) signed a managerial contract with Victory Sports & Entertainment. Pedraza was not a huge name within the Haymon stable and suffered from inactivity. He was last seen in the ring in January losing his title to Gervonta Davis and hasn’t fought since. While Haymon seems to have his fighter’s best interest as a priority, being with Haymon is not the Utopia for fighters that was presented. Jacobs, however, has made it clear that he has not left Haymon but instead added another piece to his team.
The move to add a promoter like Hearn to his team is an addition that Jacobs felt he needed to become a bigger name. Others may follow Jacobs’ route but may wait until they see how it results in the New Yorker’s favor. Jacobs should be one of the biggest stars in all of boxing. He is a former amateur U.S. National champion and currently has an 85 percent knockout ratio as a professional. The story of rebounding from a rare form of bone cancer to return to the ring to not only win a world title but fight on even terms with one of the sports best in Golovkin is inspirational beyond just the world of sports. Whether anyone follows in his footsteps may be inconsequential. Jacobs has his own plans and goals that may be bigger than any network, promoter or manager. The next stage of Jacobs’ career will be one to watch as it could set precedence for others to follow.
(Feature Photo: Matchroom Boxing)