WBA ‘regular’ middleweight champion, Daniel Jacobs, says it’s time to make his mark amongst the elite when he fights the unbeaten, seemingly invincible, Gennady Golovkin.
The exceptionally intriguing matchup between Jacobs (32-1 29KO) and Golovkin (36-0 33KO) takes place on March 18 at Madison Square Garden, New York. The Kazakh’s IBF, WBC, WBA ‘super’ and IBO middleweight titles are at stake.
New York-born, the 29-year-old known as the ‘Miracle Man’ after his successful battle with bone cancer in 2011, respects Triple G’s accolades to date, but is certain the middleweight kingpin is in for his toughest test yet.
“He’s deserved where he’s at, at this point,” Jacobs said. “He had over 400 amateur fights, he’s done the Olympics, he’s a multiple world champion.
“He’s earned his spot, and that’s just what I’m trying to do in the sport of boxing now, I’m trying to earn my stripes.
“Now you have a true middleweight. Now we’re going to see what he’s really made of, and I’m no slouch.”
After receiving the all-clear, Jacobs began his mount on challenging for world honours, stopping Josh Luteran inside one round in October 2012.
Capturing the WBA ‘regular’ middleweight strap, and making easy work of then undefeated Peter Quillin – a phenomenal first-round stoppage in December 2015, set the standards for challenging the elite at 160lbs.
Before accepting the daunting, yet incredibly courageous task of sharing a ring with Golovkin, the New York native endured endless criticism from the media for not taking the fight sooner.
Asked when the right time was to be involved in events of this magnitude, Jacobs said: “Obviously I’ve said before that coming back from cancer, I didn’t want to fight the best just yet because, man, I’ve just learned how to walk again, why would I want to go in and fight the best.”
“I had to get my feet wet, and that’s what we did,” the 29-year-old added. “Once I knew I was at a point when I was ready for the best, is when we started to call out the best.”
“So now I can have a piece of mind in camp, and know that I’m putting my life on the line to go inside that ring and give people entertainment.”
Jacobs suffered a fifth-round TKO defeat to Russian middleweight, Dmitry Pirog in July 2010 – his first attempt at challenging for a world title, and his only loss as a professional
During his second WBA title defence against Sergio Mora, Jacobs hit the canvas in the first round en route to a second round stoppage win. The knockdown led to fresh calls of Jacobs’ credentials, but the American feels it’s how you react from difficult circumstances that defines you as a champion.
“What champion hasn’t been knocked down, what champion hasn’t been on the canvas,” he said. “Manny Pacquiao got knocked out two or three times before he came pound for pound king.
“So people go down, but it’s how you react, and how you come back, and how you get up and keep fighting. That’s my nature, I’m going to continue to fight.”
Jacobs added: “When you put your life on the line and you sacrifice so much for what you do, to have someone say ‘I appreciate you for doing that’, it means so much.”