The middleweight division will perhaps gain some clarity come Saturday night, because that is when Canelo Alvarez will have done his thing in the ring at Madison Square Garden, the Mecca, and he will have done so in the super middleweight class.
That isn’t a permanent home for the Mexican, he’s there to 1) test those waters and 2) grab a title if things go as expected, and his skill set is overwhelming to proud Brit Michael “Rocky” Fielding.
So, if after midnight the expected occurs and we are talking about what comes next for Canelo, the name Danny Jacobs will be bandied about.
The Brooklyn based boxer snagged a W in his last outing, two months ago against Sergey Derevyanchenko, at the MSG Theater. But the big room would beckon if indeed Canelo heads back to 160 and for his next foray, his first in 2019, he takes on a challenge from Jacobs.
Jacobs’ advisor Keith Connolly has been chatting up various parties, because Jacobs had a deal to have his fights on HBO. HBO has left the building…so Jacobs, also advised by Al Haymon, could check out what is available on other sides of all the streets.
Connolly also advises Sergey Derevyanchenko, who will possibly scrum with Jack Culcay, and the winner there would be in line to get a crack at Jacobs’ belt, the IBF’s version. Canelo has the WBC and WBA versions on his mantle at home.
“All the platforms are interested in Danny Jacobs, they’ve all shown interest to me,” Connolly said, right after I saw him chatting with Top Rank bossman Bob Arum on Saturday, before the Vasyl Lomachenko-Jose Pedraza topped card started at the Hulu Theater. “Obviously, I’m not looking to take anybody off Danny Jacobs’ team. I mean, Al Haymon’s been great for the last 11 years with Danny, Eddie Hearn has been spectacular over the last year. So anything that I do with Danny would involve those two guys. I know everyone thinks Eddie Hearn has an exclusive with DAZN, but Danny Jacobs doesn’t. So that doesn’t mean something can’t be worked out, and we don’t go to DAZN where Eddie Hearn would still be involved. DAZN’s obviously in the game as well. I wouldn’t discount them. It’s like anything else, it’s all gonna come down to the best deal for Danny individually. And if that road led to DAZN, great, if it leads to PBC, which we’ve had connections with the last ten plus years or if it led to ESPN, everybody’s in the game.”
Connolly has three meetings this week to help narrow it down.
Yes, he wants to see where GGG lands, and we are maybe going to hear about that a few weeks into the New Year, according to Abel Sanchez.
“I would say the main objective is (Danny versus) Canelo May 4th, there’s a good possibility of that…hat’s the number one, but DAZN’s gotta come through with that, it they don’t come through with that, then Danny Jacobs, it’s open season as far as what move we make.”
Eddie Hearns’ Matchroom sent out a release which made clear Jacobs’ interest in a scrap with the red-head mega-star, who packed the room with fans at an open public workout at MSG on Wednesday.
“I’ll be there front and center on Saturday night – it’s no secret that my focus is on Canelo,” said Jacobs in the release. “There is no other fight in boxing I want right now more than him.
“I did what I had to do and beat Derevyanchenko, a guy nobody wanted to fight and claimed a piece of the middleweight crown. Now it’s time to unify. I believe that I am the best middleweight in the world, and he thinks he is, so let’s put it all on the line.
“This is not only the absolute biggest fight to be made in the division, but one of the biggest in all of boxing. As long as he takes care of business on Saturday night I’m ready to go. Let’s give the fans and the sport of boxing what they want and let’s get this done for May 4.”
“I’m rooting for a Rocky Fielding win this Saturday – and when Canelo returns to middleweight, THE fight for May is the Canelo vs. Jacobs unification,” said promoter Eddie Hearn in the release. “After Danny’s great fight with GGG and his IBF victory in October, it’s a fight he wants and one he believes he wins. He will be there on Saturday with among the star-studded crowd watching very closely.”
My three cents: The easiest scenario to envision is the one we’ve most focused on here. But, what GGG is planning could throw a curveball into the mix. Him signing to DAZN and facing Canelo in September 2019 seems quite plausible, doesn’t it, however. Canelo v Jacobs in May, Canelo vs GGG in September…with Jacobs working real hard to gum up those works. That all makes sense…but this is boxing, and one should never get too comfortable with the belief that you KNOW what will play out in the near future. It can be theater of the unexpected inside the ring and in the back-rooms where deals are done.
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