Danny Jacobs has been on the receiving end of some heavy criticism for his lack of opposition over the past several years. Since suffering a fifth-round TKO loss to Dmitry Pirog, Jacobs has faced a list of “where are they now” type opponents.
It was understandable for Jacobs to take a step back after losing to Pirog, especially when you take into account the fact that he was being moved quickly in the first place. And after Jacobs was diagnosed with cancer, it was even more logical for him to slow things down in his career.
However, fans and media feel like Jacobs’ movement up the middleweight ladder has been glacial at this point in his career and people aren’t all that impressed with his current docket of Sergio Mora, who he will be facing in the co-feature of Garcia-Malignaggi on ESPN at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
That doesn’t mean that Mora sees himself as a soft touch. In fact, Mora has stated that he will push the pace against Jacobs because he doesn’t believe in his ability to take a punch. Mora is predicting a knockout.
Jacobs is not convinced.
“I don’t think anyone believes he can stop me,” Jacobs said of Mora in an interview with Tha Boxing Voice Nestor Gibbs. “I think that’s kind of false advertisement. I think it’ll serve as a better fight if he can actually sit down and bang with me or try to stop me because I’m going to be coming forward. I’m going to be doing my best to be aggressive and so if he’s going to be doing the same then it’s not going to be the typical Sergio Mora fights that we’ve seen in the past.”
Jacobs is hopeful that Mora will keep his word and push the pace for a couple reasons. First, Mora is a crafty fighter and even though he is not the step up that we have been hoping for from Jacobs, he is a difficult task. But the more Mora pushes, the better Jacobs’ chances are in the fight, which are already significant.
Also, Jacobs, and Al Haymon want to leave a lasting impression on the casual fan. If we get the same Mora we’ve come to know then, Jacobs will most likely win regardless, but he will have a much more difficult time and certainly won’t look as good.
The one positive you can see from Jacobs is that he is making no excuses. He admits that he has yet to reach the advanced status at middleweight he so desperately desires. Jacobs went as far as to say that he recognizes the hierarchy in the division.
“I’m just really trying to solidify my spot in the middleweight division. I’m a new champion, and I’m still getting my name out. [Golovkin] has been doing more for a lot longer, so I would say that it’s more deserving for him to get what he’s been getting opposed to me right now. But my time will come.”
As far as Mora, Jacobs is taking what he gets and is being patient. He respects his team’s decisions and will wait for his moment to shine.
“[Mora] was [part of the] list of names that I got for my next opponent and out of that list he was the best opponent. We heard about Matthew Macklin and then when I talked about it the fan reception wasn’t really good.”
Mora decided to fight the former world champion in Mora, but he is anxious to prove himself at middleweight against the best. Let’s hope he, too, keeps his word.
“It’s a process. The future is going to be bigger. We’re going to step up. We’re going to get bigger and better opposition, something I’ve been looking forward to for a very long time to solidify my spot in the middleweight division and for my legacy.
“When fans are saying that they want to see me step up in competition, I’m just the same. But when I get handed names such as Sergio Mora or Matthew Macklin or guys like that, obviously I’m on a ladder, and we can’t go past that. I can’t say ‘well, I don’t want to fight this guy I want to go straight to Triple G.’
“It’s a process, and I respect my team’s decision and I respect the options and I respect where we are at this particular point in my career. But trust indeed that we’re going to step up and we’re going to have bigger and better opposition.”