For both Daniel Jacobs and promoter Eddie Hearn, writes Daniel Herbert
IIT’S not often that the promoter is the big story of a fight, but that’s the case when Matchroom’s Eddie Hearn makes his US debut with a card at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York on Saturday (November 11).
The main event is solid enough with former world champion Daniel Jacobs tackling unbeaten Luis Arias in a middleweight 12-rounder, backed by two interesting 10s pitting Jarrell Miller against Mariusz Wach at heavyweight and Cletus Seldin versus Roberto Ortiz at super-light.
HBO televises in the USA, Sky Sports in the UK – and it could prove a watershed if Hearn can reproduce Stateside the sort of British success he has enjoyed in recent years.
Of course, Hearn has taken plenty of his boxers to fights across The Pond, and already expanded his European activities to Monaco. But Saturday marks his first promotion in the US and, just as importantly, his first hook-up with Jacobs, a fighter previously with Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions set-up.
It’s understood other leading American boxers, unhappy at their lack of activity under adviser Haymon and his “front” promoters, have contacted Hearn about jumping ship.
Perhaps it will depend on what TV deals he can strike, and he holds a huge bargaining chip in word heavyweight champ Anthony Joshua.
Yet all that will mean little if he can’t secure his charges meaningful fights - and ones they can win while looking good.
So it’s up Jacobs to deliver, and he starts a solid favourite against Arias. The 30-year-old from nearby Brooklyn has held the WBA’S secondary middleweight title and lost only twice in 34 outings: on a five-round stoppage to Russia’s Dmitry Pirog for the vacant WBO belt in 2010 and on points to Gennady Glolovkin with four belts on the line in March.
That fight saw Jacobs push “GGG” hard, with most observers feeling he came closer to victory than Saul Alvarez would do when getting a draw with the fearsome Kazakh six months later.
Despite holding that WBA belt, the only world class victim of that reign was Peter Quillin (highlighting the spuriousness of the title), whom he shocked with a first-round stoppage in December 2015.
That was one of 29 inside schedule wins (from 32) for Danny, so it’s clear he can bang. However, the Pirog setback - one big right did him in - proved he doesn’t hold a shot so well, although it’s only fair to point out he subsequently underwent (successful) treatment for cancer, earning him the nickname “Miracle Man”.
He certainly stood up to the punches of Golovkin, as feared a puncher as there is in boxing, so logic dictates it’s unlikely that he will get stopped by Arias, who has scored only nine early wins out 18 (one early career points win was changed to a No Decision).
The 27-year-old from Milwaukee is more of a boxer, even if he did show power last time in June, when he dropped Artif Magomedov in the first en route to a five-round stoppage win on the Andre Ward-sergey Kovalev II undercard in Las Vegas.
That was by far the biggest opportunity of his career, which has generally been low-key because his promoters Roc Nation stage so few major shows; Luis’ other 2017 outing, a 10-round points win over veteran Scott Sigmon, happened at the Carnegie Music Hall in Homestead, Florida.
All of which means Jacobs is by far the more seasoned and the more accustomed to the big stage. After all, this is the first 12-rounder for Arias, who has been 10 only twice.
So expect Jacobs to use his heavy hitting, both to head and body, to earn a clear points victory in an entertaining fight.
THE VERDICT Jacobs will be aiming to shine on his Matchroom debut, while Hearn will be hoping to make a splash on his company’s US bow.
MIRACLE MAN: Jacobs is aiming for another shot at a world title