Armed with an order to be Gennady Golovkin’s next opponent, Daniel Jacobs said he’s prepared for the challenge and has turned over talks to his powerful manager, Al Haymon.
Brooklyn’s Jacobs (32-1, 29 knockouts) earned the distinction by successfully defending his World Boxing Assn. secondary “world” middleweight title Friday by knocking down Los Angeles’ Sergio Mora five times en route to a seventh-round technical knockout in Pennsylvania.
A day later, in London, three-belt champion Golovkin (36-0, 33 KOs) posted his 23rd consecutive knockout and 17th consecutive middleweight title victory with a fifth-round TKO of England’s welterweight world champion Kell Brook.
Golovkin is the WBA’s full “super” middleweight champion, a belt he has worn since December 2010.
The WBA did not recognize the Brook bout as a title defense, but it does hold Golovkin responsible to fight Jacobs next or risk losing the belt.
Golovkin and his promoter, Tom Loeffler, earlier this year accentuated their dedication to obliging mandatory title defenses when Golovkin fought a Haymon fighter, Dominic Wade, in April and knocked him out in the second round.
Now, amid questions about HBO’s ability to pay for a possible Golovkin-Jacobs fight, and a looming possibility that a purse bid could be required, perhaps moving Golovkin off a late-November date on HBO to a mid-December bout at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center against Jacobs on Showtime, it’s uncertain how devout this mandatory commitment will be.
Jacobs, 29, said it’s effectively out of his hands now that he’s expressed his interest in being Golovkin’s next foe.
“I believe they’re in negotiations now, just waiting to hear back, see what the ramifications are,” Jacobs told The Times on Tuesday. “This part of the process is in the hands of Al Haymon and Tom Loeffler. I’ll let them do their jobs.”
Jacobs said he’d “feel more comfortable fighting my date” at Barclays, but will “wait to see what they say.”
Also on Tuesday, World Boxing Organization middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders of England called out Golovkin in an amateur video, saying he’s “waiting to see the contract.”
“Let’s make sure we don’t use the mandatory challenger to get out of anything,” Saunders said. “You want the WBO belt. I’ve got it. I’m willing to put it on the line. Let’s make sure the fight happens. As soon as the manager calls and tells me we’ve got the contract, as long as the money’s right there, no problem.”
Golovkin has shown strong interest in maintaining a busy schedule, so he’s unlikely to wait until 2017 for Saunders, who has an Oct. 29 title defense to select shortly.
Golovkin can either pursue the mandatory bout against Jacobs or strike a step-aside fee deal with Jacobs or surrender his WBA belt — the latter seeming unlikely, given Golovkin’s strong focus on simultaneously holding all four middleweight belts.
Jacobs is aware the negotiations will be intriguing.
“I don’t control that side of boxing,” Jacobs said. “I do my part in the gym and then they come to me with the logistics and I say yes or no.”
But the competitor in him wants Golovkin next.
“I’ve been vocal on this. I’ll go straight to the No. 1 guy,” Jacobs said. “It takes the right kind of style to beat GGG. You have to be a puncher, be able to stand your ground and have ring IQ. I have all those attributes.
“I’ve always told Al I’ve thought I was the best middleweight in the world. Now that we’re here, I’m still going to let my team do what they do. I’m just waiting for my team to get back to me. I’m happy the negotiations are in progress.”