Right now, the middleweight division revolves around Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin as they move away from their controversial September 16 draw and into preparations for a rematch in May of next year. But, beyond that rematch, there’s Daniel Jacobs.
The Brooklyn fighter made himself the immediate future of a top heavy, but generally underwhelming 160 lb. class this past March in a close decision loss to Golovkin that many felt he actually should’ve won. However, even in defeat, Jacobs’ stock rose greatly.
Betting odds offered by sportsbooks had Jacobs a big underdog against Golovkin (Just as they have him a heavy betting favorite against upcoming November 11 opponent, Luis Arias), but when the bell rang it was clear that Jacobs was absolutely NOT in over his head.
The affable fighter best known for beating cancer, boxed Golovkin well and managed to nullify much of what made the Kazakh KO machine a special ring presence.
At the end of twelve rounds, it was clear that, win or lose, Jacobs would be in the mix as a prominent fixture in the deepest waters of the middleweight division.
And no matter who finally wins the war between Canelo and Golovkin, the victor will have to face Jacobs. Provided he doesn’t slip up and lose to Arias in his upcoming bout, the Jacobs challenge will have to be met at some point in 2018.
But, to make things interesting, some more stars are emerging in the middleweight division to make the post Canelo-Golovkin world even more compelling.
Former junior middleweight titlist Jermall Charlo, after only one official bout at 160, is already being regarded by some as the best 160-pounder in the world. That high praise may last until Demetrius Andrade– another former junior middleweight champ– officially débuts as a middleweight later this year.
Beyond Charlo and Andrade, there is the UK’s Billy Joe Saunders and Chris Eubank JR., are both talented and skilled enough to give anyone at 160– even the very best of the best– a tough time. Big punching Irishman Andy Lee is also still around at 160. Even 154 lb. champ Erislandy Lara has expressed an interest in bring his master boxing skills up one division to challenge Golovkin, Alvarez, or anyone else who can deliver a nice payday.
Now, throw Jacobs back into the mix and one can clearly see a division that is rebuilding itself right in front of the sport’s very eyes.
But Daniel Jacobs has earned the right to be at the very top of the list of contenders to the ultimate throne.
His fight to defend that top ranking begins on November 11 against Luis Arias. How he performs in this showcase at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York will determine a lot when it comes to how long he may have to wait for another crack at an elite-level middleweight clash.