Boxing Notebook

By Rich Mancuso/ Sports Editor 

Saturday evening at Madison Square Garden, Daniel Jacobs gets his opportunity on HBO with the iBF title middleweight title up for grabs. Jacobs (34-2, 29 KO’s) opposes Sergly Derevyanchenko, 12-0, the undefeated pro formerly of Feodosia Crimea, Ukraine who has more of an amateur background.

Canelo Alvarez holds the WBC Middleweight title and last week became the richest athlete in sports with Matchroom Boxing and DAZN.Last Saturday evening two championships in the division changed hands and now the middleweights are the talk of boxing.

Welcome again to the middleweight division. Daniel Jacobs sits in the middle of this, a division that suddenly is compared to the elite fighters at 147. That weight class has dominated and is highly contested.

“I feel like I’m the strongest Middleweight that he has stepped in the ring with professionally,” said Jacobs. “The height and the reach are some key things, especially when I set my mind to be being a boxer, I can do that very well.

“But if I want to come forward or be a counter puncher or even just want to outright brawl, I do believe that I have the power to back it up. So, there’s a lot of dangers inside this fight when it comes to both of us. But for me, I truly feel like I have the best advantages.”

Similar to the complexion and change of televised boxing, so goes the middleweight title that has been highlighted with Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin. And according to Eddie Hearn, promoter of Matchroom Boxing, the middleweight division has the top fighters.

“The middleweight division is class,” Hearn said this week.  Hearn now has rights to Canelo Alvarez and said the winner of Jacobs-Derevyanchenko could fight Alvarez in May.  

So the process, and as difficult as it can be, is to unify the middleweight titles. And with the different promoters, titles, and networks unifying the titles can be difficult. However, Hearn has the capability to get that accomplished and every fighter in the division will be aiming at getting that opportunity to challenge Canelo Alvarez.

“I think its a great time to be a middleweight in the division,” Jacobs said. “A great time for the middleweight championship.”

Though Daniel Jacobs “The Miracle Man” knows this is the proper time, he sits in the middle.  Alvarez is also aiming for the super middleweight title at Madison Square Garden in December but still holds the number one spot.

Rob Brant dethroned Ryota Murata on the WBA side and former 154lb  world champion Demetrius Andrade defeated Walter Kautondokwa and claimed the vacant WBO middleweight title on Saturday night.  Yes, in a matter of a few hours the complexion of this division changed.

And this is all good for boxing. As always, there has to be unity and Daniel Jacobs with a victory at the Garden Saturday night would no longer be sitting in the middle.

Eddie Hearn could be the promoter that gets the unity accomplished.

“You are going to see a lot of these big unification fights,’ he said.  Think with now the championship spreading out, three champions, the winner Saturday night is in prime position to fight Canelo.” 

Assuming Jacobs gets the win, anything is possible. The middleweights have become as good as the always talked about welterweights.

Jacobs’ clash with Derevyanchenko is part of a triple-header of World title action live on HBO, with unbeaten WBA Super-Featherweight champion Alberto Machado defends his title against Cleveland’s Yuandale Evans. A rematch of the 2016 fight of the year contender between Heather Hardy and Shelly Vincent, with the WBO World Featherweight title is also on the card.

CHARLO BROTHERS AT BARCLAYS:Jermall Charlo and Jermell Charlo  the latest brothers in boxing to hold championships will kick off the new season of Premier Boxing Champions on FOX and FOX Deportes live in primetime on Saturday, December 22 at Barclays Center, The Charlos made history in 2016 when they became the first twin boxers to ever hold titles simultaneously in the same weight class.

 Jermall Charlo will defend his WBC interim middleweight title against top-rated contender Willie Monroe, Jr., while Jermell Charlo makes the fourth defense of his WBC super welterweight championship against hard-hitting former title challenger Tony Harrison. Jermall’s fight will serve as the main event of the show after he won the coin toss at today’s press conference to determine which Charlo twin will close the show.

This will be the third fight for each Charlo twin at Barclays Center, as they enter December 22 a combined 4-0 with four knockouts at the venue.

“I’m very excited and the fire is lit to be back in Brooklyn,” said Jermall Charlo. “It’s great to be headlining a big show with my twin brother in Brooklyn. It’s going to be an exciting night of boxing. Willie Monroe is one of those fighters that will get me to the level I need to for all those great fights.  And believe me, we’ll get them.”

Jermell Charlo (31-0, 15 KOs) joined his brother as a 154-pound world champion when he scored an eighth-round knockout over John Jackson in 2016 on the same night his brother defended his own 154-pound title.

Comment:  Twitter@Ring786 Mancuso

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