By John J. Raspanti
A win this Saturday night against Maciej Sulecki at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY, could position former middleweight titleholder, Daniel Jacobs, closer to the fight he desperately wants-a rematch with IBO, WBA, and WBC champion, Gennady Golovkin.
Jacobs,31, was a heavy underdog when he met Golovkin last year. After being floored in round four, he hauled himself up and battled Golovkin evenly, losing the fight by a close unanimous decision. The judges got the fight right. Jacobs didn’t agree, but, if anything, he’s using his only loss as a motivator.
“You know, I was expecting, really, an extraterrestrial being inside that ring,” Jacobs told Andre Ward about facing Golovkin on the most recent edition of HBO’s The Fight Game. "And I got a mere human. But at the end of the day what I showed in that ring that night can’t be argued. I belong.”
To get the Golovkin rematch, Jacobs will have to defeat Sulecki, who’s undefeated in 26 fights, scoring 10 knockouts. The Polish fighter is relishing his opportunity.
"This is an excellent opportunity for me to fight one of the very best middleweights in the world," Sulecki said last month. "I’ll be very well prepared to stay undefeated and defeat Jacobs in front of the Polish boxing fans at Barclays Center as I continue my march to become a world champion."
All well and good, but Jacobs, a native of Brooklyn who lives near Barclays Center, is a big favorite to send Sulecki to dreamland.
"I’m very excited to be back in the Barclays Center,” said Jacobs (33-2, 29 KOs) who will be fighting at the arena for the sixth time in his career. It always feels like home fighting there. I’m looking forward to fighting Sulecki on April twenty-eighth. He’s an undefeated guy that I know will be looking to make a name for himself by beating me.”
Won’t happen. Look for Jacobs to dismantle Sulecki before round nine.
WBA lightweight champion Katie Taylor will be looking to add the IBF title to her collection when she faces undefeated Victoria Noelia Bustos on the undercard of the Jacobs vs. Sulecki fight.
Taylor, 31, picked up her first title last year when she defeated Anahi Ester Sanchez at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales. The former Olympic gold medalist from Ireland has been on a fast track since turning professional in 2016.
Unifying her weight division is one of her goals.
Bustos (18-4), from Argentina, is a three-time world champion. She captured the IBF title last year by defeating Kimberly Connor. She’s held the IBF strap since 2013.
“Victoria Bustos is one of the longest reigning champions in women’s boxing so I’m expecting a very tough fight,” Taylor said. “Becoming unified champion is important to me. Last year was great but I’m not really one for looking back. It’s all about the challenge.”
Taylor has stopped four of her eight opponents in her undefeated career-showing superior hand speed and great footwork.
Expect her to showcase her skills this Saturday in picking up her second championship belt.