By James Slater: It’s strange sometimes how boxing works. Back in July, on the under-card of the Juan Manuel Marquez-Juan Diaz rematch in Las Vegas, middleweight hotshot Daniel “The Golden Child” Jacobs was derailed by unbeaten Russian talent Dmitry Pirog, losing his own unbeaten record by way of a 5th-round TKO in a fight that contested the vacant WBO middleweight title.
Since then, Pirog, though already 30 and therefore with precious little time to waste, has done nothing, and has no upcoming fight set. Yet Jacobs, who now has to rebuild, is already down on Boxrec and ESPN.com as fighting again. Just what Pirog’s team are doing we can only guess, but Jacobs, who still has a bright future ahead of him, is set to fight again on December 18th, on the under-card of the fascinating Jean Pascal-Bernard Hopkins light-heavyweight title clash in Canada.
The 23-year-old who is now 20-1(17), will fight up at 168-pounds, over a scheduled eight-rounds, against a TBA.
It’s good to see Jacobs coming back to the ring so soon after suffering his maiden defeat. The Pirog stoppage was a shocker to some (those who had never seen the Russian, who had been an amateur standout, in action) and Jacobs’ confidence surely took a huge hit due to what happened. Jacobs went down hard in the 5th, although to his credit, he was trying to get back up at the time of the referee’s stoppage ruling.
We can’t expect Jacobs to go in with anyone too tough on Dec. 18th, and the eight-rounder is merely a confidence re-builder. But we may still be able to garner something of an opinion as to how the talented New Yorker will go in the remainder of his career. If he looks gun-shy and reluctant in the “comeback” fight, alarm bells will ring. On the other hand, if Jacobs comes out smoking, with a real look of intent on his face, and if he gets the job done in style, we will know he has lost none of his stomach for fighting. Sometimes a first loss can ruin a fighter; at other times it can make him hungrier and more determined.
We will find out on Dec. 18th, in what will be Jacobs’ first pro fight outside of America, which way this “can’t miss prospect” reacts to losing his perfect record. As HBO commentator Jim Lampley said back on July 31st, moments after calling Jacobs’ fall – other young fighters have bounced back from KO defeats. Lampley mentioned how Amir Khan, now the WBA 140-pound champion, bounced back from an even heavier, more embarrassing stoppage loss than the one Jacobs suffered.
Can “The Golden Child” live up to his nickname still? We will get a first glimpse of an answer inside The Pepsi Coliseum in Quebec, Canada in a couple of weeks time.