NEW YORK — Former middleweight world titlist Daniel Jacobs was the biggest star at Tuesday’s press conference, but Luis Arias was certainly the bigger trash-talker.
The two middleweights were in Manhattan promoting their Nov. 11 bout at the nearby Nassau Coliseum (HBO, 10 p.m. ET/PT), and Arias began his remarks by mimicking what he expects the television announcers to be saying at the end of the fight.
“Down goes Jacobs! Down goes Jacobs!” Arias yelled. “He’s not gettin’ up, Jim. He’s not gettin’ up.”
Rather bold words from an underdog, facing a former champion on his home turf.
“I don’t plan on training for a marathon, so please, when I hit you, just don’t run. I’m gonna be in the middle of the ring, you’re not gonna have to go find me. I’m gonna be right there and ready to fight.”
Luis Arias addressing Daniel Jacobs
Jacobs, 30, is 32-2 (29 KOs) and is coming off a loss to unified middleweight world titleholder Gennady Golovkin in March. Yes, it was a defeat, but Jacobs went the distance, to the surprise of many. And the decision, while unanimous, was a close one — 114-113 on all three scorecards.
Arias offered qualified praise when he brought up Jacobs’ loss to Golovkin.
“You put up a valiant effort versus GGG,” Arias said. “But [Matchroom promoter] Eddie Hearn and HBO are giving you way too much credit for just making it to the 12th round.
“I’ve been fighting my whole life, since I was 8 years old. I know the difference between boxing and running. There were a lot of points in that fight where I don’t know if you were boxing or running.”
Hearn clearly feels differently. The top boxing promoter in the United Kingdom has decided to make a foray into the United States, and Jacobs is the first American fighter he has signed to his Matchroom Boxing organization.
“It’s an absolute honor to be working with this young man,” Hearn said of Jacobs. “When I sat down with him and started talking to him, I really couldn’t understand why this guy was just a star, and not a superstar. He is, in my opinion, the No. 1 middleweight in world boxing.”
Jacobs is currently No. 3 in the division, according to ESPN’s Dan Rafael. This fight against Arias could help pave the way to an eventual rematch with Golovkin, if Golovkin wins his expected rematch with Canelo Alvarez. But first Jacobs needs to beat Arias, the 27-year-old Cuban-American who is 18-0 with nine knockouts.
“I’ve always wanted to make sure that I prove to the fans that I step inside the ring with the best,” Jacobs said. “And even though a lot of people don’t know who Luis Arias is, a lot of people on the inside [of the] boxing world, they know who this guy is. He’s an undefeated champion, and he’s looking to ruin all the plans that I have.
“I have to take this guy serious, because this is the opportunity of a lifetime, for him. I have to continue to do what I do, and win, so that I can have my opportunities in the near future.”
It was a clear contrast in styles on Tuesday, that’s for sure. We’ll see how fierce the competition is come Nov. 11.
“Down goes Jacobs! Down goes Jacobs!” That’s how Luis Arias opened his remarks at Tuesday’s press conference promoting his fight against Daniel Jacobs. Arias’ trash talk is as loud as his outfit.
“I don’t plan on training for a marathon, so please, when I hit you, just don’t run,” Arias said, addressing Jacobs. “I’m gonna be in the middle of the ring, you’re not gonna have to go find me. I’m gonna be right there and ready to fight.”
Jacobs’ thick skin held until the very end of the press conference, when he couldn’t resist getting in a couple digs.
“I thought this was gonna be a cool press conference; we were gonna get up here and take pictures and talk about stuff,” Jacobs said. “But this guy is taking it to another level. He’s got the jewels on, the Fruity Pebbles suit on. I mean, please. New Yorkers, you’re in for a treat.”