For the third consecutive time in less than a year, Jacobs, whose second loss was a highly debatable decision defeat to middleweight kingpin Gennady Golovkin at Madison Square Garden in March 2017, has opted to face an undefeated, rising contender.
This time, it’s Sergiy Derevyanchenko (12-0, 10 KO’s), a Ukrainian-born amateur champion who went 390-20 (not a typo) before turning pro in 2014.
But unlike Luis Arias and Maciej Sulecki, both of whom Jacobs outpointed since the Golovkin loss, Derevyanchenko now trains in Brooklyn and has a distinct past with the “Miracle Man.”
In fact, so much so that Andre Rozier, Jacobs’ trainer, who refers to the former Middleweight Champion as his son, labeled Derevyanchenko his nephew in front of prominent members of the boxing landscape at the high-end Dream Midtown Hotel on West 55th Street this past Thursday.
“They are fantastic athletes,” Rozier remarked at the press conference to announce the bout for the vacant IBF Middleweight Title, scheduled to take place in the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden on October 27.
“They’re going to put on a great show. I’m not happy about it because these are my babies. You’re going to see boxing at the elite level. These are the best middleweights in the world. This will be harder than the (Golovkin) fight.”
The Brownsville-bred Jacobs pointed out that he and Derevyanchenko have sparred many hours in the past, bringing the two a unique level of familiarity ahead of fight night.
“I’ve got everything I need to practice for a guy,” he told reporters in one final media session. “I’ve never had it play out like this before where I had so much material on a guy that I was going to face. And this is why nerves are created, because it’s the unseen that you don’t know is going to happen. With a guy like this, I’m cool, I’m calm, I know exactly what I bring.”
Jacobs adds that the closest opponent he’s ever faced-off with was Peter Quillin in the December 2015 Battle for Brooklyn, where the “Miracle Man” stopped “Kid Chocolate” inside of one round.
“This is a similar situation,” Jacobs says of his upcoming bout with Derevyanchenko. “There’s no friends in boxing at the end of the day because we’re all fighting for our families.
“I would fight any and everybody to reach my goals,” he continued. “I would do anything to reach my goals because I’m that passionate. I have this second chance at my life. I have this second chance at this sport. Much respect to Sergiy and Gary and everybody. I’ll say our stable. Big ups to everybody but this is for me, for the love of the game.”
Also on the card is Gerritsen Beach native Heather Hardy (21-0, 4 KO’s), who will put her undefeated boxing streak on the line for an opportunity at her first world title, the currently vacant WBO World Featherweight Championship.
She’ll face Shelly Vincent (23-1, 1 KO), whose only loss was to Hardy in a highly regarded bout at the Coney Island Amphitheatre in August 2016.
Additionally, Puerto Rican-power punching Alberto Machado (20-0, 16 KO’s) will defend his WBA Super Featherweight Title against Yuandale Evans (20-1, 14 KO’s).