Daniel Jacobs pumped to fight Canelo Alvarez, even outside of New York

WBC and WBA middleweight world champion Canelo Alvarez, left, and IBF middleweight world champion Daniel Jacobs pose with their title belts during a pre-fight news conference on Wednesday in Manhattan.  Photo Credit: AP/Bebeto Matthews

The Brooklyn native will unify his IBF middleweight championship with Canelo’s crowns on May 4 in Las Vegas.

WBC and WBA middleweight world champion Canelo Alvarez, left, and IBF middleweight world champion Daniel Jacobs pose with their title belts during a pre-fight news conference on Wednesday in Manhattan. 
WBC and WBA middleweight world champion Canelo Alvarez, left, and IBF middleweight world champion Daniel Jacobs pose with their title belts during a pre-fight news conference on Wednesday in Manhattan.  Photo Credit: Linda Rosier

Daniel Jacobs isn’t accustomed to fighting outside of the greater New York area. But, for a crack at Canelo Alvarez, the Brooklynite doesn’t mind stepping out of his home turf one bit.

"I knew, if I was to get this fight, it was no issue to me where the fight took place," IBF champion Jacobs told reporters before Wednesday’s news conference in Manhattan to promote the May 4 middleweight title unification bout in Las Vegas with Mexico’s Alvarez, the WBA, WBC, The Ring and lineal champ.

"It could have been in Mexico, and I would have went to Mexico to fight," Jacobs added. "It wouldn’t have been my preference, but that’s just how passionate I am about knowing I can be victorious in this fight."

Jacobs (35-2, 29 KOs), who captured the vacant IBF crown with a win over Sergiy Derevyanchenko last October at Madison Square Garden, competes most often close to his native Brownsville. He has fought in New York City or Long Island in 11 of his last 14 bouts, since his return to competition following his recovery from osteosarcoma, a bone cancer.

This time, Jacobs will travel to T-Mobile Arena for his first bout in Sin City since his first career loss, a failed bid for the WBO championship. While he’s aware of the circumstances, Jacobs isn’t concerned about history repeating itself.

"I haven’t fought in Vegas since I lost," Jacobs said. "I just gotta be my best me. I gotta let the pieces fall where they may."

Alvarez (51-1-2, 35 KOs), who in December competed at the Garden for the first time when he made a successful super middleweight debut by knocking out Rocky Fielding, said he wouldn’t have had an issue fighting in New York again most of the time.

However, Canelo said it’s special for him to compete close to his native Mexico for his homeland’s fans during the weekend of Cinco de Mayo.

"Because [the fight is] in May, that’s why it’s in Vegas," Canelo told reporters through a translator before the event on Wednesday. "Otherwise, if it would have been a different date, Texas, New York, anywhere else the fight could have taken place."

Jacobs remains surprised the fight with Canelo, considered boxing’s current top attraction, came together. He said he believes he’s "more of a threat than people would consider a superstar to make major profit off of," and assumed that contractual demands would have prevented the fight from taking place.

"My hats off to Canelo for accepting this fight because I really didn’t think we were gonna get it," Jacobs said. "… Me being a champion, I’ve always wanted to make sure at least I had the respect that I deserve, so when everything across the board made sense for me, I signed my part of the deal. And as soon as I got the word that Canelo signed his contract, I was jumping for joy."

Scott Fontana