BOXING

Daniel Jacobs Schools Arias, Looks for Big Names in 2018

Daniel Jacobs Dominates Luis Arias, Wants Winner of Saunders vs. Lemieux

Luis Arias talked himself up and ran Daniel Jacobs down.

“I do think he’s overrated,” Arias, an undefeated middleweight prospect, said of Jacobs at one point ahead of their fight.

“There are flaws in his game,” he said. “I’m a lot better,” he said.

Jacobs listened to Arias for a bit, then tuned him out. “The guy is talking a good one,” Jacobs said. “He is trying to force you guys into believing something that does not exist. There is talk, and then there is action.

Everything Arias said made no difference once the bell rang. The real difference soon became evident. Jacobs hurt Arias about halfway through the first round. Arias quickly learned a lesson. He wasn’t better than Jacobs. For whatever flaws he saw in Jacobs, for whatever reasons he believed Jacobs was overrated, Arias wasn’t going to be able to take advantage of them.

Arias had to be cautious, lest he be caught clean and wobbled again — or worse. He boxed, but he couldn’t neutralize Jacobs completely. Jacobs still landed on occasion, and Arias landed less often. CompuBox credited Jacobs with landing 184 shots on the night, including 140 power punches. Arias did half that, landing 88 shots in total, including 70 power punches.

The result: a wide unanimous decision victory for Jacobs.

The fight didn’t initially look like it was going to go the distance. Ninety seconds in, the fighters were in close range. Jacobs kept Arias from getting even closer with a forearm held against the side of Arias’ head. That kept Arias in range for a right hand, which landed on Arias’ ear and upset his equilibrium. Arias, visibly shaken, tried to hold on to Jacobs and tackled the two of them to the canvas.

Jacobs began looking for shots that would hurt Arias again and perhaps put him away, rather than letting the knockout come organically. Of course, it’s also difficult to take out an opponent who is so set on spoiling and surviving.

Jacobs tried, digging to Arias’ body, landing with enough force and regularity in Round 10 that all Arias seemed to want to do was hold. Jacobs amped up the pressure in Round 11. He was credited with scoring a knockdown when Arias’ glove touched the canvas. It was an incorrect call; Jacobs had actually landed a forearm, and even that had landed behind Arias’ head.

The “knockdown” and the extra point docked from Arias because of it made for an even wider margin on the scorecards. One judge had it a shutout, 120-107, or 12 rounds to none. The other judges had it 119-108 (11 rounds for Jacobs, one for Arias) and 118-109 (10 rounds to two).

Jacobs improved to 33-2 with 29 knockouts, bouncing back from the decision loss he suffered to Gennady Golovkin earlier this year. Jacobs performed well in defeat that night, so well that there were some who believed he deserved the victory. The rest at least gave him credit for showing that he belonged in there with the best middleweight in the world.

Jacobs wants to be back in there soon with some of the best in his division.

The most likely opponent? The winner of December’s fight between titleholder Billy Joe Saunders and contender David Lemieux. Jacobs also ideally is aiming for an even bigger fight down the line with the winner of the rematch between Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez. Former junior middleweight titleholder Jermall Charlo is also a recent entrant to the 160-pound division.

Arias, meanwhile, suffered his first pro loss and is now 18-1 with 9 KOs.

“I’m very disappointed with my performance,” Arias said afterward, speaking with boxing reporter Radio Rahim. “I felt like I coulda did a lot better. I know I’m a better fighter than that. … I had a huge blister on my foot early in the fight, so it was kind of hard for me to let my hands go and let my feet go.”

He’ll have to work his way back up and then test his talent against one of the many up-and-coming middleweights. If he truly does belong in the big time, if he’s as good as he says, then his actions will have to speak louder than his words.

Jarrell Miller Stops Injured Mariusz Wach, Keeps Heavyweight Sweepstakes Hopes Alive

Jarrell Miller doesn’t look like either of the two men with heavyweight titles right now. He’s not lean like Deontay Wilder, nor is he as muscular and statuesque as Anthony Joshua.

He doesn’t look like them, but he feels like he belongs in there with them.

Miller, an undefeated heavyweight contender, notched another victory on Saturday night with a ninth-round TKO of Mariusz Wach. The ringside physician stopped the fight because Wach had hurt his right hand and was not putting forth a competitive enough effort.

Their fight largely took place in close quarters, which makes sense. Miller and Wach are big men — Miller is listed as 6-foot-4 with tree trunk legs and had to lose weight to show up at about 283 pounds for this fight, while Wach is 6-foot-7 and came in at 268 pounds, the heaviest he’d been in a long time. These weren’t two butterflies stinging like bees. These were two grizzly bears swatting at each other.

Miller has poise and hand speed. He was relaxed in the pocket, scoring with flush shots and handling what Wach landed in return. While Miller is heavy, he’s been a big guy for most of his life. He otherwise was in decent fighting shape, at least compared to Wach. It was Wach, not Miller, whose mouth was open toward the end of the third round. And so it was Miller who began to go to the body to tire Wach out further.
Wach was further hindered by a hand injury suffered in the fifth round. He still tried to throw the right, though there was of course less power behind it, and the pain was evident on his face. He backed away after a right landed in the seventh. That allowed Miller to land even more; he outscored Wach with power punches by considerable margins from rounds 5 through 8, landing 99 to Wach’s 25.

The doctor checked on Wach before the eighth and then again before the ninth. Wach’s corner asked for one more round. The doctor pulled the plug after a minute.

Miller wasn’t pleased with his own performance, telling boxing reporter Ryan Songalia that he gave himself a grade of F, saying that he hurt his elbow during training camp and that dropping weight had actually done more harm than good. Still, he was able to move to 20-0-1 with 18 KOs and remains in the running for a shot at Joshua or Wilder.

Wach is now 33-3 with 17 KOs. His other losses came against Wladimir Klitschko in 2012 and Alexander Povektin in 2015.

Jose Ramirez Blows Past Mike Reed, Earns Title Shot

Jose Ramirez was a bona fide star even before he became a bona fide contender. He was drawing thousands to cheer him on back when he was just a prospect, someone whose credentials included fighting in the 2012 Olympics but who was otherwise unproven as a pro.

Ramirez sells more tickets than most other American fighters. The announced attendance on Saturday night, his eighth in this part of California, was a whopping 13,838, nearly all of whom stood and roared for his second-round stoppage of Mike Reed.

The win established that Ramirez isn’t merely a local attraction. He’s a good junior welterweight who is about to challenge for a world title.

Ramirez pressured Reed from the outset, landing thudding body shots and mixing in heavy blows upstairs as well. Reed couldn’t keep Ramirez off him and couldn’t block or evade everything that came his way. Early in the second, Reed threw two shots and moved to reset. Ramirez followed and threw a one-two that Reed ducked, but Ramirez scored with a left hook to the temple that rendered Reed unsteady.

Reed went to the ropes and covered up. Ramirez pounded away until Reed collapsed forward. Reed got up quickly, his legs gone and with little visible beyond a will to go on. Ramirez closed in again. Reed covered up again, once more pinned against the ropes. Reed did what he could to block and evade, yet soon he was back down, and with half the round — a relative eternity — still remaining.

The ref ruled it a push. The ruling didn’t matter.

Again, Ramirez had Reed on the ropes. Ramirez let loose with a barrage. Reed wasn’t throwing back. The referee jumped in. It was all over, mere minutes after it began. Ramirez raised his arms in the air. So did seemingly everyone else in the arena.

Ramirez is now 21-0 with 16 KOs. His next fight will be against Amir Imam for a vacant world title. Imam is 21-1 with 18 KOs and was once a rising 140-pound prospect himself, at least until he lost a stunning eighth-round technical knockout to Adrian Granados back in 2015. Imam has won three straight since.

Reed is now 23-1 with 12 KOs.

David Greisman
About the Author:

David Greisman.

David Greisman is an award-winning boxing writer based out of Washington, D.C., who has covered the sport since 2004. He is the senior staff writer and “Fighting Words” columnist for BoxingScene.com and a reporter for The Ring magazine. Greisman is the author of the book “Fighting Words: The Heart and Heartbreak of Boxing.”
Follow on Twitter @fightingwords2

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