Jacobs looking to leave a legacy by beating Canelo
Daniel Jacobs believes a victory over Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez in their world middleweight unification bout in May will define his legacy as a fighter.
The 32-year-old American boasts a 35-2 record and is the current IBF world middleweight champion but will face one of the best pound-for-pound boxers around in Alvarez on May 4, with the contest taking place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Jacobs was diagnosed with bone cancer in May 2011 but returned to the ring the following year and he sees Alvarez, the current WBA and WBC belt holder in the 160-pound division, as the "final hurdle" to him leaving a significant mark on the sport.
"Obviously our legacies are on the line," Jacobs said at a pre-fight news conference on Wednesday.
"His is already well-established. For me, it's about capturing the titles, all the titles, to claim my legacy in my own right.
"I'm from Brooklyn, New York, I never ever had it easy. I've always had the long road, had to jump over hurdle after hurdle after hurdle, but when I step in that ring on May 4 that will be the last hurdle that I will have to step over because I will declare myself the middleweight champ, the best fighter in the world in my division."
Promoter Eddie Hearn explained that Jacobs had identified Alvarez as a future opponent when he first signed with the promoter.
Two years ago, Jacobs came close to inflicting a first defeat on Gennady Golovkin, who was ultimately awarded a unanimous decision win.
Golovkin later went on to meet Alvarez twice - the first bout ending in a split-decision draw before the Mexican emerged victorious in the rematch - and Hearn thinks Jacobs was always destined to meet his next opponent.
"We know the Daniel Jacobs story, it's incredible. One day it will go down as the greatest comeback story in the history of the sport," Hearn said.
"The man was told he may not live, may not walk again, but he will certainly never fight again. He came back to win the world middleweight championship and now he stands before you to be the unified middleweight champion, the best fighter in the world.
@EddieHearn: “We have a superfight. For a long time, from when we signed @DanielJacobsTKO, he has told me three very special words.— Matchroom Boxing (@MatchroomBoxing) February 27, 2019
“Bring me @Canelo!”#CaneloJacobs@DAZN_USA@SkySportspic.twitter.com/wCtX5wrq7x
"When I saw him fight Gennady Golovkin and that final bell went, I thought, 'Wow, Jacobs has done it. Jacobs has come back from cancer, he's come back from never fighting again, and he's done it'.
"I just believed the Gods were gonna give him his win, but they didn't because they waited for this moment when he can go out on this platform against the very best in the world and create a legacy that will never ever be forgotten in the sport of boxing.
"I have never been so confident in a 50-50 fight."
The bout will occur over the weekend of Cinco de Mayo and Alvarez, who is moving down after stopping Rocky Fielding to claim the WBA 'regular' super-middleweight belt last time out, expressed his respect for Jacobs at their news conference.
"I've always liked challenges and this is not an exception," said Alvarez. "We know what Daniel Jacobs brings, his qualities, his talent.
"We know his style is going to be very difficult, very complicated, but at this level, that's what you have to face. We're prepared."