DANIEL JACOBS vs. MACIEJ SULECKI
JARRELL MILLER vs. JOHANN DUHAUPAS
International Media Conference Call Transcript
Bernie Bahrmasel: Thank you very much for all the international media joining us on this call today, and special thanks for the great turnouts we’ve had at our press events in New York City for Jarrell Miller’s media lunch and last week at Gleason’s Gym for Jarrell Miller and for Daniel Jacobs. The conference call today will be structured with Daniel Jacobs and Maciej Sulecki joining us first and Jarrell Miller and Johann Duhaupas in the second segment.
At this time, it’s my pleasure to turn over the call to the promotor of “Straight Outta Brooklyn,” Mr. Eddie Hearn from Matchroom Boxing.
Eddie Hearn: Thank you, Bernie, and thanks, everyone, for joining online today. I have to say, I’m very, very excited about this event next week because I think this middleweight division is lining up so perfectly. I mean, it’s in a mess but through the clouds we can see opportunities, we can see ourselves being active while others are being inactive and getting ready to be involved in some major, major fights, but firstly, Danny Jacobs has, I think, one of the toughest fights of his career against Maciej Sulecki who is undefeated. A very, very dangerous young man who comes with no fear, nothing to lose, agile, but as I’ve said before, I believe Daniel Jacobs is the best middleweight in the world, and now that things are shaking up in the division, he’s going to get a chance to prove it.
This fight is a final eliminator for the WBA Middleweight Championship of the world. The winner will be the automatic mandatory. I know GGG has his stuff to sort out, but there’ll be no escape after this fight, and we don’t have to be the mandatory, but we want to make sure that there’s no way out for any champion to fight Danny Jacobs, so it’s a great fight. Of course, it’s a double header on HBO. We’ll also have a big heavyweight matchup between Jarrell Miller and Johann Duhaupas, which we’re going to talk about after.
Even beneath those guys, off the HBO card, this card is absolutely stacked, I think the biggest star in women’s boxing, Katie Taylor, WBA world champion via Victoria Bustos, the IBF World Champion in a great unification matchup. Then we have, I think, one of the most hard-hitting, entertaining young fighters in Shohjahon Ergashev, 11 and 0 with 11 KOs and our debut of our Rio Olympic gold medalist, Daniyar Yeleussinov, the gold medalist at the Rio Olympics in the welterweight division from Kazakhstan, he’s an absolutely fantastic young fighter. But right now it’s all about the main event, Jacobs against Sulecki is going to be an absolute war at the Barclays Center. Thank you, as always to our friends at Brooklyn Boxing and of course, HBO. We’re looking forward to a big night and a massive statement ahead for Daniel Jacobs.
We’ll open it up now to the floor for questions.
Dan Rafael: Hi, Danny, good to talk to you. Eddie, thanks for doing this. Danny, I want to start with this question. I mean, I know you’re getting ready for this fight with Sulecki. It’s been in the planning stages for a while, it’s been on the books for a while but I wondered if there was any thought on your team’s behalf and maybe, Eddie, you could chime in on this also, that when the Canelo Alvarez fight was cancelled, if there was any thought about maybe knocking this fight out and seeing if you could get back in there for the rematch with Golovkin right off the bat, even if it was going to be at that point, maybe a month or so, a month and a half notice. Ever any thought in your mind that would be a great idea?
Daniel Jacobs: Well, it was a thought, but it wasn’t nothing that was very significant. I mean, I had, obviously, a contract with fighting Sulecki and I want to make sure he has his opportunity and give him his just due as well, with all due respect to him. He’s a tough opponent too so I know it’s going to be a great fight and that’s what I’m looking forward to, so even though I have big dreams and big hopes of fighting for the championship, I already had something lined in place. I know a lot of people think that GGG and Canelo, guys that—they’re superstars that are big and I get it, but at that very moment it wasn’t as if we needed that opportunity.
I consider myself to be the best middleweight in the world and I always wanted to make sure that I’ve prepared for this guy and this after this opportunity, if a great opportunity such as what has already presented itself with the WBA, this is kind of perfect timing so it was a thought but it was a thought that went and passed.
Dan Rafael: Okay, very good. Eddie, did you get any thoughts about that when this whole thing went down with GGG and Canelo?
Eddie Hearn: I’m not really into taking fights at short notice or without the right preparation for those kinds of fights when you have the opportunities in front of you that Danny Jacobs has. I think if he didn’t have a TV deal, if he wasn’t able to box, basically, whenever he wanted, if he wasn’t able to pick and choose his dates or fight at a great venue, then yes, there maybe it would have been a position to say, let’s try and get that instead but the future is very clear right now and one thing that we said to Danny when he joined the team was that he’s going to know exactly when he’s boxing. He’s going to be keeping nice and active and we don’t want to disrupt that, so we’re going to do our own thing. This is a real fight against Sulecki.
Of course, we’re looking at Canelo and we’re looking at Golovkin, but we’re not overlooking the fight on April 28 and I’m really comfortable that after a great performance by Danny Jacobs on April 28, then you talk about the superstars of the division. I don’t see why Danny Jacobs is not a superstar of the division. I believe he already is and with the mess with Canelo and Golovkin, I make it a three-horse race right now between Saunders, Golovkin and Danny Jacobs.
Dan Rafael: That’s a fair point. I just have one more question for you, Danny. A lot of people aren’t that familiar with Sulecki. I mean, he hasn’t had a tremendous amount of exposure in the United States as far as TV goes. He is not from here, so it’s understandable that not a lot of people know him, but if you look at his record, he has some good wins on there. He stopped Centeno in the tenth round. Centeno is fighting Charlo for the interim title on Saturday. He has a very lopsided win against Culcay who had a belt for a little bit.
When you look at his record, what do you look at and see as far as how he stacks up in this weight class? Because he’s fought both at 160 and at 154.
Daniel Jacobs: Well, I look at him as a live dog. I look at him as a very worthy opponent. With his Centeno fight, it was a very impressive fight for me, and he was scouted to be the next, so the fact that he stopped him shows a lot and it says a lot about him. I think, his talent says a lot as well and most importantly, he has really good heart and he comes to fight, so him having that on his back and coming into Brooklyn, which is my backyard, I’m pretty sure this guy is willing to go.
Like I said, this is a great opportunity for both of us but for him, this is the first of his kind so he’s really going to go all out.
Dan Rafael: Got you. Okay. Thank you for that. I have one question for Sulecki, if he’s on. Sulecki, is that alright?
Maciej Sulecki: Yes.
Dan Rafael: Terrific. Could you ask him just about how he views this? I mean it’s not a championship fight but as Eddie said, it is an eliminator to become the mandatory for one of the belts that Gennady Golovkin has, and I just would like Sulecki’s view on the magnitude of this fight in his career with the opportunity to be fighting in this kind of arena on HBO against a well-known opponent like Danny Jacobs in Danny’s hometown.
Maciej Sulecki: I worked very hard for this opportunity, first of all, to be in this place, to stand in this position. I am ready. The previous fights were just a preparation for me being well-known to everyone. This kind of situation is giving me extra motivation. This is an extra, I’m going to use the word kick-in-the-ass for me to just be even better. Like I said before, maybe you guys didn’t know me before, but you guys are going to know me after this fight.
Dan Rafael: Alright, very good. Thank you, guys. I appreciate your time today.
Keith Idec: Yes, my question is for Sulecki. Can you ask him what he thinks of Danny and how Danny fared against Golovkin? What he thinks of him, overall, as a fighter?
Maciej Sulecki: First of all, this was the best Danny Jacobs fight ever. I don’t think he can ever repeat this kind of performance. It was more about Golovkin not fighting tactically well. It was a bench fight by Golovkin and I am really surprised why people are judging Danny Jacobs only by using his fight versus Golovkin. Why not judge Danny to his fight versus Arias?
Keith Idec: Maciej, do you think that Danny is overrated? Is that what you mean?
Maciej Sulecki: No. I think he’s a very good fighter and I’ve always said this. I have a lot of respect for Danny and to his character and his boxing skills, but I don’t treat him as anyone really special.
Keith Idec: But, is Danny the best you’ve fought?
Maciej Sulecki: Of course. When you look at paper and pen and wins and losses, Danny Jacobs is the best fighter who I ever fought, but we’re going to verify who he is on the April 28.
Keith Idec: Who is the best fighter he has fought before Danny?
Maciej Sulecki: It’s hard to say but the guy who didn’t really match with my skills was Culcay.
Keith Idec: Thank you
Gayle Falkenthal: Good afternoon, good morning, everybody. Danny, you’ve been working now for several bouts with Chris Algieri and I’d like to hear more now that you’ve had more time with him, how that’s impacted your training, and then I have a follow up related to that for Mr. Sulecki.
Daniel Jacobs: Thank you. It’s been quite well, actually. We’ve grown, not only our relationship together but I think I’ve grown knowledge with this guy. He’s taught me a lot about the body, he’s taught me a lot about nutrition and how I can prepare myself from this point out. It’s shown me a great opportunity to work with somebody who is a former world champion, who is a stellar fighter himself and who’s been through the same trenches and the same training regimens that you’ve been in, the tough tactics that we’ve had to go through each and every time we’re in training.
To have somebody who understands is an incredible feeling and it’s all that I’ve been learning throughout the past, two fights with this guy—this is our third fight, actually, so three fights. It’s really been great for me. No complaints.
Gayle Falkenthal: Time flies. He’s feeding you more than just food.
Daniel Jacobs: Yes. He’s feeding my soul. He’s feeding my brain and he’s motivating me, so yes, it’s a lot more than just food.
Gayle Falkenthal: And, then turning on the same subject to Mr. Sulecki, because of working this way, Danny has been able to come in on the day of the fight in a fairly good size. Are you concerned at all about seeing the size differential on fight night?
Maciej Sulecki: No, this is absolutely not my concern because the night of the fight I expect to be as big as Danny Jacobs. If there’s going to be any difference, maybe it’s going to be 2 pounds, maybe 2.5. Now, the question is who is going to have more?
Gayle Falkenthal: Very good. Thank you. I do have one more follow up question, if I have a moment and this is back to you, Danny, and Eddie, you need to be listening. You had, obviously, a change of promotor and sometimes, as Americans, we look on in envy seeing these huge British crowds, these major promotions. What do you think the difference is and what kind of difference is it making in your career?
Daniel Jacobs: It’s a great opportunity to have a promotor genuinely care about you and truly push for you and to making you the superstar that I always knew that I could be, so I’m just glad that I have someone, no matter where he’s from, no matter what he does, he pushes hard for his fighters and that’s mostly what I’m grateful for. Thank you.
Eddie Hearn: Danny is the boss. There’s always an old adage that the promoter is but it’s not that way at all, especially not with us. I mean, Danny calls the shots, we provide the opportunity for him. We’re just getting started. This is the second fight on HBO. The first one, we got the win. Now, we go for the big performance and the big statement. The path is starting to become clear and we see ticket sales improving dramatically from the last fight.
Obviously, now he’s back in Brooklyn as well and we’re really looking to put on a big show on April 28 with the undercard, with the entertainment and with Danny Jacobs. It’s a pleasure to work with him and the motivation for me is to see him become world middleweight champion. Again, that’s really all I care about in his journeys, is to give him the opportunity and to watch him become champion again.
Gayle Falkenthal: Thank you very much, gentlemen. All the best to you.
Eddie Goldman: Danny, I want to ask you in terms of again, about the issue of the weight. Do you view Sulecki as more of a middleweight or a junior middleweight? Because he did fight Centeno at middleweight but his last couple of fights, including against Culcay were at junior middleweight, so how much of a factor do you think that’s going to be in this fight?
Daniel Jacobs: Well, I don’t think it’s going to be a huge factor. I mean, he fluctuates up and down so he’s very comfortable. I would pursue him to fight as a middleweight. I wouldn’t think that it would be a drastic difference. Like you said, he’s going to be in there about the same weight as I’m going to be in there, so it’s really no different. It’s all about the skill. Weight shouldn’t be really a factor inside the ring anyway because Muhammad Ali once said, “You can’t hit what you can’t see,” then it doesn’t make a difference anyway. And, that’s what I look forward to improving on, on April 28, is that I have the skills to pay the bills. It’s not anything to do with weight or weight advantage. It’s going to be strictly what I possess internally.
Eddie Goldman: What advantages do you see that you have in this fight?
Daniel Jacobs: Almost every one, but to be descriptive, I’ll say I have way more experience with being at this position with the lights and the cameras and the action and having this specific type of mega fight. I won’t say this is the mega fight with Sulecki but it’s in Brooklyn, New York, it’s on HBO and it’ll be in front of hopefully a sold-out crowd in Brooklyn. I’m used to stuff like that at this point in my career, and I think that takes you a long way in the sport of boxing. Floyd Mayweather said, “The greats always perform best under the lights.” And, I think I really do well under the lights.
Now, I’ve come into my own over the years and with the GGG fight, I really felt like I really made a stamp and I really told myself a lot, who I am and what I have to offer to the sport, and we just want to continue that. It’s going to be a very competitive fight for however long it lasts and I’m looking forward to proving to the world that I’m the best middleweight.
Eddie Goldman: Do you have a prediction for the fight?
Daniel Jacobs: I don’t like making predictions, I just see myself being the victor and having my hands raised by the end of the night.
Eddie Goldman: You were asked about the Arias fight, the last fight, and not being able to stop them. Do you want to comment on, I mean, you pretty much scored almost a shutout on the cards, but can you comment on your performance in that fight?
Daniel Jacobs: I think I did very well. I think you can’t knockout everybody, especially when a guy goes into survival mode. Arias is a tough customer and he has skills. He didn’t show the skills that night, but he was able to hold on and show a little bit more defense, a lot more defense than offense, and it was really up to me just to look impressive and I think I did just that, even though I didn’t get the knockout.
You can’t really knock everyone out. Golovkin was made out to be knockout artist, he didn’t knock everyone out and a lot of other people in boxing, they can say the same thing. It’s about judging my performance, and did I look sharp? Yes, I did. Did I win every round? Yes, I did. You have to look at the things like that because just because a guy doesn’t get a knockout, I mean you can’t say it’s a bad performance because I looked very impressive and studying that fight, I did a lot of things right.
Yes, I could have done more, as all boxers could do more once looking back at their past performances, but judging that fight, I do think I did very well.
Eddie Goldman: Do you plan to stay at 160 for a while? Because I know there was some talk, maybe you would go up to 168 because you’ve been at 160 for quite a long time. Have you thought about that?
Daniel Jacobs: That was just a thought, but right now my focus is being the king at middleweight. I have a job right now, it’s not done. I’m going to make sure that if I go up to 168 pounds, I’ve taken care of everything that I need to take care of in the middleweight division. I’m not overlooking anyone but at the same time, I’m comfortable with making 160 pounds. I know I’m probably one of the biggest middleweights out there, but I have no problem making weight. I can’t help if the fans are saying I’m too big or I’m a weight bully or whatever the illusion is out there in the world, I think my skills speak for themselves.
Eddie Goldman: Alright. Good luck in the fight.
Eddie Hearn: This is another great fight in the division and very important in the worldwide rankings. Jarrell, it looks like Anthony Joshua’s going to be hopefully ringside for this fight, as well, to watch. I think Jarrell Miller is due a big performance. I think he has some good wins, some solid wins against Washington and Wach but I think Duhaupas is going to really come and give him a fight. You saw him in a great fight with Deontay Wilder, you know, an eleven-round war, and now I think Jarrell Miller’s going to make a really big statement in front of his home fans on April 28.
Dan Rafael: Hello, everybody, once again. Jarrell, good to talk to you. How you been?
Jarrell Miller: I’m good brother, how are you?
Dan Rafael: I’m good. Thank you. My question for you, I know you have to fight this fight on April 28, but of course, everybody knows that there’s the possibility that this would be like the audition fight for you to get a shot at Anthony Joshua and his unified heavyweight championship, and I wonder from your perspective, is that distracting to you, or is that motivation for you? What has Eddie told you about the prospect of you getting that fight with a victory on April 28?
Jarrell Miller: Yes, well first of all, there’s no distractions, because I haven’t seen any paperwork, and I verbally haven’t heard anything from Eddie Hearn about that. It is all media talk. When I actually see a physical paper or some kind of agreement or something, either physical or have a conversation about it, then I’ll believe it. You know what I mean, so I’m not a gullible guy. I don’t believe half of anything until it’s actually in front of me. My main focus is Johann Duhaupas, and I’m going to knock him out and then I go to the drawing board to see what fits me best.
Dan Rafael: Jarrell, when Duhaupas fought for the title against Wilder, a couple of years ago, I mean granted he lost the fight, but he had a couple of big moments in that fight. He kind of rocked Wilder at one point. Do you put any stock in that as something you have to be concerned about or do you think that was sort of, you he got kind of a lucky moment for him in that fight?
Jarrell Miller: I mean, you got to be ready for anything. You know what I mean. Remember, everybody’s talking about Gerald Washington was going beat me, he gave Deontay Wilder what was the toughest five rounds of his career. You can’t praise the guy on a loss, I mean you can learn from certain things from the loss. Like I said before, I’m a totally different fighter than Deontay. So, I’m not going to take nothing from it bad, but I can take some good from it and I say, listen, I know you can take a hell of a beating, and come back to me and you’re going to take more of a beating.
Dan Rafael: Okay. Very good. Eddie, if you could address the prospect of this to many being an audition for Jarrell as a possible summer fight against Anthony Joshua. What are your thoughts about that possibility?
Eddie Hearn: I’ve seen a lot of Jarrell Miller comments, I know he doesn’t believe it, but what we all we can do is say that Jarrell Miller against Joshua is a fight we’re very interested in. If we’re going to come to America, that’s a fight that would definitely appeal to us. The fight I’ve mentioned to Jarrell before and Dmitry, he’s right, he doesn’t have any paperwork, but we’ll see what happens. I think if has a commanding performance against Duhaupas, why not make that fight happen, but listen, whether he takes it or not is up to Jarrell, and whether he believes it or not, is up to him as well.
Dan Rafael: Okay, very good. Thanks a lot guys. I appreciate it.
Keith Idec: My question is for Johann. If you could ask him what he thinks about Jarrell Miller, or maybe how Miller compares to Wilder, in terms of how difficult an opponent he is?
Johann Duhaupas: Jarrell Miller he is undefeated boxer, and he’s boxing at home so he has this advantage. We can’t compare Miller and Wilder because they are both very different. Miller is very heavy and he just keeps pushing and Wilder use a lot of his legs and he is very good shape.
Keith Idec: Yes, I have a question for Jarrell. Jarrell, he’s been knocked out before, of course. I know you can’t go into fights looking for knockouts, but how important is that to you to be able to knock him out next week?
Jarrell Miller: I mean, you know a lot of times fighters say they don’t go into fights looking for knockouts and I always told fighters, interviewers, and the public, all the time that that’s a lie. As fighters, you always try to look for the knockouts. In every one of my fights I try to go for the knockout. Will it come? I sure hope so. Am I going to go look for it? Damn, right.
So, come April 28 Johann got some heavy hits and a heavy body in front of him and I’m not going to back up. I like his fighting style, I think he’s tailored made to me, I think he’s going to bring the fight and that’s what’s going to cause him to get his behind knocked out, come April 28. So, just be ready.
Keith Idec: I just have a quick question for Eddie, also. Eddie, if you could just tell him how important it is for Jarrell to look good and maybe knock out Duhaupas in this fight if he does get the opportunity to fight Joshua to sell that fight?
Eddie Hearn: Jarrell’s got to do what Jarrell’s got to do. He’s not about Jarrell chasing the Joshua fight. Jarrell wants to fight for the world heavyweight title, I’m sure. And Dmitry wants to take him to that position. Obviously, if he looks good, and people are interested to see the fight, there’s more chance of it happening, but I think Jarrell has a tough enough job in front of him on April 28. He has to focus on getting the win. If he can look great, he’s on HBO, he has a massive audience watching him, and it’s a chance to really establish himself and make a statement for the division.
Keith Idec: Thank you, guys.
Gayle Falkenthal: To Jarrell, and then the follow up to Johann, same question. It’s similar to Keith about his question to making a statement, obviously, you’re in line either of you with a win for perhaps a much bigger opponent and the heavyweight division has always been a division of very big personalities to go along with being big men. So, how important is it to, not only to make the statement, but be entertaining in this division of very big personalities?
Jarrell Miller: I do know we have two heavyweight champions and both of them are not really entertaining outside the ring. One is a hype job to me and the other one just run his mouth a whole lot. So, when it comes to being a full package, you better be the full package. The only thing that’s missing is the title around my waist.
Come April 28, I’m going to show the people, show the fans, and show the media why this baby’s next in line. Like I said before, they can run, but they can hide for so long. Of course, you’ve got to be both. You know, that’s part of the game, there’s so much PR to sell but if you get in front of a microphone, or in front of a camera, they have no personality, which we see in AJ, he has no personality, and Deontay, just talk a whole bunch of rubbish, you know what I’m saying? So, it’s going to gravitate to you, especially to an American heavyweight like, Deontay Wilder. So, like I said before, once you get there and I kick in that front door, it’s a whole different story.
Gayle Falkenthal: How do you compare yourself to the other American heavyweight that we just mentioned, Deontay, who some people do find him entertaining and he does make a lot of noise?
Jarrell Miller: He’s just bound to make a lot of noise. He had a title for over three years I mean, he was just starting to make some noise. It took him long enough. I compare myself better than all of those guys because I know what I bring to the table. Even though my last performance wasn’t the best, come April 28, you’re going to see a bigger, stronger, faster, more incredible, mammoth of a heavyweight. And you’re going to see why that I am so unstoppable and you’re going to see why when it comes to April 28, what I’m going to bring to the heavyweight division.
Gayle Falkenthal: And to Johann, same question.
Johann Duhaupas: Miller is just an American making noise. I understands that, but I choose not to do it.
Eddie Goldman: Johann, you’ve had some very interesting fights. I know you took the fight with Povetkin at the last minute because of what went on with that fight and had a couple of fights after that. Where do you think you are you now as a fighter, and now that you’ve had proper preparation for this fight with Jarrell Miller?
Johann Duhaupas: I’ve never been as ready as he is now. I’m very confident, because I have lot of experience from my previous fights I’ve had really great preparation. I’m ready and I can beat Miller. He thinks he will beat me easy and then face Joshua. I am preparing in the United States, I am ready to go tomorrow.
Eddie Hearn: Yes, thanks everyone for joining in. I think, again, we have such a stacked card, April 28, Barclays Center, two brilliant TV fights on HBO, as well. Jacobs, Sulecki, final eliminator, a very important fight for the heavyweight division in Big Baby Miller against Johann Duhaupas.
We look forward to seeing you all for fight week activities, Wednesday for the workout, Thursday for the press conference, Friday for the weigh in, and Saturday for the big fight night. We’ll see you there.
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