Jacobs and Quillin (right) hold court at a Nets game. They'll look to rule the ring at Barclays on Feb. 9. (Hogan Photos)
Danny Jacobs, Peter Quillin, Fernando Guerrero, Dmitriy Salita and Hector Camacho Jr. spoke on a Thursday conference call to hype the second boxing event at the brand new arena in Brooklyn, Barclays Center.
Danny Jacobs meets Billy Lyell on the undercard of a Feb. 9 card topped by a Danny Garcia-Zab Judah scrap.
Jacobs, of Park Slope, called Lyell “durable” and considers him a step up at this point in his career. He said all the rust has been shed, following his battle with cancer, and from now on, he thinks he is 100%, and ready to rock. Lyell doesn't have heavy power, represents durability and he will stay in your face, Jacobs said. He called him a C plus or B fighter, and expects to be pushed to the max on Feb. 9.
Jacobs looks forward to going the full ten, as Lyell isn't all that easy to stop.
Jacobs said he's happy to be so busy, having his third fight in three months. He said he's used to being busy, having had an extensive amateur career.
Does he have a timetable for meeting a top ten guy? He thinks within the next one or two fights he'll meet someone within the top 15 or top 10, and expects to be in a the title mix by the end of the year.
Would he meet Peter Quillin, the WBO middleweight champ? He is friends with Quillin, but doesn't dismiss fighting him. It's too early, he said, though, to be targeting specific fighters. He was asked about Dmitriy Pirog, who beat him in 2010. He'd like to avenge that loss, down the line.
The boxer said he feels “completely, completely” back in top physical form. He's cancer free and his body feels as good as can be.
Jacobs talked about his new foundation, the Get in the Ring Foundation. He's tackling obesity, among other things. He saw obesity affect his neighborhood growing up, Brownsville, Jacobs said. He will shine a spotlight on cancer, as well. He felt the emotional and financial strain from battling the disease. “I know first hand how it is going through it,” he said. Jacobs will also deal with bullying, and wants his program to speak to that issue.
Hector Camacho Jr. meets Dmitriy Salita on Feb. 9. Camacho last fought in Brooklyn in 2001. His dad was shot to death in November, and Camacho said he will fight for his dad when he takes on Salita. “Emotionally it's tough recuperating losing” a father, a friend, an idol like his dad, he allowed. Junior said the pain is still fresh, but it is also motivating. He said his father's death has woken him up, and he wants to turn it into a positive.
He said he'd spent a lot of time with his father in the last few years. “We were like friends,” he said. He said his faith and his father's lifestyle kept them separate a lot, but they talked on the phone all time.
Salita was present on the call. He said he has been in Detroit for training camp and is looking forward to coming back to NY for the bout. He said he is aware that Paul Malignaggi doesn't have a dance partner for an April date, and is totally focused on Camacho, but hopes for a big opportunity after a win next month.
Salita said he was happy for Yuri Foreman, who got a win Wednesday night; both men represent the Jewish faith proudly.
Salita said the weight will be for 152 pounds or under. He considers himself a 147 pounder, however.
Salita said he's ready for a distance fight but would like a KO. He said working in Detroit the last three years has helped him grow. He is training for the best Camacho, and not someone who has been compromised, a fighter who has been stopped twice in his last four outings.
Guerrero, who tries to take Quillin's crown, said he's been waiting his whole life for this shot. The Maryland resident, a southpaw born in the Dominican Republic, said he likes Quillin, and he doesn't see the need for trash talk to build the hype. He said he embraced a 2011 TKO4 loss to Grady Brewer, seeing it as an element of his growth.
The adopted New Yorker Quillin, who stole the show in the Golden Boy Barclays debut, knocking down Hassan N'Dam six times, thanked Guerrero for taking the opportunity. He said winning the crown was most meaningful, and the way he did it, in front of family and friends from NY, was extra cool. He wasn't told, on the way up, that he was championship material, so to get to that promised land made him proud. He said that he is extra popular being the champ, and so it is an effort to stay grounded, run his business like a business, not get ensnared in ancillary drama.
Quillin isn't sure if Guerrero is a step up from N'Dam or Winky Wright, and said that we will see on Feb. 9. “Once the bell ring the respect is gone,” he noted.
SPEEDBAG Marcus Browne of Staten Island will also fight on this Feb. 9 card. Publicist Kelly Swanson said on the call that Browne told her that Jacobs is his inspiration, and Jacobs seemed touched by that info.