Come Dec. 5, we get a new star in the middleweight division. And we get one guy getting kicked to the curb, comparively, quite likely.
At Barclays Center, the first Saturday of December, Peter Quillin, who has been a bit out of sight, out of mind as far as activity goes, tries to show Danny Jacobs that he is the topmost of the 160 scene in these parts, and, really, worldwide, depending on how solid his showing.
Jacobs, meanwhile, can pump even more zest into his story arc, as a true-blue comeback kid, from a nasty KO loss, and from a killer strain of cancer, if he bests Quillin.
But of course, most of the air in the 160 room gets sucked up by Gennady Golovkin, the fighting pride of Kazahkstan; he has folks who like him to be the pound for pound number one in the entire sport, let alone at 160. But the stage is set, and it's large, for this Dec. 5 tangle. If thunder is on display in Brooklyn, if Jacobs or Quillin wins in exciting and devastating fashion, thunder can be stolen from Golovkin..
"I have as much respect as anyone for Triple G...but Quillin and Jacobs, this is a compelling fight. Both are great athletes, marketable, have tremendous balls and great backstories," DiBella told me. "Quillin came form nothing and Danny's story has been nothing short of remarkable. Both can fight, and they are putting it all at risk. Both can bang! Eff pound for pound, this fight will decide who will emerge as a middleweight star!"
Mind you, I must reiterate; winning is the goal. But to be a star, usually, the way you win, the way you perform, as a personality and athletically, that'll bring you that extra measure of buzz, of acclaim, of money. It's not set in stone the Jacobs-Quillin winner gets star status from the W; I think they have to win with flair, and force.
Looking a touch beyond, we can see the winner getting the winner of the forthcoming Andy Lee-BJ Saunders tangle. The Irish identifying Lee (34-2-1), promoted by DiBella, fights the Brit Saunders (22-0) on Dec. 19. DiBella didn't want too far into the future, but he's liking Lee's chances. "If he does what I think he's going to, he's a bigger star. He's an Emanuel Steward disciple, he's cerebral, can punch holes through walls...he wants to get to that superstar place, and unifying would get him there."
By the end of December, there will be more clarity, and I'm hoping, some higher profiles, in the 160 space. You can watch the Quillin-Jacobs fight in Brooklyn, or on Showtime, by the way. Lee-saunders will also be televised in America.