Boxing


Battle Of The Prospects Set For July 31st - Daniel Jacobs Vs. Dmitry Pirog For Vacant WBO Middleweight Title

Daniel Jacobsby James Slater - The Juan Manuel Marquez-Juan Diaz rematch, set for Las Vegas on July 31st, is a great fight on paper, and the fans will be there at Mandalay Bay in full force to see the rematch of the best fight of last year. However, the card now looks even better value for money due to the addition of a most intriguing battle of undefeated middleweight prospects.

It has been confirmed that 23-year-old Daniel Jacobs of Brooklyn, New York will square off with 29-year-old Dmitry Pirog of Gelendzhik, Russia at the end of next month, with the vacant WBO middleweight title on the line. Quite a rarity these days, in that two highly promising fighters are being matched against one another at such an early stage in their respective careers instead of being put in with further journeymen types, Pirog-Jacobs could even turn out to be the fight of the night on July 31st..

Both men, Jacobs especially, were top-notch amateurs, and both fighters have looked good thus far at pro level. Neither guy has been severely tested at paid level yet, however, and the fight they are having against one another represents the first big hurdle for both men. A risky fight for both, no doubt about it, a case can be made for either guy winning the title that was vacated by Sergio Gabriel Martinez.

ESPN.com reports how Golden Boy's Richard Schaefer put the fight together this past weekend, and that Jacobs, 20-0(17) is absolutely thrilled to have gotten his big chance. The 16-0(13) Pirog, who at one time looked like fighting Britain's Matthew Macklin at European title level, is almost certainly feeling just as excited as Jacobs is!

Both men have enviable skills, both can punch hard and both are hungry and determined. This fight has the look of a real crowd-pleaser as a result.

Jacobs, who will enjoy a height advantage of two inches over the 5'11" Russian, turned pro in December of 2007, and "The Golden Child" has been moved pretty fast by Golden Boy. His biggest win so far is his August 2009 points win over former "Contender" Ishe Smith, and Jacobs is confident he will win his first "world" title against Pirog.

Pirog, who turned pro in July of 2005, has never fought in America before, with all but one of his fights taking place in Russia. The older man's biggest win so far also came on points, with Pirog decisioning former two-time world title challenger Kofi Jantuah in June of last year. It remains to be seen how Pirog will cope under the bright lights of Vegas, but if he can handle the big event he is sure to give Jacobs a helluva tough fight.

Making a prediction is tough, but I lean towards Jacobs. Just.

Article posted on 08.06.2010



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