Earlier this Fall the WBA ordered a fight between their middleweight super champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin and its “regular” champion Daniel Jacobs in a unification bout. The unification fight is part of the considerably slow promise by the WBA to eliminate the high number of championship belts it now has diluting the boxing landscape. A 30 day negotiation period was ordered by which a purse bid would follow if a deal couldn’t be made.
The Daniel Jacobs camp asked for an exception by the WBA to allow Jacobs to make more than the 25% of the awarded purse that normally would go to the challenger should a purse bid take place. After some delays the WBA rejected the Jacobs proposal and noted that 75% of any purse bid would still be allocated to the champion with the remaining 25% going to the challenger, in this case Daniel Jacobs. Once this decision was made the negotiations continued.
Tom Loeffler of K2 promotions who represents GGG asked for and was granted a 15 day extension for negotiations in early October. The deal both sides were trying to make was to have both champions fight in New York on December 10th. Jacobs is from Brooklyn and has fought most of his fights at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn while GGG has sold out Madison Square Garden just last year. The New York City public is quite familiar with both champions as mentioned and makes the most sense as a location for this particular fight.
As time dredged on in October both camps finally released an acknowledgment on the 18th that the fight would not be taking place as hoped for on December 10th. It was cited that the date was too close for a proper promotion and that negotiations had taken longer than expected, although there has been no real reason given as to why a fight such as this, not that big in nature, certainly not a PPV, could take this long to agree to terms with. A statement by the trainer for Jacobs made an outlandish claim that Jacobs needed longer than the 12 weeks he had from his previous fight to the proposed December date to train.
On October 29th it was reported that famed New York boxing promoter Lou DiBella would be cancelling the rest of his scheduled fights set to take place within New York City. The reason came about because of a new insurance law mandated by the state requiring higher premiums to be paid by the promoter, including a $1 million dollar policy for each fighter incase of a severe brain injury. As most fight cards have between 4 and upwards of 14 fighters, that would require between $4 million and $14 million dollars in insurance coverage!
The insurance law added a huge wrinkle to the GGG-Jacobs negotiations as the promoters, already squabbling over percentages, would have to decide who would pony up the dough for insurance and how many, if any at all, undercard fights would be presented and covered under the policies as well. Of course, should a purse bid take place, the winning promoter would be in charge of said fees but those would take away from the overall amount each fighter would receive. Meanwhile, even if the dollars and cents were agreed to, no insurance policy had been authorized to even offer a policy for a fight as of that date.
Just a day later, New York Department of State spokesperson Laz Benitez told ESPN that insurance company AIG would be offering a policy with a rate of $1,675 per fighter. This development should help pave the way for negotiations to continue and hopefully secure a date for the first quarter of 2017. With a set budget determined by HBO, the expected televising company in the event a deal is reached and a purse bid is avoided, only so much money is available to go around which is why as of November 16th there is still no set deal nor is there even a rumored new negotiation deadline by the WBA.
Between the championship sanctioning body, the state’s insurance law, television budgets, and fighter demands, the stink of boxing politics continues to reek havoc on the sport and its fans. No blame should be placed on GGG as it has been a new and pathetic routine for fighters to actively “negotiate” a fight with him, only to back out before a deal as if to show the public they were willing to fight him but just couldn’t quite come to terms. In reality, GGG has one of the best fight to knockout ratios the sport has ever seen and has put fear in the minds of most. Canelo Alvarez, Billy Joe Saunders, Chris Eubank Jr. and now Daniel Jacobs have all to this point absolutely avoided a fight with GGG. Kell Brook, Golovkin’s previous opponent, got his orbital bone in his face broken.
Daniel Jacobs will either have to man up and agree to a fight or he’ll be forced to hand over his title to GGG as Canelo did with his WBC version of the middleweight title earlier this year. Now even the state of New York and their extreme insurance laws that seem to have been put in place just in time for future GGG opponents, can’t be used as an excuse for Daniel Jacobs.