Brooklyn's Jacobs, 'Big Baby' set for big bouts in hometown

FILE - In this April 12, 2018, file photo, former middleweight world champion Daniel Jacobs puts his fists up while shadow boxing during a workout at Gleason's gym in the Brooklyn borough of New York. Jacobs wants another shot at Gennady Golovkin. Jarrell Miller could get the next one at Anthony Joshua. The potential path for both might lead right through their hometown. Jacobs (33-2-0, 29 KOs) faces unbeaten Maciej Sulecki (26-0-0, 10 KOs) in New York on Saturday, April 28.. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)

Brooklyn natives Daniel Jacobs and Jarrell "Big Baby" Miller in separate fights at Barclays Center on Saturday night

NEW YORK — Daniel Jacobs wants another shot at Gennady Golovkin. Jarrell Miller could get the next one at Anthony Joshua.

The potential path for both might lead right through their hometown.

Jacobs and Miller fight the headline bouts Saturday night at Barclays Center, where the Brooklyn products hope to position themselves for lucrative title opportunities with victories.

Jacobs (33-2-0, 29 KOs) faces unbeaten Maciej Sulecki (26-0-0, 10 KOs) of Poland in the main event of the HBO televised card, with the winner becoming the WBA's mandatory challenger for the middleweight championship.

Jacobs, a former 160-pound titlist, lost a close, unanimous decision to Golovkin last year and is seeking a rematch or another bout with one of the big names in the division.

"I have an opportunity of a lifetime," Jacobs said at his final press conference. "The WBA has mandated me for Golovkin's belt again, so you guys know how vocal I've been about calling these guys out and wanting to get back into the ring."

Miller (20-0-1, 18 KOs) takes on France's Johann Duhaupas, (37-4-0, 24 KOs), and Joshua will be watching. It's "Big Baby," who weighed in at nearly 304 ½ pounds Friday, and not Deontay Wilder who could end up with the next fight against Joshua, the unbeaten British heavyweight who holds three belts.

Miller has heard the talk of a potential Joshua match but said he's seen no paperwork about it, so isn't worried about the possibility.

"I can't think about nothing else past Saturday right now except whooping this guy's behind," Miller said. "That's all that matters to me."

Titled "Straight Outta Brooklyn," the card includes Jacobs' first bout at Barclays Center since 2015. The popular cancer survivor from the Brownsville section of Brooklyn expects plenty of his home fans, while Miller will be fighting there for just the second time.

"It's going to be fun," Miller said. "I'm not just the Brooklyn champ, I'm the people's champ."

A Joshua-Wilder unification match is the biggest that can be made in the heavyweight division, but as usual with boxing, the sides may opt for a detour rather than the straight line. That could send Joshua to an interim bout against Miller while he raises his profile in the U.S. in case a Wilder bout takes place outside his native Britain, where he has fought all 21 professional bouts.

In the meantime, Miller said he's blocking out all the talk — even if nobody else is.

"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," promoter Eddie Hearn said.

"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."

The brash Miller expects to deliver the commanding performance against Duhaupas, who was stopped by Wilder in a 2015 fight.

"I think the main thing is just make him feel something he's never felt before," Miller said, "a big guy that comes forward and hits him everywhere to make him just realize that eventually he's going to break down, that he's in a war for his life."

Jacobs could also move onto something big with a victory. He might have to wait a while for Golovkin, who fights Vanes Martirosyan next week and perhaps Canelo Alvarez later in the year after their planned May 5 rematch was scrapped. Alvarez was suspended for six months by the Nevada Athletic Commission for failing two drug tests.

Hearn also mentioned Jermall Charlo, who became the WBC's interim middleweight champ with a second-round knockout of Hugo Centeno Jr. last week at Barclays Center.

"Right now I see Daniel Jacobs, as, even at this stage of his career, the emerging star again of the middleweight division and we're going for all those big fights," Hearn said. "Gennady Golovkin, possibly another title that might become vacant. Mr. Charlo has been running his mouth recently, we love that fight also."

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Follow Brian Mahoney on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Briancmahoney

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