East New York’s Jeru the Damaja released “The Sun Rises In The East” in 1993, a heralded album where one of the LP’s signature songs was entitled, “Brooklyn Took It.”
That’s what Daniel Jacobs (34-2, 29 KO’s) and Jarrell Miller (21-0-1, 18 KO’s) did on Saturday night in their Barclays Center backyard.
Jacobs, a native of Brownsville, and Miller, who’s from Bed-Stuy, both competed in fights with unofficial stipulations suggesting that if each contender handled their business, they would both near world title opportunities that could perhaps come to fruition later this year.
They did, both winning by unanimous decisions.
Regarding what’s next for Jacobs in particular after outlasting previously undefeated Maciej Sulecki (26-1, 10 KO’s), he has one name in mind.
“(Jermall) Charlo,” Jacobs answered with a smile.
At the post-fight presser, the former World Middleweight Champion was asked of other top-flight 160-pounders, like current WBO Middleweight Champion Billy Joe Saunders and Undisputed Middleweight Champion Gennady Golovkin, who defeated Jacobs in March 2017 at Madison Square Garden.
But Charlo appears simultaneously as an evident grudge match and a title opportunity.
Charlo recorded a second-round knockout over Hugo Centeno Jr. for the Interim WBC World Middleweight Title at Barclays Center last week, his second straight win in the Brooklyn arena. Jacobs and Charlo have recently engaged in a public feud where the two were even caught arguing face-to-face in a Barclays Center hallway during a March 3rd fight card main event by Deontay Wilder and Luis Ortiz.
“We want the big names,” declared Jacobs at the post-fight presser, who won with scores of 115-112, 116-111 and 117-110, with the help of a 12th-round knockdown. “That’s really truly what we want. Obviously me and Charlo got a little thing going on, so that’s something I’m trying to pursue.”
For Miller, the dominant win launches him into the conversation for a title shot against Undisputed Heavyweight Champion Anthony Joshua in the event that the United Kingdom-born Joshua’s next bout isn’t a unification against WBC Titlist and frequent Brooklyn attraction Deontay Wilder.
The two sides, Joshua’s and Wilder’s, are engaged in an ongoing dispute over the terms of a potentially seismic unification, which could open the door for Miller, a top-three ranked challenger by the WBA, IBF and WBO before Saturday’s victory; all are sanctioning bodies where Joshua is the heavyweight champion.
It’s worth noting that Joshua’s and Jacobs’ promoter Eddie Hearn promoted Saturday’s card, but does not promote Miller, who self-owns Big Baby Promotion and is partnered with Salita Promotions, run by fellow Brooklynite Dmitry Salita, a former world title contender in his own right.
“We cooked French Fries tonight. English muffins next time,” said a smiling Miller, who won by scores of 119-109, twice, and 117-111, after the win over Johann Duhaupas (37-5, 24 KO’s) of France, who previously loss to Wilder in September of 2015. “Of course we want the AJ fight.” “Eddie Hearn’s been talking a lot, saying that [Joshua’s] going to come to Brooklyn. I’m not going to sit here get on my knees and beg,” he added. “That’s not New Yorkers, we work hard and earn our shot. If you bring him to New York, I will gladly bust his behind.”
Miller also added that German native Manuel Charr, the current WBA World Heavyweight Champion, would be an ideal alternative, especially in Brooklyn. Charr has a scheduled title defense against former Heavyweight Champion Fres Oquendo, who hasn’t fought in four years, on September 29 in Germany.
At the end of the day, both Jacobs and Miller seek big names, championships and opportunity. Their wins Saturday leave them on the brink of their respective goals for 2018.