Daniel Jacobs Vs Dmitry Pirog
Written by Alexander Zammit
Friday, 30 July 2010 20:11
Tomorrow night unbeaten middleweight Daniel Jacobs (20-0, 17 KO’s) will be facing undefeated Russian contender Dmitry Pirog (16-0, 13 KO’s) for the vacant WBO middleweight title, Jacobs will also be defending his NABO and his NABF Middleweight titles. The fight will be part of the undercard for the rematch of Juan Manuel Marquez vs. Juan Diaz. on July 31st, at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.
Dmitry Pirog -- A notorious boxer-puncher Pirog, now sporting an impressive record of 16 wins and 13 of them coming inside the distance, started attracting attention less than a year after his pro debut in July 2005. On April 16 of 2006 Pirog, despite having just three wins over non-descript opposition to his resume, challenged a notable fringe contender (and Russian super middleweight champion at the time) Sergey Tatevosyan (25-5 with 13 KOs) for a vacant national 160lb title and impressively dealt a sudden beating to the grizzled veteran en route to a convincing unanimous decision in his first career ten-rounder. A string of victories followed as well as several minor titles have changed their owners in Pirog’s favor.
In 2008 Dmitry’s made a short, one-sided affair of two former notables (Russian Alsanbek Kodzoev and Uzbek perennial contender Kuvanych Toygonbayev) and mixed it up with a dominant decision over durable Serbian Geard Ajetovic to become 2008 Russian Fighter of the Year. The next year was less productive in terms of activity but saw the Russian facing stiffer opposition after a clean sweep of former two-time world title challenger Kofi Jantuah (32-3-1, 21 KOs) for a vacant WBC International title.
This year he started of in February with the fifth-round TKO over American Eric “Murder” Mitchell (22-6-1, 11 KOs). It was Mitchell’s first stoppage loss in his seventeen years of prizefighting. Pirog came back in late April in a tune-up fight against Estonian Sergey Melis (15-1, 5 KOs) to stop his foe with liver punches in the sixth.
Daniel Jacobs will fight for the WBO middleweight title on Saturday despite the recent death of his Grand-mother.
Cordelia Jacobs died last weekend, but her undefeated grandson told The Associated Press on Monday he will still fight Russia’s Dmitry Pirog for the vacant belt on the undercard of Juan Manuel Marquez’s rematch with Juan Diaz at the Mandalay Bay Events Center.“I know she wants me to pursue my dream,” Jacobs said of his first world title shot. “She would want me to do what I have to do to win, so I’m really focused.”
The 23-year-old Jacobs was exceptionally close to his grandmother, known as Lady Bird. A devout member of the Jehovah’s Witness church, she never saw her grandson fight.
Jacobs has been a rising star since he failed to make the U.S. national team for the Beijing Olympics despite a stellar amateur record and four New York Golden Gloves titles. He is 20-0 with 17 knockouts, including two early-round stoppages this year. Jacobs was upset by Shawn Estrada in the trials for a spot on the least successful boxing team in U.S. Olympic history.
As a pro, Jacobs has eclipsed every member of that Olympic team with guidance from Golden Boy Promotions and adviser Al Haymon—the same team behind Floyd Mayweather Jr., among other fighters. Jacobs won 12 fights in 2008 and five more in 2009, including a victory on eight days’ rest on the undercard of Manny Pacquiao’s victory over Ricky Hatton.
He has earned two early-round stoppages this year to set up his first fight for a major title against Pirog who is making his U.S. debut, Pirog fights in a North American style that appeals to Jacobs, but the fighters are fairly unfamiliar with each other.