By Sean Jones: Luis Arias’ trainer John David Jackson was upset last Saturday night at how much bigger highly ranked middleweight contender Danny Jacobs (33-2, 29 KOs) was compared to his fighter. Jackson claims that Jacobs refused to weigh-in on the night of the fight, and that he appeared to come into the fight as a cruiserweight in coming in at 180 to 185 pounds.
Jackson says his fighter Arias rehydrated to no more than 170 lbs. after making the 160 lb. weigh-in limit last Friday for his fight with Jacobs at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York.
Jacobs won the fight by a 12 round unanimous decision by the scores 118-109, 120-107 and 119-108. This was Jacobs’ first fight on HBO, and his first fight with new promoter Eddie Hearn.
With Jacobs not weighing in the night of the fight, there’s no way of knowing for sure how much he weighed when he stepped foot inside the ring. He did look a lot bigger than Arias. The size difference between the two fighters looked significant. If Arias was 170, then it’s not hard to imagine that Jacobs was 180 and above.
“I was concerned with the weight,” said Arias’ trainer John David Jackson. “Danny weighed 159.6 yesterday, but he wouldn’t step on the scale today. Why? If you look at him, he was about a cruiserweight. He’s a big boy. He won the fight. I got to give him that. He was the bigger man.It wasn’t a fair fight. When I was a champion, we weighed in on the same day. We didn’t get a next day to rehydrate. We stayed with our limit. If you made weight one day, but you couldn’t cut the second day, then you broke the rules. Why wouldn’t you weigh in the second day? Because you knew it’s to your advantage in and rehydrate to about 180 to 185. That’s a cruiserweight. He looked bigger than Luis. Luis hit him with his best shot. It didn’t even move him. He did what he had to do to win, but he was bigger. He was way bigger. Boxing should go back to the way it used to be. Nowadays, guys come in and rehydrate 20 to 30 pounds more than they were the night before. If you can’t make weight the second day, then you should move up. Luis was 170 at the most,” said Jackson.
Jackson isn’t he first person to complain about Jacobs’ weight. There were a lot of boxing fans remarking about how much bigger Jacobs was compared to IBF/IBO/WBA/WBC middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin in their fight this year on March 18. A lot of boxing fans felt that Jacobs had rehydrated to cruiserweight. Another thing that upset people was Jacobs choosing not to be weighed by the International Boxing Federation the morning of the fight. Jacobs skipped the weigh-in, which meant that he couldn’t for the IBF title. Instead, Jacobs chose to use the extra time to rehydrate and try and just win the fight against Golovkin. It didn’t work. Golovkin still won, but Jacobs’ size advantage helped him make it a close fight. It’s unclear how well Jacobs would have done had he been the same weight as Golovkin. We do know that earlier in his career before Jacobs started to bulk up, he was knocked out by Dmitry Pirog. Jacobs didn’t look anywhere near as big as he is now, and he was fighting in the middleweight division even back then. It would be interesting to know how much heavier Jacobs is now compared to when he fought Pirog. Physically, Jacobs looks much heavier than he was in 2010. But somehow he’s still able to make the 160 lb. weight class.
If same day weigh-ins were back in effect, you’d still get fighters doing the same thing as they’re doing now. Some clever fighters know how to put water weight on rapidly. The drawback would be that many of them would feel sluggish if they added 20 to 30 pounds of water weight to their system just hours before their fights. The only way of preventing a fighter from rehydrating in speedy manner to try and game the system would be to have the weigh-in right before they step into the ring. If there was no chance for the fighter to quickly rehydrate, then you’d have fighters competing in their normal weight classes. That’s probably the only way you’d get all the fighters back in the weight classes that are suited to their bodies.
“He wouldn’t step on the scale,” said Jackson about Jacobs in talking about him choosing not to be weighed the day of the fight. ”He won the fight because he had an unfair advantage. He was bigger, and he used it to his advantage to win the fight. You wasn’t even a super middleweight. You wasn’t even a light heavyweight. You were a cruiserweight. I guarantee you he was in that range. When you fight someone and he was 170 at most, it shows. When you’re the bigger guy and you take his punches, you can walk him down. You can do things you couldn’t do in other fights. You couldn’t do that with Triple G. You did weigh that much. You could do that with this kid, and you got away with it. The Commissioners shouldn’t allow it. They should step up for the betterment of the fighter and their health. They didn’t step up for their well-being. They should do it for everybody. This is how guys get hurt. When I was fighting, we used to do it the same day,” said Jackson about the same day weigh-ins that was common during his career in boxing. “You couldn’t put on 20 to 30 pounds. They can do that now. These Commissioners and sanctioning bodies, they say nothing. As long as they get their money, they look the other way. They don’t have to fight. The next day you’re allowed 10 lbs. That’s what I’m saying. Don’t go 20 pounds over the limit. Go back to when I fought. We weighed in the same day before fights. You couldn’t put 20 to 30 pounds back on. If you say you care about boxing, the Commissioners and sanctioning bodies, do what’s right. Do it the right way, because those guys are getting crazy putting weight back on the next day,” said Jackson.
Boxing has changed a lot since the days when there was same day weigh-ins. You can argue that boxing has gone backwards in terms of fighter safety in that respect. With some fighters gaming the system to dehydrate as much as possible to fight in a weight class that is 20 to 30 pounds under their natural weight limit, it puts pressure on other fighters to do the same thing if they want to be competitive. In Arias’ case, he clearly needs to move down to 154 and fight in the junior middleweight division. Arias wouldn’t need to take off 20 to 30 pounds like some fighters do. He would just need to drain down 16 pounds from 170 to get to 154. There’s still going to be guys that will be heavier than Arias, even at junior middleweight. But at least Arias wouldn’t have to deal with fighting a cruiserweight-sized fighter in the 180s.
“Jacobs was just smart tonight,” said Arias in talking about his loss. “I was hoping he’d get careless, and he did get careless a couple of times, and he got caught. Him having that size, he was able to take that punch. He looked like an elite fighter,” said Arias.