Daniel Jacobs is moving up to 168 pounds on Dec. 20 on DAZN, with one opponent signed and another on standby.
The signed opponent, according to Chris Mannix, is indeed the long-rumored Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. Chavez, though, is currently suspended for evading VADA drug tests, and as a result, the fight has been moved from Nevada to Phoenix, Arizona.
It’s also not sure, due to that suspension, if the Association of Boxing Commissions will allow Jacobs-Chavez to go on. If they don’t, or there’s any of a number of other possible issues with Chavez, Mannix says that Gabriel Rosado is on standby.
The 32-year-old Jacobs (35-3, 29 KO) is a former middleweight titleholder coming off of a decision loss to Canelo Alvarez on May 4 in Las Vegas. He’s reportedly not going to be training with Andre Rozier anymore, so this move up could be a full new chapter for his career.
Chavez (51-3-1, 33 KO) is also a former middleweight titleholder, but at 33 is seemingly a good deal further past his prime than Jacobs, and his prime was a lot of smoke and mirrors in the first place. He’s never really recovered from his 2012 loss to Sergio Martinez, struggling through various fights and also getting wiped out by Andrzej Fonfara in 2015. His last notable fight was in May 2017, an infamously flat performance in defeat to Canelo Alvarez, and he returned on Aug. 10 in Mexico to knock out journeyman Evert Bravo in 86 seconds, fighting at light heavyweight.
Don’t count out the idea that we’ll see Rosado (24-12-1, 14 KO) across the ring from Jacobs instead of Chavez, though. The 33-year-old Rosado is a tough veteran who has fallen short at top level repeatedly, and hasn’t won a fight in over two years now. In March, he lost a decision to Maciej Sulecki, but dropped Sulecki twice late in the fight and nearly pulled off a huge rally.
It’s also good that the promoters are being realistic about this and have a decent opponent on standby, which should probably be the case for any Chavez fight of any magnitude going forward.