Jacobs' big night

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Gary Jacobs grinned and switched off when Pernell Whitaker's magnificent fight statistics were tolled out at the head-to-head before tonight's World Boxing Council welterweight title fight in Atlantic City.

"I wasn't even listening," said Jacobs, who is managed by Mickey Duff. "I have got respect for what Whitaker's done, but I won't have any respect for him when I get into the ring. I'm only interested in winning. I don't think he can fight for three minutes of a round any more."

This will be the 31-year-old Whitaker's 17th world title fight and in 13 of them he has met another world champion or a No 1 contender.

In preparation for the fight, Jacobs has been training since 1 June and his work in the Catskill mountains in New York state has been outstanding in its intensity and dedication.

Morris Lewis, Jacobs' trainer, said: "Whitaker's no Mike Tyson that's for sure. He's a flash fighter and a flash fighter someday comes unstuck."

Unfortunately for British boxing, it still points to a Whitaker distance win, but somebody as capable, determined and strong as Jacobs cannot be written off.