When two pugilists enter the ring, each with an equally impressive 79% knockout percentage, you can probably give the judges the night off and expect fireworks.
On Tuesday night in San Antonio, Julius “The Chef” Jackson (19-0 15 KO) from the Virgin Islands of St. Thomas will face Mexico’s Jose “Bolivita” Uzcategui (23-1 19 KO) in an IBF super middleweight eliminator.
This matchup couldn’t fit any better into the Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) “Toe To Toe Tuesdays” series being shown on Fox Sports 1.
Jackson, 28, is a rising contender with solid pugilistic bloodlines; the son of three time, two division champion and middleweight destroyer Julian “The Hawk” Jackson. “The Chef” has handled his business so far in his early career and will take a step up in competition in facing Uzcategui.
Jackson has nine straight stoppage wins dating back to 2011, his last, a December 2014 ninth round TKO over Jonathan Nelson. Although there are no household names on his dossier, this 2008 Olympian appears ready for the next level of competition.
Jackson has improved with each fight and credits his work with Gennady Golovkin for improvements in balance and punching power. Jackson has worked in Golovkin’s camp and has sparred with him assisting with GGG’s preparation for his last several bouts.
Uzcategui, 24, last fought in February, a first round KO over a 6-28 fighter and is 6-1 in his last seven bouts with six stoppages. Uzcategui’s only loss was to rugged Matt Korobov by unanimous decision last June in a matchup of unbeaten and relatively untested prospects. In that bout, Uzcategui showed plenty of heart and had some moments but ultimately couldn’t match Korobov in overall skill set and speed. Although Uzcategui was dropped twice in the seventh, he seemed to get a second wind and finished strong to the final bell losing out on a bid to capture the vacant WBO Inter-Continental- middleweight title.
Tuesday’s 168 pound clash should offer plenty of excitement as long as it lasts. Both combatants match up well physically and look to make short work of their opponents. Uzcategui had problems with the technical skill of Korobov and should face similar problems with Jackson; however, this time against a much harder puncher. Uzcategui’s jab was a bit soft against Korobov and if he employs a similar effort against Jackson he could be in for a short night; however, if he commits and works behind his stick he can set up his right hand and make things interesting.
Although Jackson is heavy handed, he also exhibits excellent boxing skills and can switch stances as needed to confuse his opponent even more. Against Uzcategui, Jackson could employ a similar strategy to Korobov’s but will most likely look to apply more pressure and not allow the fight to be decided by the cards. Jackson is a rising star and this fight will allow him to showcase his talents.
Both men appeared ready ahead of their clash for the right to possibly be the mandatory challenger for super middleweight champ James DeGale.
“With my father being who he is, my dream has always been to reach this level and surpass this level, I’m working extremely hard for this opportunity, and I’m ready for my shot.” Said Jackson
Countered Uzcategui-“I’m so excited for an opportunity to fight in the U.S. again, and I plan on making the most of it, I will leave everything in the ring and give the fans a great show in San Antonio.”