Daniel Jacobs and "Kid Chocolate" Peter Quillin, friendly rivals who have been on a collision course for the past few years, will finally meet in the ring Dec. 5 at the Barclays Center in their hometown of Brooklyn, New York.
The bout, which had been expected to be finalized for the past few months, was formally announced Wednesday. Jacobs will defend his secondary middleweight world title on the card, which will air on Showtime (9 p.m. ET).
"There is no doubt this is going to be one of the biggest fights Brooklyn has ever seen," Jacobs said. "Peter and I go back a long time, but this is business. I'm the champion, and he's the challenger. I'm going to do everything I can to win on Dec. 5 and show the world that I'm the best Brooklyn has to offer."
The fight with Quillin, a former titleholder, was contingent on Quillin winning a tuneup fight against Australia's little-known Michael Zerafa on Sept. 12. Quillin knocked Zerafa out cold in the fifth round, paving the way for Al Haymon, who manages Jacobs and Quillin, to finalize the bout.
Jacobs (30-1, 27 KOs), 28, was ringside for the fight, and he and Quillin (32-0-1, 23 KOs), 32, had words following the bout during the national TV broadcast. Quillin said he is happy the fight was finally signed.
"The fans have waited a long time for this fight, and now it's finally here," Quillin said. "I was back in the gym on Monday after my fight against Zerafa preparing for Dec. 5. I know there is so much at stake for me -- a belt and Brooklyn bragging rights. It's going to be a night to remember for me and for all of Brooklyn."
Jacobs, who survived a battle with a rare form of bone cancer that nearly killed him, returned to boxing in late 2012. He knocked out Jarrod Fletcher in the fifth round in August 2013 and has defended his 160-pound belt twice, by 12th-round knockout of Caleb Truax in April and by second-round knockout of former junior middleweight titlist Sergio Mora on Aug. 1. Gennady Golovkin is the top titleholder.
On April 11, Quillin fought to a draw with world titleholder Andy Lee, but even if he had won, he was not eligible to win the belt because he failed to make weight. The fight with Zerafa was contracted at 163 pounds, but Quillin surprised many by weighing in at 160 pounds, proving that he can indeed make the division weight limit for the title fight with Jacobs.
Quillin won a belt by scoring six knockdowns and winning a unanimous decision against Hassan N'Dam in October 2012. He defended the title three times and vacated the belt in August 2014 rather than face mandatory challenger Matt Korobov for a career-high purse of $1.4 million.
Quillin said the reason he declined the fight and took a year off was because his wife had just given birth to their son and because his uncle, who was a father figure to him, was dying of cancer and he wanted to spend time with him. Quillin returned for the fight with Lee, who had knocked out Korobov to win the vacant title in December.
Quillin and Jacobs have been on course to fight each other since Quillin held a world title and Jacobs was working his way back following his successful cancer treatment.
"This is a can't-miss, pick 'em fight between two of the best middleweights in the world," said Lou DiBella, who will promote the card. "This is truly the battle of Brooklyn, with both Danny and Peter possessing the power to create fireworks in an explosive night. Showtime will truly be ending 2015 with a bang, or many of them."
Showtime has televised a number of Jacobs and Quillin fights over the past few years and will finally get a payoff fight. The network had televised several Danny Garcia and Lamont Peterson bouts, only to have Haymon finally make the match for an NBC-televised Premier Boxing Champions card April 11. Showtime also had invested considerable time and money into Leo Santa Cruz and Abner Mares, but when they finally met, Haymon put it on an ESPN-televised PBC card Aug. 29.
"Daniel Jacobs versus Peter Quillin is a unique matchup of two bona fide middleweight stars, each in the prime of his career," said Stephen Espinoza, executive vice president and general manager of Showtime Sports. "It is as evenly matched as you'll find in the division, and it stands to be the career-defining fight for both men. We expect the action in the ring and the atmosphere at Barclays Center will make for a very memorable night. For boxing fans, it doesn't get any better than this."