A shadow cast wide by the legacy of a former World champion father is one which can be daunting even for the most confident of young prospect to step away from, every move made with close scrutiny, it usually takes someone special to outdo the merits of his/her predecessor becoming a sink or swim scenario.
It can become a poisoned chalice of sorts, It has it’s upside for sure, opening opportunities sometimes not afforded to fighters of similar calibre but more often than not, Its downside can be steep, the best examples of which are Julio Cesar Chavez Jr and Chris Eubank Jr who have so far failed to find daylight in the eyes of the sports media because of the exploits of their title-winning fathers.
It’s human nature for us to make comparisons, we do so without thinking but also unfair to the individual who embarks on his/her career path who may feel like they have a point to prove.
‘Baby Jake’ Jacob Robinson (2-0, 1 KO) finds himself in that predicament, last week coincides with the 20 year anniversary of the date in which his father (Steve Robinson) sensationally won the WBO featherweight title, going onto defend it on seven occasions before coming up short against Prince Naseem Hamad.
Jacob acknowledges the pressure involved, telling us recently “There is pressure but I just go out there and do my own thing, I just have to listen to my father and keep putting the hours in the gym”
That is all he can do, acceptance is key in order to find his own way, a path which judging from his two professional encounters looks very promising.
I was ringside for Jacob’s debut at Merthyr’s Rhydycar Leisure Centre, where the mutterings from those watching amounting to his looks to his skillset with magnification inevitably against his father.
It would be amiss for me to look past those comparisons, the confidence, his reliance on his reflexes were there for all to see as he despatched Dmitrijs Gutmans in fine fashion inside three rounds before taking his tally to 2-0 this month at the Ice Arena in Cardiff where Jamie Quinn was on the wrong end of a wide unanimous decision.
It’s clear to see the similarities between a father and his son, a long career awaits which will throw many obstacles his way but apart from the physical aspect he also shares his father’s determination which will take him a long way in creating his own legacy, I look forward to the journey.