By Russell Bedford – This weekend sees one of the biggest fights of the year as the Mexican superstar Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez takes his DAZN show on the road again, this time facing the IBF champion Daniel Jacobs.
For some this could quite easily be seen as another episode of Canelo’s one man show as he continues to assert himself as the main man at middleweight. Whilst the Mayweather fight and the two Golovkin epics are likely to be the ones that created the legacy Alvarez now rightfully owns it is this fight against Jacobs that could really define how his career now progresses.
Whilst an unexpected defeat would not really tarnish his reputation and a win would not alter fan perceptions of him either, he needs to put on a show to keep his DAZN backers happy as the huge 11 fight, 5 year deal needs to be a constant drawer for audiences. People will want to see him up against the best, continuously.
A third fight against Golovkin is now being widely touted with Alvarez apparently more than happy for it to happen, it would certainly bring in big money for all concerned. Charlo, Horn and Andrade all look viable options to and with their positions within the rankings sufficiently high enough, they are fights that would appease money men and fight fans.
We often forget that Alvarez is just 28yrs old and a 54 fight veteran, a typical Mexican fighter blooded into the sport from a young age, and against Jacobs he is facing somebody 4 years older, with 20 fights less on a resume that also doesn’t boast the prolific boxing back catalogue Canelo is proud of.
So how is this likely to pan out?
We know Jacobs pushed GGG to the limit in their encounter, a 12 round bout that saw the scorecards favour the Kazakh King, We also see that with this loss to Golovkin and his only other defeat courtesy of Dimitry Pirog, winning tends to come the way of stoppage. Of his 35 victories, all but 6 have seen a 10 count or a ref call a halt to proceedings, can he inflict the same on the Mexican? The form book would say no. Not just for the fact that Canelo has never been stopped but more so that in the past 4 fights, the scorecards have had to deliver the verdict for Jacobs.
With a height and reach advantage and the ability to be quick, Jacobs could take the fight to Canelo however the chin on Jacobs isn’t as granite like as he would like to believe. The power of the Mexican fighter is well known therefore if Jacobs gets in close and lands points scoring punches that also have the aim of hurting his opponent he may leave himself in a dangerous position to be countered.
Jacobs is durable but if he does take this approach of trying to pick punches and find himself caught hard as a result, the points for the round are only going the way of Alvarezregardless of how much work the American puts in.
So for me, I feel the best chances for Jacobs are use the height and reach, and in the words of Angelo Dundee, “Dance” utilise that jab and keep Canelo chasing. Alvarez rarely gets frustrated in the ring so whilst this technique won’t deter him from hunting down his prey it does open the slim chance of fatigue and carelessness and as the rounds progress Jacobs can hope for stronger points scoring rounds to take a decision.
For Canelo though, there are a multitude of ways he could win but I’m expecting him to get in close, grind Jacobs down with body blows early on and secure the late stoppage.