Middleweight showdown: Canelo Alvarez throws hands with Danny Jacobs

Champions Canelo Alvarez and Danny Jacobs meet in Las Vegas

By John J. Raspanti

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Canelo vs. Jacobs
Canelo vs. Jacobs

This Saturday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV, reigning middleweight champions Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Danny “The Miracle Man” Jacobs, throw hands in a much-anticipated fight.

 

Alvarez, a professional for thirteen years, has lost one bout to Floyd Mayweather - in 52 fights. He’s won 51, scoring 35 knockouts. That defeat was like going to school for Alvarez. In other words, he learned a lot. Alvarez has won debatable fights over Gennady Golovkin, Ausitn Trout, and Erislandy Lara. Some believe Alvarez can’t lose by decision.

 

Ringside judges were superfluous in 2015, when Alvarez rumbled with heavy-handed James Kirkland in Texas. Nobody expected the Texas-two step. They expected a fight, and got it. Alvarez looked slightly buzzed early, but floored Kirkland twice before planting the Texas native on the canvas in round three.

 

Alvarez set up the knockout perfectly. He feinted a right to the stomach, but aimed the blow at Kirkland’s chin. The blow landed perfectly, spinning Kirkland to the canvas.  Alvarez,28, used the same maneuver to knock out Amir Khan a year later. He won two more fights before facing then-champion Golovkin in Las 

Vegas.

 

The fight was back and forth and hard to judge. Alvarez boxed, moved, and countered while Golovkin pursued. Golovkin started to warm up in round three, and appeared to be in control until Alvarez dug deep to find his second wind. He outworked Golovkin in the later rounds, but many (including this writer) thought Golovkin deserved the nod.

 

Both fighters thought they had done enough to win. They waited calmly in their corners. When ring announcer Michael Buffer called the fight a draw, both fighters and fans screamed for a rematch. Delayed six months due to Alvarez testing positive for a banned substance, fight two went down last September, again in Las Vegas.

 

Mocked before the bout that he didn’t fight like a true Mexican, Alvarez took it to Golovkin. The fight was another close 12-rounder, filled with intensity and violence. The script was flipped as Golovkin rallied in the later rounds, but it wasn’t enough. Alvarez was judged the winner by split decision. He returned to the ring three months later to stop England’s Rocky Fielding with perfectly-placed body shots.

 

Jacobs,32, has lost only twice in 37 bouts. He was shockingly knocked out in 2010 by Dimitry Pirog. Soon afterhe learned he had a rare form of cancer. The fighter once known as “The Golden Child” for his natural boxing gifts, was renamed “The Miracle Man” after beating the hideous disease and returning to the ring in 2012.

 

He defeated Giovanni Lorenzo and Milton Nunez before winning the WBA middleweight title by stopping Jarrob Fletcher. Jacobs made successful title defenses against Caleb Truax and Sergio Mora, before fighting good friend Peter Quillin. Jacobs caught and stopped Quillin in the opening round. Jacobs was living up to his golden nickname. He’s a very athletic fighter, with fast hands, knockout power, and a solid foundation.

 

In 2017, he took on Golovkin in Brooklyn. Golovkin collapsed him with a hook in round four, but Jacobs got up and battled hard the rest of the way. Golovkin got the decision, but most of the respect went to Jacobs who turned in an excellent performance.

Jacobs has won three fights in a row, all by decision, since his setback against Golovkin.

 

Many are favoring Alvarez to prevail, but Jacobs isn’t buying it.

 

"What I know is that I have the physical advantages,” said Jacobs in an article by Miguel Rivera of www.boxingscene.com

Alvarez acknowledged that beating Jacobs won’t be easy.

 

"It’s going to be very difficult, he’s a very complete fighter, “said Alvarez. “He moves very well inside the ring and he’s taller than me. I will not deny that it will be a very complicated night."

 

Complicated or not, Alvarez appears to be at the top of his game right now. His confidence is sky high. Jacobs will bring advantages in height (three inches) and reach (six inches) into the bout. I can see him utilizing his advantages to good effect in the early going.

 

But as the fight goes on, Alvarez will close the gap, and either score a stoppage victory, or win the match by decision.   

 

 

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