The T-Mobile Arena, in Las Vegas, Nevada played host to a Middleweight unification clash between Canelo Alvarez (52-1-2, 35 KOs) and Daniel Jacobs (35-3, 29 KOs) on Saturday, May 4, 2019.
On the line was Alvarez’s WBC, WBA and Ring magazine titles, while Jacobs had his IBF strap on the line.
Alvarez was at a disadvantage in terms of both height and reach. It was clear that the Mexican superstar wanted to get closer to his man and work the body. Alvarez did exactly that in the opening frame.
Jacobs, played on the outside, using his reach to pepper Alvarez with shots. The contest was a back-and-forth affair as they both had plenty of success. The chin of Alvarez was on full display as Jacobs connected with huge shots.
Alvarez simply shrugged off the blows and kept marching forward. Jacobs was the busier fighter, but Alvarez was the more accurate one.
According to CompuBox, Jacobs through 649 punches compared to only 466 for his adversary. Alvarez did land 188 of his total shots, while Jacobs managed to land only 131. Alvarez didn’t just outland Jacobs in total punches, but in every aspect, including jabs to the head and power shots.
Still, the numbers don’t tell the whole story. Jacobs was only a few short points away from coming away with the victory.
Much was made of the weigh-in issues both men had with one another and it carried inside of the ring. Canelo and Jacobs fought at close quarters with the much shorter Canelo, getting the better of the exchanges.
In the ninth round, Jacobs landed the sort of shot that would have placed any of his previous foes down for the count. Canelo not only took the shot in stride, but he also unleashed a few combinations of his own to back his man up.
With both men giving it everything they had, it came as no surprise that the 12th and final round saw them both through heavy leather. For a brief moment, Jacobs slipped in that final frame and the action had to be put on hold. Once things continued they both picked up where they left off and gave the crowd a show until the final bell rang.
There has always been a belief that Canelo was favored by the judges. On this night however, the growing sentiment was that he had eeked out a close decision. That was exactly they case.
One judge scored the contest 116-112 and the two remaining judges had it of 115-113, all in favor of Canelo. The win gave Canelo yet another belt to add to his already growing collection.
After the bout, Canelo was very complimentary of Jacobs as a fighter.
“It was just what we thought,” said Canelo. “We knew he was going to be a difficult fighter but thank god we did things the right way, what we were going to do. It was just what we thought because of the style of fight that he brings but we just did our job.”
As for what could be possibly next for the boxing superstar, Canelo made it clear that he had no one specifically in mind, but he just wants to continue to fight the best out there.
“I’m just looking for the biggest challenge,” said Canelo. “That’s all I want.”
Although Jacobs was disappointed with coming up short, he was proud of his effort and gave much praise to Canelo.
“I feel accomplished, l feel great,” said Jacobs post fight. “I have to go back to look at the tapes to see exactly what the judges thought. They said to me, that I was up, so I was still pushing forward because I wanted to finish strong. He’s a tremendous champion and I tip my hat to him. I gave my all out there. You’ll see Daniel Jacobs bigger and better next time.”
Canelo has said time-and-time again that he wants to unify the entire division. A date with current WBO belt holder Demetrius Andrade seems to be likely for the upcoming future. Former belt holder Gennady Golovkin was ringside for this contest and could be in line later this year for part three of the rivalry with his long-time foe.
For now, Canelo will undoubtedly enjoy this victory.
Jacobs on the other hand has plenty of options himself. He didn’t pull off the victory, but he did more than enough to prove that he does belong in the same ring with anyone.