On Saturday, May 4, 2019, a highly-anticipated Middleweight title fight is set to take place, as Lineal, WBA and WBC champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (51-1-2, 35 KOs) is set to take on IBF titleholder Daniel “Miracle Man” Jacobs (35-2, 29 KOs) live on DAZN from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Canelo, widely considered to be amongst the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world, is coming off of a vicious one-sided stoppage victory over Rocky Fielding that earned him the WBA (Regular) Super Middleweight title. He moved up to 168 pounds for that bout, but will be returning to 160 pounds to do battle with Jacobs.
Prior to his victory over Fielding, Canelo took on former longtime Middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin in back-to-back bouts in 2017 and 2018 with both ending in a bit of controversy.
The first fight between the two Middleweight stalwarts ended in a draw due to a ludicrous scorecard handed in by judge Adelaide Byrd. Many, however, felt as if Golovkin should have been given the nod.
In the rematch, the fight was once again close, but Alvarez was named the victor via majority decision. Once again, however, many sided with GGG.
Regardless, Canelo, who also serves as boxing’s biggest star, proved that he belongs amongst the best the sport has to offer and he’ll have another chance this weekend to stake his claim as boxing’s best Middleweight.
Stylistically, the 28-year-old Mexican was once known more as a defensive boxer. A skilled counterpuncher with a devastating body attack, Canelo elected to fight off the ropes and attack the body in his first fight with Golovkin.
In the second fight, however, he switched up his plan, standing toe-to-toe with GGG and, at times, even walking the feared Kazakh slugger down. And against Fielding, Canelo did nothing but attack, ripping the Englishman’s body until he simply couldn’t take any more.
Overall, it’s become clear that Alvarez is incredibly well-rounded. If he needs to be defensive and counterpunch, he can do that. If he needs to box and move, he can do that. And if he needs to move forward and mix up his attack to both the body and the head, he can do that too.
An intelligent fighter, Canelo has proven to be able to adapt to any situation. He also has tremendous speed to go along with formidable power, which is seen in his 35 career T/KO victories.
Moving onto Jacobs, the 32-year-old Brooklyn native has established himself as a top 160 pounder over the last few years.
After establishing a 32-1 professional record, Jacobs earned the shot to challenge Golovkin in 2017 and despite it being a closely fought 12-round affair, GGG was given the decision. Some, however, felt as if it could’ve gone Jacobs’ way.
Following that fight, the Miracle Man bounced back, picking up back-to-back victories over Luis Arias in 2017 and Maciej Sulęcki in 2018. With those victories, he earned a shot at the vacant IBF Middleweight title, which he won via decision over Sergiy Derevyanchenko in October 2018.
Stylistically, Jacobs is a high-level athlete with strong hand speed, footwork and movement. Like Canelo, he’s also quite versatile as he can both box and punch, with his power being shown in the fact that 29 of his 35 victories have come by way of T/KO.
In addition, some feel as if Jacobs’ size will give Canelo problems given that he stands 5’11 1/2” tall and owns a 73″ reach and will be the longer and taller fighter.
It may also be important to note that the Miracle Man has been knocked out once throughout his career and was dropped by Golovkin, though his defense and his chin have never truly been considered a weakness of his.
Overall, this is quite a difficult fight to predict. Both men are incredibly talented, incredibly versatile and adaptable, and seemingly at the top of their games. Ultimately, both men have ways to win and this is a fight that truly could go either way.
In the end, however, I feel as if Canelo may just be a slight bit better than Jacobs. I see Jacobs having his moments, but I think the Mexican will not only have the right game plan but also mix it up and implement it correctly on his way to a decision victory.