The main event for boxing’s biggest weekend of the year is now set, as it was announced yesterday that WBC/WBA/Ring Magazine Middleweight Champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez will face IBF middleweight champion Daniel Jacobs on May 4 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The fight will be broadcast on the DAZN streaming service.
It is a return to the biggest weekend for Canelo, who headlined shows against Amir Khan in 2015 and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr in 2016 in Las Vegas during Cinco De Mayo. Of course, it would have made four years in a row if not Alvarez had not tested positive for clemburotol before his scheduled second fight with Gennady Golovkin, but that’s besides the point.
Of course, many hoped that this would be the weekend that would host a third fight between Canelo and Golovkin, whose second fight last September ended in a somewhat disputed decision win for Canelo. But as Golovkin remains unaffiliated in the new order of boxing that follows the exit of HBO from the boxing business, and the matchup with Jacobs, who is promoted by Matchroom Boxing, the main content provider for DAZN, was a much easier fight to make.
By no means however is this an easier fight for Canelo, as Jacobs (35-2, 29 KOs) is a versatile fighter who can box as well as come forward, making him very unique among Canelo opponents. Jacobs has won three fights in a row since turning in a great performance in a losing effort to Golovkin in March 2017. His last win was a gritty title-winning performance in October in Madison Square Garden against the excellent Sergey Derevyanchenko, and his fast hands, boxing skills, and experience make him very formidable.
Canelo (51-1-2, 35 KOs) has been undefeated for five and half years since his lone loss to Floyd Mayweather and he kept himself sharp last month with a drubbing of an overmatched Rocky Fielding last month, in what was his first fight at 168 pounds, as well on DAZN, the new combat sports streaming service that gave him an 11-fight, 323 million dollar contract that is the richest in sports history. Jacobs is the kind of opponent that can give him a real challenge, as he will be the fastest and most versatile opponent Canelo has faced since Floyd.
On the other hand, Jacobs does have plenty of defensive lapses, as was evident in his fights against both GGG and in his last fight with Derevyanhchenko. Canelo’s offensive arsenal is vast, and he is sure to find openings for his uppercut, right cross, and signature left hook to the body.
The great thing for boxing fans is that is a great matchup for two legit champions known for entertaining fights, which is everything we deserve on Cinco De Mayo weekend, which has been the biggest weekend for the boxing business for the better part of the last twenty years. Given the diverse styles involved, it seems destined to be an excellent fight.
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