For the first time since going live last fall, the DAZN app finally has the top flight, Pay-Per-View main event that they have long craved, as this Saturday night, the night before Cinco De Mayo, they will host boxing’s biggest box office draw, WBC and WBA middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez facing IBF middleweight champion Daniel Jacobs in an excellent unification match at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
But perhaps because this is the kind of fight that DAZN has longed craved, the kind of fight that HBO would have charged anywhere from sixty to seventy-five dollars as recently as a year ago, their hype has been well, a little over the top. Maybe it’s the excitement of finally having that big American event, maybe it’s the fact they’ve been promoting this fight for four months, but DAZN has gone a little nuts with this.
They have gone as far as to compare this fight between Canelo and Jacobs to the 1985 fight pitting unified middleweight champion Marvelous Marvin Hagler against Thomas Hearns, which turned eight minutes of uncensored mayhem, which ended with Hagler knocking out Hearns in the third round. The fight is considered universally as the best fight of the 1980’s and one of the five best fights on all time.
To expect any two young men to go to war the way Hagler and Hearns did that hot summer night at Caesars Palace is unrealistic and frankly, irresponsible. Yes, we all dream of that one perfect fight night, but lesser men than Hearns and Hagler frankly might not have survived what went down that night. So that media pundits and DAZN themselves are pushing this fight to that level is a disservice to everyone.
Can’t this just be a good fight?
After all, what will go down in the main event Saturday at T-Mobile is as close to a 50/50 fight as can be made in boxing right now, and there are three titles on the line. That’s plenty to talk about without resorting to that kind of extreme marketing. Jacobs is a legitimate threat to Canelo, who four fights ago pushed the then undefeated Gennady Golovkin to the absolute limit in March 2017. Since then he has won three straight fights, the last one being in excellent title-winning war against the previously undefeated Sergey Derevyanchenko. Also, Jacobs will enter the fight with a legitimate size advantage over Canelo and controversially will be allowed to rehydrate past the IBF mandated limit before this fight.
Canelo, at his essence, is a boxer puncher who likes his opponent to come to him so he can counterpunch in the center of the ring. But Jacobs is capable of making this a boxing match against Canelo and forcing out of his element. And if “The Miracle Man” chooses to come forward, he has fast hands and decent power, which could give Canelo real problems. It’s a tough fight for Canelo no matter what.
Yet for Danny Jacobs, he is still fighting one of the best fighters’ pound for pound in the world. As experienced and accomplished Jacobs is, he has yet to win “The Big One” having come up short against Golovkin. This also Jacobs’ first fight in Las Vegas in many years, having fought most of his fights over the past few years in his home area of New York. The last time Jacobs fought in Vegas, he suffered a devastating kayo lost to Dimitri Pirog. There are ghosts for him to exercise there.
Then there is the issue that much like for his promoter, Oscar De La Hoya in the late nineties, Vegas has become Canelo’s city. Most boxing pundits it would be next to impossible for him to lose a decision there, as evidenced with his two fights against GGG. Jacobs made very well need a knockout to win and that is a tall order.
Yet no matter what happens, it seems to be guaranteed that this will be a fun to watch, even fight-and we don’t have to pay sixty to seventy five dollars for it!
Can’t that be enough?