Saul “Canelo” Alvarez placed himself at the top of boxing’s elite middleweights and quite possibly boxing’s P4P list with his win over former IBF ruler Daniel “Miracle Man” Jacobs at the venue that may now have to be renamed in honour of the Mexican superstar, The T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Another tight unanimous decision win for Canelo that split opinions at ringside was not what the 28-year-old Mexican needed but Jacobs once again proved that he belongs in the mix with Alvarez and Golovkin at the top of the division.
With Canelo winning most of the early rounds, it was up to New Yorker Jacobs to turn things around in the second half of the bout. Switching stance and working at a higher work rate Jacobs won rounds 8, 9 and 10 to get back into the reckoning. Back again came Canelo in the 11th and the last round was a tough round to score either way, but I felt that Alvarez landed the better quality punches.
The judge’s scores were 115-113, 115-113 and 116-112 all in favor of Canelo Alvarez. I had it 116-112 but acknowledge that Jacobs might have nicked the 1st and last rounds.
With the chances of the best heavyweights clashing in the next 12 months a distant reality, it is the lower weight divisions that are taking advantage of the void, and Canelo is at the forefront of boxing’s new era of super fights where champions square off against champions.
Canelo vs Jacobs was the biggest boxing event of 2019 so far. It represents to fans, what they, the people that fund these huge fights really want, the best fighting the best, pure and simple.
The 28-year-old, 55 fight veteran knows that he will always have to live with the criticism of some. His failed drug test in the lead up to his 2nd meeting with former undisputed champion Gennady Golovkin will forever be brought up in evidence against him when it suits, and maybe it should be. Heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua goes to great extents to stay clean and prove it to boxing’s governing bodies, media and fans at great financial expense. Maybe so should the other multi-millionaire benefactors of the sport.
But whatever dark clouds Canelo’s doubters want to bring up, no-one can claim that he shy’s away from the biggest challenges out there for him, he chases them down and makes them happen. Danny Jacobs was the biggest challenge available to Alvarez and he dealt with him in another high quality bout.
WBO champion Demetrius Andrade still has a claim to the middleweight crown but has yet to mix it with the top three, Canelo, Golovkin and Jacobs so is not yet seen by the fans as a star of the division.
Canelo can now go after a trilogy fight with his arch enemy Golovkin later in the year.