As is traditional on the Cinco de Mayo holiday weekend, we have a big boxing show with a Mexican – this time it’s Canelo Alvarez – featuring as the A side of the promotion.  His opponent, Daniel Jacobs, holds one of the many versions of the ‘world’ titles that do nothing to enhance the sport; fortunately for us, the fights make the belt, rather than the other way round and on this occasion, the fight promises to be a very good one.

Alvarez, who like so many Mexican greats turned pro early, has amassed an impressive record of 51-1 (35) despite being only 28 years old.  The one blotch on an otherwise unblemished ledger came at the hands of Floyd Mayweather in 2013.  Although officially a majority decision loss, Alvarez was comfortably outboxed by the defensive genius Mayweather, a result that looks better over time as Canelo has remained unbeaten in the five years since that setback whilst Mayweather retired undefeated.

In the interim, Canelo grew into the middleweight division with solid wins over Miguel Cotto and Liam Smith, as well as a brutal KO of Amir Khan who had no business at 160lbs.  The acid test for Alvarez came in the form of Gennady Golovkin, who he squared off against in two hotly contested fights in September 2017 and 2018 respectively.  There are plenty who thought GGG won them both, and while Alvarez made some significant improvements in the second fight, the fact that Golovkin was only deemed the winner on 1 of the 6 combined scorecards from those two fights speaks volumes about the task Jacobs faces should the bout go the distance.

Alvarez, pictured here in his 2016 KO win over Amir Khan, faces tougher opposition on Saturday night

With a promoter who knows the value of a crossover Mexican star, Canelo is most definitely the home fighter here.  Add in the fact that he has magnificent boxing skills on both the front and back foot, as well as solid power at middleweight, and you would be forgiven for looking beyond Saturday night’s encounter, towards a third showdown with GGG.

However, Jacobs, 35-2 (29) is not to be taken lightly.  Rated a can’t miss prospect when he turned pro in 2007, he endured a shocking upset against Dmitry Pirog in 2010, who stopped him in 5.  His attempt at rebuilding was derailed by a cancer diagnosis, but having fully recovered, he returned to the sport with resounding wins over the normally durable Caleb Truax, Sergio Mora and Peter Quillin.  The last of those victims, Quillin, was sensationally dispatched in 1 round.

In 2017 Jacobs faced Golovkin and though he was dropped early on, he rallied to make it a very close fight on this author’s scorecard in what was probably hs finest performance.  Indeed, in subsequent bouts he has shown only flashes of brilliance and had a harder than expected time against Sergiy Derevyanchenko in October last year.

While there are doubts about Jacobs’ chin (Sergio Mora also had him on the floor in their first fight), his ring generalship and power gave GGG all manner of problems and if he repeats this sort of performance, Canelo will have his hands full.  Nevertheless, from a style perspective, I think Jacobs will struggle against the combination of counter punching and upper body movement that make Alvarez so difficult to hit cleanly.  The longer this goes, the deeper the water will become for Jacobs, though I think he can stay afloat until the final bell.

Prediction: Alvarez Win (Points)

Fight Information

Venue: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas

Time: 10PM (ET US) , 3AM (UK) Approx.

Where to watch: Fight Night International on Sky Sports Action

Undercard: Lamont Roach vs Jonathan Oquendo (featherweight), Pablo Cesar Cano vs Michael Perez (super-lightweight), Vergil Ortiz Jr vs Mauricio Herrera (super-lightweight)

Betting with Coral

Fight Betting Specials (Selected)
Canelo Alvarez 1/4 Canelo Alvarez – To win after being knocked down 13/2
Daniel Jacobs 3/1 Fight to go the distance 1/2
Draw or TD 20/1 Canelo Alvarez – Split Decision Victory 8/1


Method of Victory
Canelo Alvarez – By Decision or Technical Decision 4/5
Canelo Alvarez – KO or TKO or Disqualification 12/5
Draw or Technical Draw 20/1
Daniel Jacobs – By Decision or Technical Decision 13/2
Daniel Jacobs – KO or TKO or Disqualification 13/2

*All prices correct on 1st May 2019

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