The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / TGTN Boxing Writers’ Predictions: Saul Alvarez vs. Daniel Jacobs

TGTN Boxing Writers’ Predictions: Saul Alvarez vs. Daniel Jacobs

Who is picking who?

While boxing fans have been hooting and hollering about the lack of marquee matchups in the sport in 2019, they can sit quietly this weekend because we had one last Saturday in Juan Francisco Estrada vs. Srisaket Sor Rungvisai and a worthy followup here in Saul “Canelo” Alvarez vs. Daniel “Miracle Man” Jacobs.

The contest itself pits arguably the two best middleweights in the world against one another. They aren’t flimsy ratings, either, as both men have come up against stiff opposition for years and largely come out ahead.

Who emerges victorious here? We won’t know until Saturday night but you should get a good impression by reading predictions from various writers.

Video: Canelo vs. Jacobs: Who Will Be Middleweight King?

Canelo vs. Jacobs: Who Will Be Middleweight King?

Jack Sumner (UK) – TGTN Staff Writer: Alvarez

Canelo Alvarez’s promoter, Oscar De La Hoya, said earlier this week: “Anyone can lose in Vegas.”

Anyone but Canelo perhaps. The Mexican’s two contentious bouts with Gennady Golovkin (officially resulting in a much-debated draw and a majority decision victory for the 28-year-old) both took place in the Nevada desert, as did close wins on the scorecards against Miguel Cotto and Erislandy Lara. Even in Canelo’s sole defeat against Floyd Mayweather – where he was widely outclassed and barely won a round in the eyes of most observers – judge CJ Ross tried her utmost to award rounds to the redhead, ultimately scoring the bout even.

It seems Canelo can lose in Vegas, but there is pretty much no margin for error and if you don’t turn his lights out, you’d better win every round convincingly.

That presents one hell of a mountain to climb for Daniel Jacobs – as if fighting Canelo wasn’t difficult enough – and although the cancer-survivor is no stranger to overcoming obstacles, it’s difficult to see The Miracle Man getting his hand raised here. Jacobs has height and reach over the Mexican and arguably possesses superior movement and athleticism, but Canelo is the more complete fighter, a better counter-puncher, with a tighter defence, more cerebral and with a devastating body attack.

Both men are blessed with hand-speed and fight-ending punch power, but on the basis of their careers so far it’s Canelo who has much better punch resistance and in a fight where both men will take their licks, I think Jacobs will be somewhat weary from the effects of battle in the later rounds.

As often is the case in Vegas, it’ll go the distance and Canelo will get the decision, though I think this time there will be few who doubt that it’s deserved.

Zakwaan Shaukat Ali (UK) – TGTN Staff Writer: Jacobs

The Daniel Jacobs story is a great one, from overcoming life-threatening cancer, to being able to walk, never mind fighting at the elite level of world boxing. You have to commend the man. It’s been a terrific journey for the “Miracle Man”, becoming world champion twice all whilst taking the “boogeymen” GGG the distance (first person to take him 12 rounds). He is on a great run since, beating three undefeated contenders back to back. Canelo himself is coming off career and legacy-defining close victory GGG and handing him his first loss in the process.

I think this is great 50/50 pick-em middleweight unification. Canelo seems to be the clear favourite and I feel Jacobs is criminally overlooked. Jacobs is the bigger, stronger, and the taller guy, the biggest guy Canelo has faced. In addition to his athletically built exterior, Jacobs brings exceptional boxing IQ, footwork, lateral movement and punching power.  Most of all Jacobs has the ambidextrous ability of being switch-hitter which Canelo has acknowledged will pose problems. Canelo himself is an accurate, excellent body and counter puncher with blistering hand speed.

I see the first few rounds being cagey with both fighters figuring each other out. The fight will definitely catch fire towards the middle rounds where both will have moments, but ultimately I give Jacobs the edge where he will be switching stances, utilise his reach with the jab and look to outbox Canelo. I believe Canelo will attack the body at every opportunity to hurt Jacobs and break down the guard and keep trying to close the distance and try catching him with his famous overhand right. Both have somewhat durable chins, so this will go the distance.

I believe Jacobs should and might be willing to take some chances. He’ll have to, but he’ll need some knockdowns if he has any hope of winning on Vegas scorecards. Ask GGG or Lara, you have to be lucky to get a close decision versus Canelo with everything at stake.

Michael Atkins (USA) – TGTN Staff Writer: Alvarez

Sometimes boxing and the stars of the sport actually deliver, and the Canelo Alvarez/Daniel Jacobs World Middleweight Title fight is one of those occasions. Forget for a minute that Jacobs is the IBF Champion, really, Alvarez is “the Man,” not only at 160, but in the entire sport. No fighter generates as much revenue, as consistently as Canelo. Nearly every fighter between 147 and 168 would love to win the “Canelo Lottery,” or, in other words, receive a shot at Canelo. In that sense, Jacobs is the challenger, Alvarez, the champion. Jacobs is a very deserving challenger, by far the most deserving middleweight of a shot at Alvarez. And he is actually getting it, despite the fact that he is a dangerous fight for anyone at 160. Alvarez has the sanctioning bodies in his pocket and doesn’t need to fight Jacobs. He doesn’t need Jacobs to make money. I could get used to this. This is how it should work.

As for the contest itself and how it shakes out? I think that Jacobs is a very solid fighter, quick, explosive, a good boxer. He will be the bigger man. Jacobs certainly can win this fight. I expect him to have some success boxing, moving and using the jab. His power will keep Alvarez, “aware.” He can win this fight, but I don’t think he will. Stylistically, Jacobs matched up better with Golovkin than Alvarez. Canelo is an elite fighter in the pocket, no one dominates exchanges like he does. His subtle head movements and underrated defense, as well as his body punching and “best in sport” counter-punching ability will carry the day. Jacobs is a good boxer, but rarely boxes for whole fights. He also has a tendency to slow up mid-to late. There will be exchanges and Alvarez will win them. The other key factor will be their chins. Alvarez’s is clearly rock solid, Jacobs, to me, still an open question.

I expect an excellent fight, high-level on both sides with Alvarez, patient and looking for the body, Jacobs working behind the jab. Sometime after the 7th round, as Jacobs slows up just a notch, Alvarez nails him during an exchange and drops him. From there it will be a matter of time. My pick is Canelo Alvarez, possibly slightly behind on the scorecards, by TKO/KO somewhere between rounds 8 and 10.

Erich Edmonds (USA) – TGTN Staff Writer: Alvarez

This year’s Cinco de Mayo weekend brings us another classic matchup between two top middleweights, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Daniel “Miracle Man” Jacobs. I feel the biggest factor in this fight comes down to what version of Jacobs walks into the ring on fight night. The Jacobs that took GGG the full 12 rounds could potentially pull of another miracle and dethrone Canelo. However, the version of Jacobs that has shown up in his past 3 fights, while all winning efforts, hasn’t looked as impressive against opponents who aren’t on the level of Canelo or GGG. If Jacobs can use his size, skills, strength and movement to the best of his ability then he can pose some serious problems for Canelo. Although that’s not to say Canelo isn’t capable of pulling off another stunning performance. Coming off of two competitive fights against GGG and a dominant performance over Rocky Fielding, Canelo seems to evolve and look more impressive with each fight. Canelo’s ring IQ, strength, counter/body punching and overall experience could be too much for Jacobs. If we see the best version of both fighters on fight night, I see Canelo retaining his middleweight crown.

Canelo by split/unanimous decision.

Bob Day (UK) – TGTN/Ringnews24 Staff Writer: Alvarez

I really like the match-up but not overly excited by it. The reason, for that, is that it almost seems like the winner is already on the cards. I hope I’m wrong and Jacobs gets a fair crack. It looks like a distance fight and I do favour Canelo to be the deserving winner. Just hope for no crazy scores.

Danny has been putting in the work, since the Triple G defeat, beating good contenders in Arias, Sulecki and Derevyanchenko. Meanwhile, Alvarez performed better in his Golovkin rematch but had a soft-touch in Rocky Fielding.

I’m saying points for the Mexican and can see some really good exchanges and overall a good, competitive fight.

Edward “Revolver” Khabrov (UA) – Independent Writer: Alvarez

Jacobs seem to have necessary tools to make it a hard night for Canelo (if not win). It’s how he uses them. And that’s another thing. I think, Jacobs to this day is still too reliant on natural gifts and athleticism. That’s what mostly helps him prevail. And while I’m not saying he lacks skills; I wouldn’t refer to him as a master virtuoso. He has issues with distance and doesn’t always use his height and reach appropriately. He can be effective up in close and he can get tagged and out-jabbed from the mid-long range by a smaller foe (as was the case in a Derevyanchenko fight).

Jacobs also has consistency lapses, not only from fight to fight, but from round to round. He switches on and off. And, I think, tends to fight to a level of opposition. Which is why, perhaps, he failed to impress in each of the three bouts that followed his strong showing against GGG. His defense has never been perfect, either. With Canelo, whatever you think of him, one cannot dispute – already being a young veteran of the game – he still continues to learn and to improve. And regardless of what people think of judges’ verdict in his two bouts against GGG, he showed an ability to adjust his style, as well as a strategic flexibility. I have a lot of confidence in him at the moment.

The popular opinion among boxing fans is that this will be a competitive fight, with a lot nip and tuck rounds, which ultimately will result in Canelo winning a close (and probably controversial) decision. I don’t fully share it, as I foresee Canelo overcoming struggles in different parts of the fight, eventually adapting, gradually getting closer to Jacobs and finding home for his well-placed shots. Body shots will be key for Canelo en route to a UD win.

Roy Bennett (CN) – Independent Writer: Alvarez

Boxing fans are sure to get their money’s worth when Saul “Canelo” Alvarez meets Danny “Miracle Man” Jacobs in a middleweight unification fight at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday night. Having been fortunate enough to see both boxers fight in the flesh, I can safely say we’re in for an action-packed bout.

Alvarez is vastly improved since his loss to Floyd Mayweather back in 2013. He has fought 10 bouts since that night (9 wins and 1 draw) and his fighting style seems to have fully matured. In both fights against Gennady Golovkin he showed much improved footwork, defensive ability and counter punching skill.

In the opposite corner stands Jacobs, the most dangerous opponent of Alvarez’s career apart from GGG. He has all the attributes you’d expect in a world class boxer. Quick feet, intelligence, fast hands and is a very good puncher from either the orthodox or southpaw stance.

Does Danny Jacobs have the ability to beat Alvarez in a fair contest? Yes. He just won’t be allowed to. This could be the equivalent of winning an election at the polls and getting robbed on the recount. It pains me to say it but the best Jacobs can hope for here is a moral victory.

Such is the nature of taking on Alvarez, the sport’s cash cow, and the promotional entity that backs him all the way to the bank.

Jacobs one and only chance of winning is to stretch Alvarez flat out for the full count. He will not be permitted to win in any other way.

Alvarez wins by controversial decision.

Johnny Nguyen (USA) – ExpertBoxing: Alvarez

It’s kinda funny to see GGG’s leftovers trash-talking each other as if they’re both undefeated. Both guys are pretty likeable dudes in general. Lots of skills, power, and fan-friendly style. I love that Jacobs is willing to mix it up with anybody. And for a second, I felt Canelo was somewhat like that, too… I give him A LOT of credit for taking on skillful southpaws like Lara and Trout. But then when it came to middleweight, Canelo seemed to have bitten off from the old Mayweather book of matchmaking. He dragged his feet at the GGG fight and I thought he lost both and even got caught with PEDs in between. The second fight was closer but I still had him losing it and not only that but I felt GGG actually hurt him more in the second fight than in the first. Kinda crazy considering that GGG did appear to age overnight and Canelo appeared much stronger and better prepared.

Anyway…let’s focus on tomorrow. What do we know these 2 skillful boxer-punchers?

Canelo is growing into is his physical prime and definitely a real middleweight now. He’s strong enough to take GGG’s punches, strong enough to push GGG back, strong enough to push anyone back. He’s still got his explosive speed and eye-catching power. Lots of slick defense and just enough offense to keep opponents on their toes.

Jacobs is a huge middleweight. Lots of speed, power, skills, and I’m willing to say his chin is probably not as suspect as many people want to believe. He got caught good a long time ago by Pirog and flash knocked-down when he got over-eager against Mora. He also touched the canvas against GGG but outside of that, he’s got a durable enough chin that allows him to fight pretty freely.

As fast as Jacobs is, I don’t think he has enough to really surprise Canelo or attain any speed advantage over Canelo. As big and powerful as Jacobs is, I don’t think he holds any power advantage over Canelo. Alright let me just say it…I think Canelo is just a way better boxer. Better IQ, better timing, better reflexes. Jacobs appears more like well-trained athleticism but I’ve never seen him do anything particularly cagey or smart. He had zero answers against GGG’s onslaight and I doubt he’ll be able to outsmart Canelo.

I think Canelo slowly plods forward behind strategic potshots and keeps Jacobs on his toes for the whole 12 rounds. I think Jacobs will stay busy and flashy, letting his hands go with speed but never really sit down on his punches to trade with Canelo. Jacobs will back pedal just like he did with GGG and that’ll be enough for the judges to hand Canelo another decision win. We all know Jacobs isn’t getting the decision. The only thing to wonder about is whether he’ll actually get the decision in the viewers eyes at all.

I think Jacobs will give up too much ground, never establish any respect and not land anything significant outside of some flashy jabs and hooks here and there. Canelo is simply more consistent and imposing even when he doesn’t punch. Jacobs legs will keep him from going down or cut off and he’ll appear as the more mobile boxer in moments but I doubt he looks better than Canelo in any other department.

The real intrigue of this fight is knowing that Jacobs himself knows how the judging will go if he decides to box a clean, even fight. So we all have to ask ourselves what we think Jacobs will actually do. Bum rush Canelo early? Sit in the trench and trade shots with him? Try to go to CANELO’s body? Or just keeping jabbing him from the outside? I think he’ll try all that, then feel Canelo’s power, and do exactly what he did in the GGG fight…back pedal the whole fight except to throw momentary shoeshines.

I have Canelo winning by 8 rounds to 4, 116-112 DECISION. Scorecards will probably one absurd 118-110, one just right at 116-112, and maybe even one finding a draw or closer 114-113 still for Canelo.

Christopher Carlson (USA) – TGTN Writer/Host for Rope-A-Dope Radio: Alvarez

Stay tuned for his fight night preview.

Jeremiah Preisser (USA) – TGTN Editor/Writer/Co-Host: Alvarez

It’s high time in the desert and both of these men are scorching talents.

Alvarez, THE Middleweight Champion of the World, damned be the trinkets, is a fluid, fast, and fox-like fighter who has accrued quite the list of recent opponents. Whether he’s beat them all is another question. Whether he’ll beat this one is yet another.

Jacobs may be Earth’s second best 160-pound pugilist and has four inches in height and three inches in reach, along with a stiffer wallop and quicker feet than does the defending champion. The hand-speed difference is negligible.

The common theme is that the “Miracle Man” is to set a course wherein he sticks and moves, spoiling when freckle-fists gets in striking distance. “Canelo” charts the land by slipping and returning calculated fire, all while earning his way inside and playing the drums to Jacobs’ body with leather-tipped sticks.

What scenario is more likely? Alvarez’s. Daniel shows lapses in judgment and his general output is lacking. Saul is simply the better rangefinder and the sharper of the two.

P.S. I hope we get the Jacobs of the Quillin fight. Go get it, son.


The Final Tally

Saul Alvarez – 9/Daniel Jacobs – 1

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