Saul Canelo Alvarez turned back the challenge of IBF strap-holder Daniel Jacobs tonight at the T-Mobile Arena, in Las Vegas, NV. Guadalajara, Mexico’s favorite son thrilled a crowd of 20,203 people with a close but decisive display of his unique brand of pot-shot punching, bedeviling defense and the rock-solid chin that make Canelo Alvarez the biggest star in the sport and quite probably the best middleweight on earth. There is of course still some question of that. But first to Daniel Jacobs.
Tonight, Brownsville’s cancer survivor and all around good-guy didn’t show quite the same aggression he showed at yesterday’s weigh-in. Jacobs boxed smart through much of the fight and took chances in trading in the later rounds but was never able to hurt Canelo or stymie his brutal economy of well-placed hard shots. Jacobs appeared busier during much of the bout but even in the close rounds, of which there were probably three, it was Canelo landing the more damaging, showier shots. Jacobs had some success in keeping Canelo on the outside when switching to southpaw, but Jacobs landed more than just jabs and did better scoring from the orthodox stance. In the fourth round, Canelo Alvarez put on a dazzling display of defense that had Jacobs hurling and whiffing at the Mexican with punch after missed punch in the final minute of the frame.
Although it never had the same brutality of the 2 fights with Golovkin, Canelo-Jacobs did become bruising in the 8th, 9th and 10th when Jacobs knew he was likely behind and chose to stand and trade more often. In the ninth, Jacobs landed a huge right hand, his best shot of the fight, and it had no effect on Canelo whatsoever. By the final bell in the twelfth, Alvarez had made his case as the new owner of Jacobs IBF Title and the final scorecards were 115-113 x 2 and 116-112. Alvarez is now the WBA, WBA and IBF Champion while Providence, Rhode Island’s Demetrius Andrade holds the fourth piece of the 160 pound world governing body title, the WBO.
Daniel Jacobs had exceeded a contractual rehydration clause by weighing 173.6lbs this morning and was forced to cough up 250,000 dollars for each pound over the 10 pound rehydration limit. That’s right, that means he lost almost a million dollars off his earnings for tonight’s bout before he even taped up his hands. And his height and bulk did not really help him versus Alvarez, as there were few clinches and the fight took place in close only in spots.
Afterwards, Jacobs said about the weight: “I didn’t feel any different. I’m just a naturally big middleweight. I made the sacrifice of coming in 173 and paying a hefty fine for it but at the end of the day, I made sacrifices.” Promoter Eddie Hearn told DAZN’s Brian Kenny later that he will talk to the Brownsville native about a possible move up to super middleweight in the future.
As to Canelo Alvarez, after vanquishing Jacobs, he now has a draw and a victory with the only other middleweight on earth who could argue he might be better or at least as good, Gennady “Triple G” Golovkin. The Kazakh was ringside and heard the boos and hisses from the pro-Canelo crowd each time he was shown on the monitors at the T-Mobile Arena. But what of a third meeting between them, would Canelo be interested? When asked if there was unfinished business between him and Triple G, Canelo answered: “No, for me, it’s over. But if the people want another fight, we’ll do it again, and I’ll beat him again.”
That’s exactly what fight fans want, a third fight, and it looks as though they’ll get it this Fall. One thing is for sure, this building and this city have become Canelo Country, of that there’s no doubt. He puts asses and seats and he gives them exactly what they want. And for all those folks who like to argue about who the current P4P best fighter in the sport may be, it’s hard to look at the names and accomplishments on Canelo Alvarez’s record and not think This is THE MAN.