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Jacobs vs. Pirog on Marquez-Diaz undercard on July 31st – News

Daniel Jacobs Dmitry Pirog Juan Diaz Juan Manuel MarquezBy Matt Stein: Fighting on the undercard of the Juan Diaz vs. Juan Manuel Marquez fight on July 31st, unbeaten Russian middleweight contender Dmitry Pirog (16-0, 13 KO’s) will face undefeated American Daniel Jacobs (20-0, 17 KO’s) in a scheduled 12 round bout for the vacant WBO middleweight title at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, in Las Vegas, Nevada. As it turns out, the Pirog-Jacobs fight could turn out to be even better than the main event of Diaz-Marquez.

Jacobs, 23, ranked #1 in the WBO, is one of the best middleweights in the division and he’s still very young and looks to have a long career ahead of him. The 6’1” Jacobs has nice hand speed, excellent power and is also quite skilled on defense as well. Jacobs had an excellent amateur career before turning pro, and has a lot of skills.

Pirog, 29, is a little older, slower than and not nearly as powerful as Jacobs. Listed at 5’11”, Pirog’s actual height might be closer to 5’9”, as he looks awfully short for a fighter listed as 5’11.” In his fight against 5’9 ½” Eric Mitchell, Pirog appeared to be at least an inch shorter than Mitchell, which makes me believe that his listed height is inflated.

In watching Pirog’s fights, he looks more like welterweight than a middleweight. He’s not very big, tends to fight flat footed and seems to have Floyd Mayweather’s style of fighting copied in great detail. Indeed, Pirog is like a white version of Mayweather, without the blazing hand speed, unfortunately. Pirog does all the things that Mayweather likes to do – ducking shots, changing from southpaw to orthodox frequently, using the shoulder roll, throwing the check left hook and changing directions at a whim.

Pirog also reminds me a lot of Joe Calzaghe the way that he gets in close and is willing to throw short punches in high volume. Pirog also has a nice uppercut and right hand that he likes to throw. He’s comfortable with fighting out of either stance, but never seems to stay in any once stance for long, even when he’s finding great success.

Although Pirog’s knockout ration is high with 13 knockouts in 16 wins, he’s not a big puncher. Most of those knockouts have come against little known Eastern European opposition. In fighting Jacobs, Pirog will be taking a huge step up in competition and it’s likely that his power will have no effect on Jacobs. Pirog just doesn’t hit that hard he doesn’t sit down on shots the way he needs to for him to be a big puncher.

Part of the problem is that Pirog constantly moves his feet and seems to like to concentrate more being slick and making his opponents miss. He’s very hard to hit to the head, because Pirog likes to duck and move his head a lot. If Jacobs tries to go head hunting, he’s going to be frustrated because it’s incredibly hard to hit Pirog cleanly with head shots.

However, Pirog does give up his body readily, and that’s where Jacobs needs to focus his attention. He will no problems landing to Pirog’s body because he’s not as good as moving his torso as he is his head. He moves a lot, but he’s not as fast on his feet as fighters like Mayweather and Andre Dirrell are.

The key to victory for Jacobs is to forget about loading up on his shots. Unless he’s going to be aiming for Pirog’s body, he needs to forget about his head altogether because he’s too hard to hit. However, Jacobs can land his jab and that’s something he needs to focus on in order to beat the Russian. Pirog, for his part, needs to frustrate Jacobs and make him miss as much as possible.

Once Jacobs stops loading up on his shots, he becomes very ordinary. The fight then will come down to whoever has the best boxing skills. That might well be Pirog because he really is a lot like Mayweather just without the speed. He does everything that Mayweather does and is quite good at it. Pirog has obviously been studying Mayweather for a long time for him to have his moves so well memorized.

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