Jacobs vs. Pirog prediction
By Dan Ambrose: Unbeaten American Daniel Jacobs (20-0, 17 KO’s) will be facing what could be the hardest test of his still young career this Saturday night against unbeaten Russian Dmitry Pirog (16-0, 13 KO’s) for the vacant World Boxing Organization middleweight title on the undercard of the Juan Manuel Marquez vs. Juan Diaz bout at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Jacobs, 23, has been waiting for three since turning pro in 2007 for this very opportunity and he doesn’t intend on blowing it now that he’s finally gotten the big chance at the big time.
Jacobs will have the power advantage in this fight, but it may not matter much because he’s probably not going to be able to load up on his shots the way he normally does because of Pirog’s ability to make his opponents miss badly. If Jacobs comes out loading up on every shot like he’s done in the past against the most B and C level opponents that he’s been matched against thus far, he may finding himself hitting nothing but air and getting hit a lot from Pirog in return. Although Jacobs hits harder than Pirog, the Russian fighter is capable of putting a lot power on short punches that he doesn’t have to load up on.
Like a lot of Eastern European fighters, Pirog is able to generate a lot of power with short hooks and straight shots. Instead of putting everything he has on big wide swings, Pirog focuses on throwing a lot of short punches with decent power. Pirog basically wears his opponents down with the sheer volume of shots. At the same time, he often frustrates his opponents by making them miss a lot, and that in turn seems to cause them to lose confidence.
In many respects, Jacobs is the perfect opponent for Pirog, because he does well against big power punchers like Jacobs. If you watch Pirog for any amount of time, it’s hard not to see a lot of Floyd Mayweather Jr. in his fighting style. Pirog seems to have copied many of the same things that Mayweather Jr. does and has blended them well with his Eastern European style of fighting, making him a much better fighter than he was previously. Since Pirog has only fought a couple of fighters that you would consider to be decent competition, it’s really hard to tell how Pirog will do against a fighter as good as Jacobs.
This is going to be a big step up for Pirog, but it’s also going to be a bit of a step up for Jacobs as well. Although he defeated Ishe Smith last year by a 10 round decision, Smith doesn’t have the same offensive skills as Pirog. Jacobs is going to be facing a whole different fighter and one that could keep him under fire the entire fight. Jacobs looked uneasy when he was met with stiff resistance from Michael Walker last year. Jacobs won the fight, but looked uncomfortable with Walker taking the fight to him.
I suspect that Jacobs may have enough boxing ability to squeeze out a 12 round decision, but it’s probably going to be very close.
Prediction: Jacobs by 12 round decision.
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