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Daniel Jacobs: ‘We’re trying to secure the Canelo fight’

Daniel Jacobs Saul Alvarez Canelo vs. Jacobs

By Jim Dower: IBF middleweight champion Daniel Jacobs (35-2, 29 KOs) says he’s trying to get a fight against WBA/WBC champion Saul Canelo Alvarez (51-1-2, 35 KOs) for his next fight on May 4 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Canelo is supposed to be moving back down to 160 after making quick work of WBA World super middleweight champion Rocky Fielding on December 15.

Canelo and Golden Boy Promotions, the handlers for the Mexican star, aren’t giving any clues about his next opponent. This is obviously intentional on their part. If Golden Boy were to say that Jacobs is the only guy that they want, it could embolden his promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing USA to ask for a better purse split for his fighter.

There seems to be a big imbalance in interest between Jacobs and Canelo’s side in their fight. While Jacobs and his British promoter Eddie Hearn are HIGHLY interested in the fight against the 28-year-old Alvarez, the feelings clearly aren’t mutual. The reason for that is Jacobs isn’t a big draw, even in his own hometown of New York, and he’s already been beaten by Gennady Golovkin. It would be a tough fight for Canelo to get motivated for against Jacobs, knowing that a guy that he recently defeated in Golovkin (38-1-1, 34 KOs) beat the ‘Miracle Man’ Jacobs last year in 2017.

Canelo saw the Golovkin-Jacobs fight was a close one, but he feels that Jacobs gave away his chance of winning the fight by not attacking GGG in the first six rounds. Canelo has more to gain by beating other fighters than Jacobs. If Canelo stays at super middleweight, he could shake up the division by beating WBA Super World 168 pound champion Callum Smith, who is rated #1 in the weight class.

Canelo vs. Callum probably wouldn’t draw as much interest in the United States as it would elsewhere, but it would give him a chance to show the boxing world that he’s the best fighter in the 168 lb division. In contrast, if Canelo beats Jacobs, he would be defeating a fighter that has already been beaten by GGG and Dmitry Pirog in the past. Further, Jacobs barely won his last two fights against Sergiy Derevyanchenko and Macij Sulecki.

A lot of boxing fans aren’t aware of how close those two fights were. Jacobs was lucky to win both of them. If Sulecki and Derevyanchenko had just a little bit more, they would have beaten Jacobs. That kind of shows you were Jacobs is at. Hearn wants the Canelo vs. Jacobs fight obviously, because it will bring in good money for Matchroom and Daniel, but it doesn’t do much for Canelo.

If Canelo’s goal is to unify the middleweight division, then he’s got no choice but to face Jacobs in order to win his International Boxing Federation 160 lb title that he won in his last fight against Derevyanchenko. If Canelo takes that fight and wins, he’ll then need to fight another one of Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing USA stable fighters in WBO middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade to win the last remaining belt not in his possession.

Beating Andrade would give Canelo all four titles at middleweight. If Canelo takes that fight, he will have fought three of Hearn’s Matchroom stable fighters in a row – Rocky Fielding, Jacobs and Andrade – and he would then likely be receiving heavy pressure from the British promoter to face Callum Smith, who he also promotes. That would be four consecutive Hearn fighters that Canelo will have fought. It might not be worth it for Canelo.

Andrade is a southpaw, and a guy that will make it ugly with his movement. In Andrade’s last fight against little known Walter Kautondokwa, he made it boring to watch with the movement he used to defeat him by a 12 round unanimous decision. Canelo would likely wind up chasing Andrade (26-0, 16 KOs) around the ring for 12 rounds in order to beat him. Andrade has a fight next month against #8 WBO Artur Akavov (19-2, 8 KOs) on January 18 LIVE on DAZN at Madison Square Garden in New York.

The perception is Hearn is having Andrade milk his World Boxing organisation title until he gets him a fight against Canelo. Hearn will likely campaign in the same way with the U.S media, telling them that Canelo must face Andrade, because it’s a fight that they all want. The reality would be different. There’s not much interest in Canelo vs. Andrade. The fans would prefer to see a third fight between Canelo and Gennady Golovkin outside of Nevada at a new venue rather than watching Canelo face a mover like Andrade.

“I think Canelo beats him, bro,” trainer Robert Garcia said to Fighthub in predicting a victory for Canelo Alvarez over his WBC mandatory challenger Jermall Charlo when the two eventually face each other. “They’re [Charlo brothers] good fighters. They’re very talented, but I think Canelo beats him [Jermall]. I think he does. I think Canelo, he’s getting so much better. He’s strong. His style is just that can beat them. I think he does. I’m not saying it’ll be easy, but I think he beats them.”

Outside of Golovkin, WBC interim middleweight champion Jermall Charlo (28-0, 21 KOs) might be Canelo’s biggest threat in the 160 lb division. Charlo, 28, is capable of looking much better than he did in his last fight against 5’11 1/2″ Matt Korobov (28-2, 14 KOs) last Saturday night. The southpaw Korobov had the experience, southpaw stance, and the slick fighting style to give Charlo problems. Canelo, 5’9″, is a lot shorter than Korobov, and he would be easier for the 6’0″ Charlo to his with his shots. Canelo wouldn’t be able to walk Charlo down the way he did against the limited Fielding. Charlo would back up, jab and look to counter Canelo if he pressed him the way he did Fielding and GGG. It would be an easier fight for Charlo than his match against Korobov, who was countering him all night with left hands.

“I don’t think at 160 [Canelo has any threats],” Robert Garcia said. “Maybe at 168. At 160, I don’t think [there’s any threats]. There’s big fights for Canelo. There’s huge fights for Canelo, and hopefully we see them. I don’t want to see Canelo against another one [soft touch] like like his last fight, which he rightfully deserved. After beating GGG, why not? Other fighters do it. Canelo is the only one that gets criticized for doing that. I don’t criticize him for doing that. I think rightfully so he had the right to pick an opponent. He did. But if we see him against the top 160-pounders, I think he can beat all of them. Whichever one you name, I think he can beat them all,” Garcia said.

There are clearly threats to Canelo at 160. Golovkin is still there, and a lot of boxing believe that he won both fights with Canelo. However, for GGG to get a third fight with Canelo, he would likely need to agree to fight him in Las Vegas again at the T-Mobile Arena, and it’s believed by a lot of boxing fans that the Mexican star is unbeatable when fighting in that city due to the judging. If GGG or Charlo want fights with Canelo, they’re likely going to need to go to Las Vegas for those fights to happen. Canelo recently fought in New York for his last fight in December, but that was against a limited fighter with little talent in Fielding, who was viewed as a paper champion at 168. With Canelo expected to fight a good opponent in his next match on May 4, he’s now going back to Las Vegas to the same venue that both of his controversial fights with Golovkin took place at the T-Mobile Arena. No matter who it is, they might need an extra special performance for them to beat Canelo in that venue.

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