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Danny Jacobs says he might KO Canelo Alvarez

Canelo Alvarez Daniel Jacobs

By Jeff Aranow: Danny Jacobs says he doesn’t need to study Saul Canelo Alvarez’s past fights to figure out how to beat him on May 4, since he’s been watching him fight for years, and he knows how to deal with him inside the ring. The 5’11 1/2″ Jacobs (35-2, 29 KOs) states that he’s taller than the 5’8″ Canelo, stronger, and just as fast as him. Therefore, Jacobs believes he’s going to be too big for the smaller fighter, and he’ll use that size to knock him out on May 4. It’s a match-up that Jacobs feels that he wins based on his size, speed and power.

IBF middleweight champion Jacobs will be meeting WBA/WBC champion Canelo (51-1-2, 35 KOs) in a unification fight on the 4th of May on DAZN at still to be determined venue. This will be a much different fight for the 28-year-old Canelo than his last three fights against Rocky Fielding and Gennady Golovkin [x 2]. Jacobs is faster than both of those guys, and he’s more mobile. His power is almost as good as Golovkin. Jacobs can definitely punch, and that could be a problem for Canelo if he gets hit clean with his shots.

Jacobs has to know that he’s probably going to need to beat Canelo so desively that he makes it clear to the judges who the better fighter is. Golovkin failed to impress the judges in his two fights with Canelo, which is why he failed to get the decision in both of those fights. Golovkin lost his rematch with Canelo on September 15 last year, and he was held to a 12 round draw in their first fight in September 2017.

“Let’s just hope the judges are fair,” Jacobs said to Fighthype about his May 4 fight against Canelo. “I’ll definitely be one of the stronger guys that have fought Canelo. GGG is not as fast as I am. I’m longer, rangier and I think I’ll win. If I use my best attributes, I think I’ll win a decision or a knockout,” Jacobs said.

Jacobs might be the biggest puncher that Canelo has ever faced. Golovkin is a hard puncher, but his his hand speed and explosiveness with his punches isn’t comparable to Jacobs. There’s a signifcant speed different between Jacobs and GGG that Canelo will need to deal with on May 4. Just using head and upper body movement might not be enough for Canelo to defuse the power of Jacobs. Canelo’s trainers study his opponents well, looking for any kind of flaws that they can spot from watching their past fights. One thing that is obvious in reviewing some of Jacobs’ toughest fights of his career against Golovkin, Dmitry Pirog, Maciej Sulecki and Sergiy Derevyanchenko is the way that he had problems when he was pressured by these guys. Jacobs wasn’t as effective when he was backed up. Jacobs’ punch resistance also isn’t the best compared to Canelo and GGG. Canelo can exploit Jacobs’ weakness in handling pressure if he comes at him the entire fight like he did in his last two fights against Rocky Fielding and Golovkin. Jacobs would have to decide whether he wants to stand and fight Canelo or back up and lose rounds like he did against Golovkin in their fight in 2017. Pirog knocked Jacobs out in the fifth round with the pressure he put on him. That was a long time ago, but it’s still possible for Jacobs to lose in the same manner if Canelo puts him under pressure the same way Pirog, Golovkin, Derevyanchenko and Sulecki did. Jacobs hasn’t improved in his ability to deal with pressure. That’s not to say he won’t be able to adapt to handle Canelo coming forward all night, but it’s not likely that he will given what we saw in his last two fights against Derevyanchenko and Sulecki.

“I’m a completely different athlete,” Jacobs said. “I’m diverse. It’s not about studying what Golovkin did. I just have to be the bigger guy, and do what’s possible for me. It’s not new to be to do the impossible. I earned the right to fight Canelo. I’ve earned my shot, and that’s what I’m proud of. This is about my legacy,” Jacobs said.

It would be good for Jacobs to study Golovkin’s two fights with Canelo. If nothing else, Jacobs could see the two different game plans that Canelo used in those two fights. There really aren’t a lot of different things Canelo does in his fights. He either pressures his opponents by coming forward on them like he did in his rematch with GGG and in his fights with Erislandy Lara and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., for example, or he hangs back against the ropes to try and counter punch. Canelo used the ropes extensively in his first fight against Golovkin and Austin Trout. Canelo did not fight particularly well in either of those contests. Although the judges opted to give Canelo a lot of rounds in which he was taking jabs to the head repeatedly while positioned against the ropes, the reality that he should have lost have lost both of those fights. Whether the judges gave Canelo rounds in those two fights based on his popularity is unknown. Most fighters that stay on the ropes taking shots from longer-armed fighters are usually given loses by the judges, but Canelo didn’t have that happen to him. Considering how Jacobs has struggled with pressure in his toughest fights of his career, it’s safe to say that Canelo fight him the same way he did against Fielding and Golovkin in their rematch.

“To step inside the ring with him is an honor for me,” Jacobs said to Fino Boxing about Canelo. “Besides that, my legacy is on the line, and I have so much to gain from this fight. I want to be a Hall of Fame fighter one day, and it’s only through the likes of guys like Canelo,” Jacobs said.

Jacobs is too young to be concerned about his boxing legacy right now. He should be focusing more on the actual fight against Canelo, and coming up with a good game plan than thinking about his legacy and how his career will be remembered by the hardcore boxing fans. Unfortunately for Jacobs, the majority of fans tend to forget past greats. It’s only the hardcore fans that look backwards to read about guys that fought in the past. Jacobs should be thinking about figuring out how to deal with Canelo, and think of his career as a one fight as time situation instead of getting lost in how he’ll be perceived by fans in the future.

“It was a worry for me until the actual contracts were signed,” Jacobs said about his fight with Canelo. “I didn’t believe I would get it, even though we were negotiating. Anything can happen in boxing. I heard that Canelo didn’t want to fight the best guys out there. I take my hat off to Canelo for accepting the fight,” Jacobs said.

Jacobs got the fight for a number of reasons. He was the most popular guy out there for Canelo to fight for his May 4 date, and he has the International Boxing Federation middleweight title that makes him an attractive opponent. Jacobs is well known by casual and hardcore boxing fans from his fights against Golovkin and Peter Quillin in the past. Canelo stands to gain a great deal if he can beat Jacobs in a more impressive fashion than GGG did in 2017. Golovkin had a lot of problems in defeating Jacobs. Most of the problems were GGG’s own doing. He didn’t press Jacobs hard enough in the first six rounds the way he should have for him to try and KO him. Golovkin didn’t fight with confidence, and clearly failed to follow the blueprint created by Dmitry Pirog in how to beat Jacobs. GGG fought Jacobs’ fight, and was lucky to have been a close 12 round decision. If Canelo can beat Jacobs by a knockout or by a wide decision, it’ll help create distance between him and Golovkin in the eyes of many boxing fans.

“That was definitely an easy fight,” Jacobs said about Canelo’s fight against Rocky Fielding. “Before that, he’d done a lot. I think he’s going to bring it, and bring the best out of me. I’ve been studying Canelo all my career, because I’ve been a fan of his. I know his style. I don’t need to a similar opponent [Gennady Golovkin] that we have to try and figure it out,” Jacobs said.

Canelo deserved an easy fight against Rocky Fielding after what he’d just gone through in fighting Golovkin twice. The Canelo-Fielding contest was more of a make up fight in order for Canelo to get a second bout in 2018 due to him being suspended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission earlier in the year. Canelo couldn’t fight in May like he normally does due to his suspension for having tested positive for clenbuterol last February. Canelo shouldn’t have been expected to fight another tough opponent last December after having beaten Golovkin just three months earlier.

“For me it’s about going out there and adjusting,” Jacobs said about his fight against Canelo. “I can prepare for GGG-Canelo, and he gives me a completely different guy, so I have to be really prepared, and most importantly adjust when the time comes. Every fighter has a plan. I’m the longer fighter, and just as fast. I’m a stronger fighter, and I have skills too. I’m not like some of his last opponents [GGG and Rocky Fielding]. The guys that just come forward. I can do a little bit of everything inside the ring,” Jacobs said.

Jacobs is more versatile than Fielding and Golovkin, that’s for sure. Jacobs is a little too passive and timid at times, and he uses too much movement and gives away rounds. Canelo accurately pointed out that Jacobs fought too defensively in the first six rounds against Golovkin, and that’s why he lost to him in 2017. Jacobs should listen to what Canelo said, and use that to improve, because he was correct in what he was saying, Jacobs fought like he was afraid of Golovkin in the first six rounds, and this made it impossible for the judges to give Jacobs rounds. He was much better in the second half of that fight when he started to aggressively attack Golovkin, and wear him down. If Jacobs fights like that against Canelo, he could beat him. Jacobs is probably is not going to get a decision against Canelo if he moves away from him when he’s pressing. The judges will give the rounds to Canelo just based on his aggressiveness. Likewise, the judges won’t give Jacobs rounds if he hangs back and uses his reach to jab Canelo all night the way Floyd Mayweather Jr. did in beating him by a one-sided 12 round majority decision in 2013. In a perfect world, the judges should give Jacobs a decision win if he dominates Canelo from the outside the way Mayweather did, but unfortunately that’s not likely to happen. Golovkin and Erislandy Lara followed the Mayweather blueprint to the letter, and neither of those guys were given wins over Canelo. As such, you have to conclude that Canelo’s popularity plays a major factor in how judges score his fights. Unfortunately, boxing has a subjective quality about it when it come to scoring of the fights. The sport is more like the scoring of a gymnastics competition. The scores can be all over the place, and it depends on what the judges are feeling. It’s not like football where the scoring is easy to see. However, even in football, the officials can control who wins and loses by calling penalties during crucial moments. What Jacobs needs to do if he wants to beat Canelo is to either knock him out or beat him in such a way that the results will be judge-proof. That means Jacobs will need to come forward the entire fight and look to give Canelo a grueling fight rather giving ground to him the way Golovkin foolishly did in his rematch. GGG needs to blame himself for losing to Canelo, because he backed up and didn’t want to stand and fight him the way he needed to in order to beat a more popular fighter, who was fighting in his favorite city Las Vegas. That was Canelo’s venue, and Golovkin failed to understand the importance of what that means to a fighter. Jacobs cannot fight Canelo like GGG did if he wants to beat him on May 4. To give ground to Canelo will result in all of Jacobs’ worst fears coming true.

“It’ll be a challenging fight for Canelo, and I really see my hand getting raise at the end of the night,” Jacobs said.

It can be a challenging fight for Canelo, but it’ll depend on what Jacobs brings to the fight. If this is the Jacobs that boxing fans saw in his wins over Sergio Mora and Peter Quillin, then Canelo is going to lose on May 4. Canelo won’t be able to deal with that kind of size, power, speed and talent from Jacobs. But if this is the timid Jacobs that gave ground to Pirog, Golovkin, Derevyanchenko and Sulecki, then Canelo will knock him out or dominate him with an easy win.

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