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Andre Ward gives Jacobs advice in how to beat Canelo

Image: Andre Ward gives Jacobs advice in how to beat Canelo

By Mike Smith: Furture Hall of Fame fighter Andre Ward has some advice in how IBF middleweight champion Danny Jacobs can beat WBA/WBC champion Saul Canelo Alvarez in their fight on ay 4 on DAZN. Ward believes that Jacobs (35-2, 29 KOs) has got to come into the fight with Canelo with the mindset that he’s not going to lose a close decision to him at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. That’s where Canelo has been involved in two fights with Gennady Golovkin that could have and some believe should have gone to the other way towards the Kazakhstan fighter. Golovkin didn’t look as hungry a Canelo did in the rematch, and he got outworked. In the first fight, Canelo was the smarter guy, and he simply out-boxed GGG on the ropes.

Ward’s advice to Jacobs, 32, is to make sure that he comes to win on the night against the favorite Canelo. To do that, Jacobs can’t back off the way Golovkin did when Canelo came forward in their rematch last September. That was a critical mistake GGG made that cost him the fight.

“First and foremost, I’m glad he got the fight,” Ward said to Fighthype about Jacobs. “I don’t think he gets enough press. Not just shine, but notoriety for what he overcame with cancer. He’s a father. You don’t hear about his name in the press in a negative way. He’s articulate, and he’s a great fighter, and the thing they say they like to see with knockouts. He gets a lot of knockouts. I hope he makes a lot of money,” Ward continued.

The most obvious advice that one could give the 5’11 1/2″ Jacobs is for him to use his height, mobility and his longer reach than the 5’8″ Canelo. That would be the easiest thing for Jacobs to do, but it’s not going to be enough for him to get the ‘W’ against a star like Canelo. What the judges have shown in Canelo’s fights virtually his entire career is they’re more impressed with him landing one or two really hard shots in a round than they are in his opponents hitting him with numerous jabs, and punches thrown with moderate power. Jacobs’ movement is nice, but it’s not going to win him the fight. The only ways that Jacobs can give himself a real chance of beating Canelo is to either knock him out or out-punch him by landing huge shots that catch the attention of the boxing fans at ringside and the judges. Jacobs has to be willing to be countered by Canelo if he misses a shot, and he has to come back with another punch immediately to get the Mexican star tired. In looking at the later rounds of the rematch with GGG, Canelo lost a lot of zip on his shots when Golovkin was pressuring him with a lot of punches. When Canelo is unable to rest properly, his power and his hand speed drops off considerably. The only thing that’s left at that point is Canelo’s ability to duck and dodge punches, which he does very well. Jacobs will to tire Canelo out by throwing combinations, and not letting him rest the way he needs to for him to get his energy back to land his judge-pleasing single shots.

“Danny just has to come in there with a made up mind, that he’s not okay with losing a close decision,” Ward said about Jacobs. “He has to make up his mind that, ‘I’m willing to walk through fire to get what I’m trying to get, and I’m not leaving here without it.’ And if he has that mindset, he’ll be a hard man to beat on the night,” Ward said.

Jacobs has to turn the fight into a war. He’s got to use his boxing brain and realize that hes not going to beat Canelo going backwards like GGG tried doing in their rematch, and he’s not going to win by staying at range. Turning the fight into a war is clearly how you beat a popular fighter like Canelo unless your name is Floyd Mayweather Jr. He beat Canelo by out-boxing him in 2013, but that was a guy that was an even bigger star than him at the time. Golovkin tried to use the same game plan to beat Canelo, but the judges weren’t having it. The first fight between Canelo and Golovkin showed that you can’t beat Alvarez by staying on the outside and jabbing him all night, because the judges will ignore the jabs and focus on the one or two hard shots that Canelo lands. That’s why it’s crucial that Jacobs goes into the fight with Canelo knowing that he’s going to need to go on the attack the moment the fight starts, and not let up on him for an instant. It’s not a coincidence that Jacobs’ only two losses in his career came in fights against Dmitry Pirog and Golovkin in which he gave ground to both of those fighters. Jacobs put himself in the position where he was knocked out by Pirog by not keeping his feet planted in the center of the ring. Jacobs moved around, and got caught against the ropes in the 5th round by Pirog. Had he stayed in the center of the ring, that probably wouldn’t have happened to Jacbs. Likewise, in Jacobs’ fight with Golovkin, he moved too much in the first six rounds, and got caught against the ropes and dropped in the 4th round.

“And I like Canelo. I’ve supported Canelo. He’s great for boxing. The boy can fight, but I’m going with my brother,” Ward said about Danny Jacobs.

Jacobs has the offensive fire power and the hand speed to beat Canelo. The question does he have the aggressiveness and the courage to get the job done? Can Jacobs make the right adjustments that he needs to when Canelo starts coming forward or for when he begin hugging the ropes to play defense against Jacobs. Canelo brought two different game plans for the Golovkin fight in their two fights. It wasn’t anything that Canelo hadn’t showed before, so GGG should have been able to adjust to what he was doing. Canelo hugged the ropes for the entire second half of his fight against Austin Trout in 2013 after getting hurt by him from a body shot in the sixth round. Trout was able to jab Canelo from the outside for the entire second half of the fight, and rarely did he get hit, and yet the judges still gave Alvarez a wide decision. If Golovkin had seen that fight, he would have known that he won’t be able to beat Canelo by jabbing him the outside. The judges are impressed with power shots, and no longer seem to count jabs in this day and age.

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