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Spence says Canelo the favorite to beat Jacobs

Canelo Alvarez Daniel Jacobs Errol Spence Jr

By Mike Smith: Errol Spence Jr. says he views Saul Canelo Alvarez as the favorite to beat IBF middleweight champion Daniel Jacobs in their fight in less three months from now on May 4 on Cinco de Mayo on DAZN.

(Photo credit: Andy Samuelson/Premier Boxing Champions)

Spence has a lot of admiration for the talent of WBA/WBC middleweight champion Canelo (51-1-2, 35 KOs) after his 12 round majority decision win over former middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin on September 15 last year in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Spence says he sees Canelo as a real tough dog, and he likes his technical ability. But at the same time, Spence respects the punching power, size and talent of the 5’11 1/2″ Jacobs (35-2, 29 KOs), and he thinks it’s going to be a really interesting fight between the two.

Canelo will be fighting Jacobs in a unification fight on the 4th of May on DAZN at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The winner of the Canelo-Jacobs fight will hold the IBF, WBA, and WBC middleweight titles. They’ll be seen as the top fighter at 160. Canelo won’t rest there, though. He wants the WBO belt that is held by Demetrius Andrade. If Canelo can beat Jacobs and Andrade in 2019, he’ll be the undisputed unified middleweight champion. Golovkin could put his two cents in to try and trip Canelo up by facing him in a trilogy fight this September, but it’ll require for him to sign on with DAZN, and agree to the terms offered to him by Alvarez’s promoters at Golden Boy Promotions.

There’s a lot of ifs involved in a Canelo-GGG trilogy fight taking place. That’s why the safe bet is for Canelo to go after the winner of the Andrade vs. Billy Joe Saunders fight to win the WBO belt.

“Jacobs brings the size, reach, and brings the ability,” Spence said to Fighthub in analyzing the Canelo vs. Jacobs fight. “Canelo’s a dog. Danny has power too. Canelo has the good fundamentals. I think Canelo can do both, fight inside and outside. I think he’s got to do whatever it takes. I think Canelo is the favorite, but Danny Jacobs is no pushover. He’s got great size, good ability and good punching power,” Spence said.

You can’t count Jacobs out in this fight. He’s got the size, speed and ability to score a fast knockout if he can stun Canelo with something big. But Jacobs isn’t the same aggressive fighter that we saw in his wins over Sergio Mora and Peter Quillin, and that could keep him from utilizing his size, speed and power that he going for him. A predictable game plan for Jacobs is for him to be fighting on the outside all night long, jabbing Canelo and moving in circles to avoid his constant pressure. That’s a style that will keep Jacobs from being knocked out by Canelo, 28, but it won’t lead to him getting the victory on the scorecards. The judges will see right through what Jacobs is doing, and they’ll wind up giving Canelo eight or nine rounds to get the win.

If Jacobs’ trainer is able to get through to him to wake him up, and have him make the needed adjustments to get him into the fight, then he’ll have a chance of winning. It’s unclear whether his trainer will be able to do that. When Jacobs is fighting scared, he seems to be on remote control, and incapable of snapping out of that timid fighting style. We saw that in the first half of the Golovkin-Jacobs’ fight in 2017 in which Jacobs refused to mix it up. He gave GGG the first six rounds by fighting him the way he needed to. When Jacobs finally did start taking the fight to Golovkin in round seven, he was already well behind in the fight, and needed to score knockdowns for him to win, and he failed to do that.

“I think that’s a good fight, him [Canelo] and Jacobs,” Spence said to Fighthype. “I feel like Canelo is a real fighter. I feel like he’s got good skills, very talented. But Danny Jacobs has got power, same as Canelo. I think it’s a very interesting fight,” Spence said.

It’s a fight where everything could go out the window if Jacobs fights aggressively like he’s capable. He could score an upset, as long as he knocks Canelo out. Just going on how Jacobs has looked recently against Sergiy Derevyanchenko and Macij Sulecki, he’ll do enough to lose a close decision. Jacobs beat those fighters by close decisions, and looked beatable. Jacobs would have raise his game to beat Canelo. He can’t fight like he did against Sulecki and Derevyanchenko, and expect to get a decision or a knockout over Canelo. Jacobs was boxing those guys, and not fighting aggressively at all times like he needed to for him to make those fights conclusive.

“He’s kind of right there with the Charlos, Jermall Charlo,” Jacobs said about Gennady Golovkin in rating where he stands in the middleweight division at this time. “He needs to go ahead and get that over with,” Spence said in suggesting that Golovkin should fight Jermall, as the World Boxing Council wants him to.

The comment by Spence about Golovkin needing to “get it over with,” appears to be in response to the WBC wanting GGG to face Jermall for the interim WBC middleweight title. The winner or the Golovkin vs. Charlo fight would then be the next opponent for Canelo. That’s what the WBC wants to happen. However, Golovkin hasn’t said whether he’s going to follow the WBC’s wishes by facing Charlo for the interim WBC middleweight title. If Golovkin signs with DAZN, of course he won’t need to fight Charlo in order to get a fight against Canelo. Charlo fights for Premier Boxing Champions on FOX and SHOWTIME. GGG won’t fight a guy from a different platform if he inks with DAZN. The WBC would have to understand that and look for someone else to order Charlo to fight for the interim WBC belt. It’s likely going to work out like that anyway. GGG is’t going to bother fighting Charlo, who is already Canelo’s mandatory challenger for his WBC belt.

If Golovkin doesn’t take the fight with Charlo, then the WBC will need to order one of these fighters to face Jermall for their interim middleweight title:

#2 – Kamil Szeremeta

#3 – Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam

#4 – Ryota Murata

It’s hard to accurately rate where Golovkin is in comparison to Jermall Charlo. GGG is a lot more experienced as a pro and as an amateur than Jermall. The last performance by Charlo against Matt Korobov was a very poor one last December. That was a fight could have gone the other way to Korobov. Charlo was getting beaten by him, and this was against a guy that was brought in on a weeks’ notice. To look at that performance by Jermall, you’d have to say that Golovkin beats him if the two of them were to fight each other right now.

Spence has talked about wanting to fight Canelo at some point. If he’s serious about that, then he should make the move as soon as he can. You never know what could happen with Canelo if he starts losing to guys at middleweight, which is very possible. Canelo took a lot of punishment in his second fight with GGG, and he could get beaten by Jacobs, Andrade or Charlo. A third fight between Canelo and Golovkin is going to be a much different affair than the first two. Golovkin now knows what Canelo will try to do against him by coming forward, and that’s going to change his mentality into a more war-like one. Instead of Canelo being able to surprise GGG like he did in the second fight, he’s going to have someone that is fully prepared for a war. If Canelo goes back to hugging the ropes for 12 rounds like he did in the first fight with GGG, then Golovkin will be ready for that strategy as well. Canelo has worn out his different game plans for GGG. Cane’t can’t move, because he doesn’t leg speed. He either will come forward or stay on the ropes. That’s it. Golovkin is going to be a harder fight for Canelo than the first two were, and the Mexican star might not be able to handle that kind of war at this point. Golovkin is more suited to brawling, because he’s a natural middleweight. Canelo will have to deal with that natural power for another 12 rounds, and it could be bad for him the third time around. If Jermall is waiting in the wings for him to get a title shot against Canelo, it won’t be surprising if a depleted Alvarez vacates rather than go through another war.

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