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Canelo makes 30-day pre-weight for Jacobs fight

Canelo Alvarez Daniel Jacobs

By Mark Eisner: WBA/WBC middleweight champion Saul Canelo Alvarez weighed in at 168.2 pounds for his 30-day weigh-in for his unification fight against IBF champion Daniel Jacobs on May 4 on DAZN at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The World Boxing Council’s weigh-in limit for the 30-day weigh-in is 176 lbs, which Canelo was nowhere near. Both fighters are expected to be in the 170s by the time they are fully rehydrated, and step into the ring on the 4th of May at the T-Mobile Arena.

Some boxing fans think Jacobs could be in the 180s by the time he enters the ring. However, Golden Boy Promotions have a 10 lb rehydration limit in the contract, which means both fighters can’t be above 170 lbs on the morning of the fight for the second-day weigh-in. It’s unclear how much of a weight penalty there is if one or both fighters come in over the 170 lb limit. With the secondary weigh-in on the morning of the fight, it’s going to be difficult for either fighter to balloon up in weight to gain an advantage.

Alvarez, 28, looks huge inside the ring for his fight, as does Jacobs. Canelo looked the best he’s ever looked in his recent fight against WBA World super middleweight champion Rocky Fielding last December. The 168 lb weight division really suits Canelo. It doesn’t matter that he’s short for the weight class at 5’8″, he’s got the power, speed, inside game, defense and the overall technical skills to excel in this class perhaps even more than at middleweight. Having to drain down each time to make the 160 lb weigh-in limit is likely doing something to Canelo in weakening him, and hurting his stamina.

So in addition to the 30-day weigh-in, the WBC requires that fighters weigh-in two weeks [14 days] and 1 week [7 days] before the fights in order to make sure they aren’t going to come in huge at the weigh-in and for the fights. Ideally, the WBC needs to implement a weigh-in limit on the night of the fight. However, if the WBC did this, they might discover that some fighters might not want to fight for their belt. The only way to keep fighters competing in the right divisions for their body size, they need to have same day weigh-ins, all the sanctioning bodies need to go with this, not just one.

It would be in Canelo’s best interest to be lighter for the Jacobs fight rather than heavier. Former IBF/WBA/WBC middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin was coming straight at Canelo for their two fights, and that made it easy for the Mexican star to be huge and not worry so much about speed and agility. But against a guy with the mobility, size and speed like Jacobs, 32, Canelo is going to need to be able to move around the ring quickly for 12 rounds. If Canelo’s foot speed is too slow, he’s going to get picked apart by the more mobile, taller and longer-armed Jacobs. When you look at the two standing next to each other during their face offs, it looks unfair with the size advantage the 6-foot Jacobs has over the 5’8″ Canelo.

Golovkin didn’t have enough height, reach and boxing skills to dominate Canelo on the outside the way Floyd Mayweather Jr. did in 2013, but Jacobs does. Daniel could make it really one-sided if Canelo isn’t able to walk him down, and cut off the ring on him to try and force him into a dog fight the way Dmitry Pirog did in 2010. The Russian fighter Pirog, 5’11”, was about the same height as Jacobs, and he was able to compete with him when he tried to fight on the outside. Canelo won’t be able to do the same thing Pirog did, because he’s almost four inches shorter. Jacobs could embarrass Canelo if he doesn’t find some foot speed to try and move quickly to get close enough to take advantage of his inside fighting skills. Jacobs’ punching power is clearly better than Canelo’s, and his hand speed is about the same. Jacobs is the superior combination puncher of the two, and he’s capable of throwing four to six punches at a time without tiring. Canelo gets winded when he throws more than a handful of punches, and his power dips dramatically when he gets tired. Most of the guys that Canelo has fought haven’t been smart to take advantage of Canelo’s stamina problems. Golovkin did in the second fight when he pushed the pace in the championship rounds to wear Canelo down, but he fought at too slow of a pace in the first eight rounds, and he gave away the fight during this portion of the contest by not making the Mexican star fight hard for during every second of the rounds.

Jacobs’ weight is likely going to be around 180 lbs on the night. For all intents and purposes, Jacobs is a super middleweight, who is good at boiling down to fight in the middleweight division against smaller fighters than himself. It’s tough for Jacobs’ opponents to deal with a super middleweight like him, because he’s got so much size, power and hand speed. The Golden Boy Promotions brass are obviously aware of this, which is why they made sure there’s a 10 lb rehydration weight limit for a second-day weigh-in on the morning of the fight on May 4 to keep Jacobs from going up to 180s lbs overnight. With Jacobs needing to keep his weight at 170 lbs on the morning of the fight, it could potentially keep him from shooting up all the way to 180. This writer doesn’t think it’ll do anything to Jacobs. It might actually hurt Canelo, because he’ll need to withhold fluids as well, and he seems more of a lumbering type of guy that needs his water more so than an athletic guy like Jacobs. Golden Boy is obviously trying to get an advantage for Canelo, but it’s not likely going to help him in this case. It’ll probably hurt him. Sometimes promoters try too hard to tip the scales in their fighter’s favor, but it doesn’t work. If they don’t have the body type or the overall talent to win the fight, it doesn’t matter what kind of tricks they use to help their fighter get an edge. They can’t in the ring with Canelo to help him on the night.

The advantages Golden Boy has negotiated for Canelo for this fight are as follows:

1. T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Canelo has been involved in two fights at this venue against GGG, that many boxing fans felt he should have lost. Golden Boy was able to negotiate to have Jacobs fight Canelo at the T-Mobile. If the theory that some boxing fans have about Canelo being given special treatment by the judges is true, then Jacobs is going to have some problems in this fight trying to win a decision if goes to the scorecards. Jacobs could make the fight so one-sided with his jab and long reach that there’s no way that the judges could give the victory to Canelo without being heavily criticized even more than the judges that scored the first Canelo-Golovkin fight a draw.

2. Weigh-in on the morning of the fight. Both fighters have to be no heavier than 170 lbs on the morning of the fight for the secondary weigh-in. Since Jacobs is the bigger guy, this rule should in theory hurt him more than Canelo. However, that might not turn out to be the case, because Jacobs is so good at making weight, and he’s arguably the more athletic fighter of the two. The secondary weigh-in very well could hurt Canelo, who is really stocky and clearly needs water for his body.

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