Jacobs sees weaknesses in Canelo’s game
By Kenneth Friedman: IBF middleweight champion Daniel Jacobs (35-2, 29 KOs) has spotted major flaws in WBA/WBC middleweight champion Saul Canelo Alvarez’s game that he feels he can take full advantage of to defeat him next month in Las Vegas, Nevada. Jacobs says Canelo has knee problems and poor footwork that he’s going to try and exploit when the two of them fight it out for middleweight supremacy in their unification contest on DAZN at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Jacobs says he’s got a Plan A, Plan B and Plan C that he’ll be using on May 4 to defeat Alvarez
Jacobs studied Canelo’s two fights with former middleweight Gennady Golovkin, and noted, among other things, a weakness in the Mexican star’s wheels. Jacobs noticed that Canelo doesn’t move well, can’t cut off the ring, and is only good at going forward and backing up. Canelo cannot move laterally in quick fashion.
Earlier in his career, the 5’8″ Canelo (51-1-2, 35 KOs) was a fairly mobile fighter when campaigning at 147 and 154. It wasn’t until Canelo moved up to 160, and put on a lot of weight that he started to have knee issues in part from carrying around a lot of weight that his short legs weren’t designed to carry. Canelo’s brothers are about the same height as him, but they haven’t bulked up like he has.
“What I know is that I have the physical advantages,” said Jacobs this week during his media conference call on Monday, “and I look forward to using my physical advantage, my reach, height, range, and being that I also have speed, power, ring IQ, as well, that’s what I feel like is going to make me victorious.”
The 5’11” Jacobs has to use his physical advantages for him to beat the 5’8″ Canelo. If he stands in front of Canelo and trades, he could be asking for trouble though. Jacobs possesses the speed, power and the ability to take Canelo out with a flurry of shots at any given notice in a fight. However, it depends on whether “The Miracle Man” Jacobs is willing to risk everything to go all out to try and get Canelo out of there. If Jacobs fights like that, he has a chance of stopping Canelo, but he could also get caught in between by one of his counter shots and knocked out.
“I think ultimately what I took from that fight is how uneducated Canelo’s footwork are,” Jacobs said. “He’s great as far as offensive — coming forward as much as punches and bunches and especially his body shots, but a moving target, he really has a hard time with. Looking to exploit some of those things come fight night, as well,” Jacobs said.
Canelo hasn’t had to worry about fighting anyone with movement for many years. All the guys that Canelo has fought since his fight with Erislandy Lara, which he arguably lost, have been stationary guys that either stood in front of him or didn’t have the ability to move more than a few feet either way. Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Lara used movement against Canelo and gave him fits. Canelo was given a controversial win over Lara, but it’s pretty clear that he lost that fight and was given a gift by the judges. Canelo only landed 31 head shots in the entire fight against Lara. The Cuban fighter put on a defensive masterpiece against Canelo. If Lara a pitcher in a baseball game, he threw a perfect game against Canelo, but found himself losing a controversial decision that was on par with the first Canelo vs. Golovkin fight.
“Canelo, as recent for this fight buildup, he was posting social media videos of him hitting the bag and you know, him doing all different type of boxing training, and people are like: Oh! Oh! Wow! Whoa, he’s in stellar shape! He’s going to be a monster come fight night,” Jacobs said. “But I was simply looking at his knees and how he’s been having trouble with his knees and trouble with issues as far as guys being athletes, pure athletes inside the ring. So I’m looking to exploit some of those things…it’s inevitable to overlook some of his flaws,” Jacobs said.
Canelo’s video that he posted of him hitting the heavy bag and working the mitts was nothing short of ridiculous. He looked too big, and stationary due to all the size he’s packed on, and he looked tired from exertion. Canelo obviously won’t be able to just stand and open up on a stationary Jacobs on May 4th. All that bag work by Canelo might work if Golden Boy can set him up with another fight against Rocky Fielding. In other words, if they match Canelo against another vulnerable champion like Fielding, he’ll do well, but not against a that moves, and will take advantage of his lack of mobility and his bad knees.
Canelo is like a power hitter in baseball that can no longer run the bases, and play in the outfield due to his knee problems. When baseball players start breaking down like that, the teams turn them into designated hitters or put them on 1st base so they don’t cripple the team with their inability to field or run the bases. Canelo needs his opponent to stand in front of him, because he’s breaking down in the knee areas as he’s about to turn 30. Short fighters that carry around a lot of weight on their small frames tend to have knee problems and short careers. The taller more athletic fighters are the ones that have longer careers, and have less knee problems, because they pack on the weight.
“And for my team, we’ve created not only Plan A, Plan B and Plan C, but a few game plans to exploit Canelo’s weaknesses,” Jacobs said.
There are only so many game plans a fighter can use to defeat Canelo. Triple G tried using Plan A of him staying at range and jabbing Canelo in their first fight in 2017. That didn’t work. I mean, it appeared to work, but it didn’t resonate with the Nevada Athletic Commission assigned judges that worked the fight. One of them even had Canelo winning 10 rounds to 2 in an embarrassing score that seemed so off from the fight that had taken place. Another judge scored Golovkin’s best round, the 7th, in Canelo’s favor. Golovkin used his Plan B for the rematch with Canelo by trading with him. That didn’t work well at all for him, due to the judges being impressed with Canelo’s body punching. Although Canelo gassed out after six rounds, and appeared to lose the last six rounds, the judges gave him a 12 round majority decision victory.
Here are Jacobs’ options for game plans for the fight:
1. stay at range and jab Canelo the way GGG did in his first fight with him and Mayweather in his match with Canelo
2. Stand and slug and hope to get the better of him
3. Use movement and focus on hitting and getting away
Jacobs has to realize that he’s entering Canelo’ lair in going into the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas for this fight. Using movement to avoid Canelo’s attacks, and hitting him with nonstop jabs to the head might not be enough to get the victory on the night. That’s one of the reasons why Golovkin stood and fought Canelo last September when he fought him in a rematch at the T-Mobile Arena. Golovkin had tried to beat Canelo by following the Floyd Mayweather Jr. blueprint that he created in 2013, but it didn’t work with the judges in Vegas. They gave Canelo a draw, even though he appeared to lose the fight by a significant amount of rounds. Just jabbing and controlling the entire fight didn’t work for Golovkin against Alvarez in the first fight. In their rematch, Golovkin decided to stand in ground in center ring, and hope that he could beat the faster, younger Canelo by punching with him. It didn’t work out in GGG’s favor, as the judges gave Canelo a 12 round majority decision. What this means is Jacobs is going to have to do a little more than just move against the popular Mexican fighter, and it’s probably not a good idea for him to stand and fight him unless he can overwhelm him with punches the way that he did in his first round knockout win over Peter Quillin in 2015.
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