Claressa Shields reacts to Canelo’s win over Jacobs
By Dan Ambrose: Claressa Shields saw a lot improvement in Saul Canelo Alvarez with his performance last Saturday against Daniel Jacobs in their unification fight at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The two-Olympian Shields says WBA/WBC middleweight champion Canelo (52-1-2, 35 KOs) fixed the mistakes that he made in his second fight against Gennady Golovkin, and looked like a improved fighter in beating IBF middleweight champion Jacobs (35-3, 29 KOs) by a 12 round unanimous decision by the scores 115-113, 115-113 and 116-112.
Shields says Canelo has gotten to the point where he’s such an excellent fighter that he’s competing against himself. Canelo was very beatable last Saturday night, and would have lost if Jacobs had put more of an effort into going to the body, and hitting the Mexican star with hard punches from the start of the fight instead of waiting until the second half of the contest. That’s what Shields felt that Jacobs should have done to get the victory.
”At the beginning he was serving shots back at Canelo when Canelo was landing shots,” Shields said to Fighthype about the Canelo vs. Jacobs fight. ”I think he [Jacobs] was missing body work early on, and letting Canelo know he had power. Canelo didn’t get shot with power until later on. It was little sneaky shots [from Jacobs]. It was like, ‘Oh, Canelo just got hit with a shot.’ I think they’re both good fighters. Canelo is going to keep getting better, because he’s in competition with himself. You can tell from watching Canelo’s fights that he watches his own fights. He studies himself and corrects his mistakes. The mistakes he made against GGG, he didn’t make those same mistakes tonight,” Shields said.
Canelo doesn’t look like he’s getting better. One hates to rain on Canelo’s parade, but he didn’t look as sharp against Jacobs as he did in his first two fights with Gennady Golovkin. Shields might be seeing something that’s not there with Canelo or perhaps she’s never watched his fights closely, because if she had, it would be clear to her that he was much better in the Golovkin fights. Canelo wasn’t impressive with the way he fought Jacobs. If Daniel had hustled hard by showing some actual effort in the first six rounds, he would have won the fight Jacobs fought like a guy that had a bad gas tank and was afraid to tire out. That’s the way it looked like. Jacobs was only fighting hard in the last 10 seconds of each round, because he knew he was going to get to sit down and rest his weary body. It’s possible that Jacobs was physically incapable of fighting hard for more than 10 seconds of every round due to his weight problems. He mentioned that after the fight about how difficult it was for him to get down to 160.
Shields is a little off in saying that Canelo fixed the mistakes that he made against GGG. In fact, Canelo didn’t improve on his poor stamina. That problem was very much still in existence against Jacobs last Saturday night. More anything, Canelo’s poor stamina is what hindered him in BOTH of his fights against GGG, causing him to virtually half of his first fight, and five in the second. Whatever flaws in Canelo’s game that Shields saw that were fixed, they were minor ones from his two fights with GGG. The major flaw in Canelo’s game is still there in terms of his stamina. It’s troubling that Shields didn’t notice that flaw. Jacobs could have won that fight if he’d stepped on the gas in the first six rounds. The thing is, Jacobs KNEW that he needed to fight hard in rounds one through six in order not to let Canelo build up a wide lead on him that he wouldn’t make up. Jacobs spoke about this in the week before the fight, vowing not to start slowly Alvarez, but unfortunately for him, that’s what he did. Shields didn’t comment Canelo’s stamina problem, but she should have.
”I had it 8-4 Canelo, 7-5 Canelo. [Demetrius] Andrade is a very skilled southpaw, a very big middleweight,” Shields said. ”I would love to see that fight. Canelo is hard to beat. I’ve been in the gym and watched Demetrius spar and watched him fight. He’s a hell of a fighter. I don’t know,” Shields said when asked if Andrade can beat Canelo. ”Canelo showed tonight that he’s going to continue to get better. If he fixes the mistakes he made tonight, it’s going to be hard for anybody to beat him. Yeah, he [Canelo] got hit, but it wasn’t flush a lot, but it was flush. Canelo definitely started respecting Danny’s power after that,” Shields said.
WBO middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade (27-0, 17 KOs) has a style and the boxing IQ to beat Canelo. The one thing that Andrade wouldn’t let happen is for Canelo to leap out to an uncontested wide lead in the first six rounds by not fighting hard. That’s the mistake that Golovkin and Jacobs both made. Andrade NEVER starts slowly in his fights. He’s got the Olympic background, and he realizes that you don’t let your opponents win the first six rounds by fighting passively. It doesn’t look like Golovkin and Jacobs learned that lesson, because they fought like they were paralyzed by the moment in their fights with Canelo. The southpaw Andrade isn’t going to wait until round seven before he starts nailing Canelo with big shots.
Andrade still needs to win his next fight against Maciej Sulecki on June 29 on DAZN before he can put himself in position to face Canelo in a unification fight. There’s no point in talking up a fight between the two middleweights until Andrade defeats Sulecki, because if he loses that fight then he won’t be facing Canelo. If Andrade wins that fight, he’ll be waiting for Canelo to get done with his next match, which could be against one of the names that his promoter Oscar De La Hoya mentioned last Saturday night at the post-fight news conference in Las Vegas. De La Hoya named these fighters as potential opponents for Canelo’s fight in September: Callum Smith, Sergey Kovalev, Golovkin and Andrade. Canelo said himself that he doesn’t think a fight against Andrade will be able to take place in September due to there not being enough time to prepare for the contest after he faces Sulecki on June 29.