Jacobs comes in overweight, Canelo fight still happening
By Sean Jones: Oscar De La Hoya is reporting that Daniel Jacobs came in overweight at 173.6 pounds for Saturday morning’s secondary weigh-in for his unification fight against Saul Canelo Alvarez, according to ESPN. The contract weigh-in limit was at 170 lbs., and Jacobs missed it by 3.5 lbs. As such, Jacobs will sacrifice $250,000 per pound. In other words, Jacobs will be fined $875,000 for coming in at 173.6 lbs.
Jacobs’ promoter Eddie Hearn said he would pay the fine, if there were one. Even if Hearn isn’t serious, the $12.5 million that Jacobs is getting for the fight tonight will more than cover the $875,000 fine.
The good news is Jacobs WON’T be stripped of his IBF middleweight title for coming in over the 170 lb. weight limit, because the secondary weigh-in was something that Canelo’s promoters at Golden Boy Promotions stuck in the contract for the fight along with the weight penalty. This wasn’t done by the IBF. It was a move that Golden Boy made to try and help Canelo win. It’s kind of petty, but oh well. It looks like Jacobs wasn’t going to play their game, so he chose to rehydrate overnight instead of limiting the amount of weight that he rehydrated.
“Jacobs came in heavy. It is what it is,” De La Hoya said to ESPN.com. “We spoke to Canelo and his attitude is, ‘I don’t care. I’m still gonna kick his ass.’ Canelo is pissed off and he wants to kick his ass. Canelo was 169, solid and feeling stronger than ever. But the fact that Jacobs came in heavy tells you a lot. It tells you how unsure he is in himself.”
De La Hoya has got it wrong. Jacobs coming in overweight for Golden Boy’s secondary weigh-in is a message that he’s sending them, that he’s focused on winning the fight, not on having games played on him. If the IBF had required the secondary weigh-in, that’s one thing. But 170 pound rehydration limit was what Canelo and Golden Boy put in the contract for the fight. Jacobs didn’t like it, but agreed to it because he felt that if he didn’t, he wouldn’t have got the fight.
As far as Canelo goes, it’s hard to know for sure whether he bothered to limit rehydrating to stay within his promoters 170 lb secondary weigh-in limit or not. Canelo is short at 5’8″, and maybe 169 lbs. is about what he’ll weigh for the fight. It’s more likely that Canelo choose to honor the secondary weigh-in by staying within 170 pounds, which means that Golden Boy’s rehydration clause could hurt him and not Jacobs. It’s not as if the $875,000 that Canelo will get from Jacobs will make a big difference to his bottom line. Canelo is already getting $35 million for the fight. If he loses the fight due the crazy rehydration clause that Golden Boy stuck in the contract, it’s a major negative for him and his career.
As Robert Burns once said, “The best laid schemes of mice and men often go awry, and leave us naught but grief and pain for promised joy.’
On Friday, De La Hoya said it was the IBF that put the rule in for the rehydration limit. He said it wasn’t Golden Boy that did that. De La Hoya didn’t mention the weight penalty, which obviously isn’t something the IBF requires for fighters.
Maybe it would be better for Golden Boy to let Canelo try and win his fights in the future without their help with rehydration clauses and weight penalties. What Golden Boy needs to understand is that when a fighter is making as much money as Jacobs is for the contest, it’s silly for them to put in rehydration limits. The only way that Golden Boy could have caused Jacobs to think twice about coming in over the 170 lb. weight limit for the secondary weigh-in is if they made it a $1 million per pound weight penalty. That obviously would never fly in a contract, so they were wasting their time. It was amateur hour with whoever came up with the scheme of putting in a 170 lb rehydration limit. These are old archaic tactics that Golden Boy should have already left in the past instead of still using them at this point. Canelo doesn’t need them to win. He’s fighting in Las Vegas at his favorite venue, the T-Mobile Arena. Canelo has never lost there. He doesn’t need rehydration clauses to help him win fights. Something like would be needed for a mediocre fighter without the talent to win fights, but Canelo isn’t type of guy. He’s a good middleweight. He might not be the best fighter at 160, but he’s still good. Catch-weight handicaps and rehydration clauses are’t needed for him to win.
Jacobs was wise enough to see the big picture when it came to the 170 pound rehydration clause. He obviously knew that if he played into that childish game that he would be potentially giving away the fight by keeping his weight within 170 lbs. For a fighter that’s not as sharp mentally as Jacobs, they might have played into Golden Boy’s game and kept themselves dehydrated until this morning’s secondary weigh-in, and ended up weakened for the fight. Who can forget how emaciated Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. was at his weigh-in for his 164.5 catch-weight fight against Canelo in 2017. Chavez Jr. looked too weak to throw punches in the fight, and he ended up losing badly to Canelo by a lopsided 12 round unanimous decision. Chavez Jr. had been struggling to make the 168 pound limits for his fights ever since he moved up to super middleweight in 2013. It didn’t help that Chavez Jr. is rumored to have started training camp for the Canelo fight at 235 lbs. Losing all that weight to boil down to the 164.5 lb. catch-weight for the Canelo fight, and worrying all the time about the weight penalty, it ultimately was too much for Chavez Jr. He put in one of his performances of his career. It backfired on Golden Boy though, as the fight was so incredibly horrible to watch that the boxing fans at ringside booed both fighters. In hindsight, Canelo should have told Golden Boy that he didn’t need a catch-weight for the Chavez Jr. fight.
Even if Jacobs loses the fight, as long as he puts in a good performance, he’ll come out of the contest with Canelo in good shape. It’s worth it for Jacobs to miss the 170 lb weight limit in order to look as good as he can, because he could hit the lottery tonight if he defeats Canelo. If Jacobs fights bravely and loses, his career is still going to be in great shape. It’s a win-win for Jacobs. It would be funny if Jacobs comes into the fight tonight at over 180 pounds, which is the weight that many believe he was at for his fight with Gennady Golovkin in 2017. Jacobs gave GGG all kinds of problems with his size in that fight. If he’s over 180 tonight, Canelo could be in trouble.