Canelo v Jacobs: Can ‘Miracle Man’ Defy the Odds Again?
May 3, 2019
Daniel Jacobs faces Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez in Las Vegas this weekend, and the ‘Miracle Man’ may well have to live up to his alias if he is to be crowned king of the middleweight division.
In Canelo, we’re talking about an undisputed pound-for-pound great, with 51 wins and just that one defeat to Floyd Mayweather Jr in a career that has now spanned 14 years.
No matter what you thought of his two memorable bouts with Gennady Golovkin, there can be no denying that the Mexican turned up the heat when he needed to – a testament to his skills and stamina.
Of course, styles make fights. However, in ‘GGG’, Alvarez and Jacobs share a mutual opponent, making it that little bit easier to compare the two.
The split decision draw between Alvarez and the Kazakhstan man in September 2017 was met with controversy. The majority of people seemed to believe that Golovkin had done enough to win, with Adalaide Byrd on the receiving end of much criticism after scoring the fight 118-110 in favour of the Mexican.
They re-matched a year later and, in another undoubted classic, Canelo was awarded the victory by way of majority decision.
Some of the punches landed were brutal, and it was testament to both men to still be standing at the end of 24 rounds of first-class boxing.
Just six months prior to his first meeting with Canelo, GGG faced Daniel Jacobs in New York’s iconic Madison Square Garden.
Despite a fourth-round knockdown, Jacobs would become the first man to take Golovkin the distance.
The scorecards were close and, without the knockdown, one judge would have had the American winning the fight.
Jacobs was slick throughout and, although GGG’s constant pressure proved to be the difference on the night, the Brooklyn resident proved his class throughout the contest.
As mentioned earlier, styles truly do make fights. Canelo doesn’t attempt to smother his opponents in the same way that Golovkin does and, if this fight is going to be fought on the outside, you’d have to think that the longer reach of Jacobs would come into play.
An overwhelming underdog? Absolutely. Without a chance of causing an upset? No way!
Let us not forget, this is the ‘Miracle Man’ we’re talking about.
Jacobs the Inspiration
There is no doubting that Alvarez is one of the most feared boxers in the sport, with 35 stoppages on his record. Jacobs, however, has already defeated much more than whatever the Mexican has to throw at him.
At 24 years of age, and on the brink of taking on the biggest names in the division, Jacobs was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a form of bone cancer, just two weeks after defeating Robert Kliewer.
He would have surgery through his back, in a bid to leave his boxing career open, and returned to the ring less than two years later.
Incredible, right? Even more so when you consider that he had to teach himself to walk again after becoming temporarily paralysed from the waist down.
In August 2014, Jacobs made history by becoming the first cancer survivor in boxing history to return and win a world title.
A fifth-round knockout of Australian Jarrod Fletcher saw the New Yorker crowned WBA middleweight champion, and four defences would follow before that clash with Golovkin.
Three recovery victories have followed, teeing up another super-bout with one of the biggest names in the sport.
As the face of boxing, it will take some performance for anyone to beat Canelo over the 12-round distance. Having said that, if it’s a miracle, we’re after, we have just the man lined up in Jacobs.
Don’t Expect an Early Night
No matter the outcome, we shouldn’t expect to see this fight finish early. In fact, it is difficult to see either man being stopped, if history is anything to go by.
In 53 professional bouts, Canelo is yet to be stopped, while you have to go back to 2010 for the one and only time that Jacobs was counted out.
Any fighter that can get up from a Golovkin hammer blow, and grow into the fight from that point, has already done more than enough to prove their resilience.
With a near four-inch height advantage and three-inches of reach in his favour, have the bookies got this one wrong with pricing ‘Miracle Man’ as such a big-priced underdog?
Admittedly, beating Canelo on points is far from easy. It would be doing a disservice to suggest that his favourable points victories over GGG were down to the fact that boxing would suffer if the Mexican were to taste defeat.
He is without doubt one of the most skilled boxers in the sport, and takes his place in the pound-for-pound rankings without a shadow of doubt.
It’s a big ask, but the American has the punching pedigree to shock the world.
Can Jacobs pull off the upset? I believe so, and think that Ladbrokes’ odds of 13/2 for a Jacobs points victory are much too generous.
Here are the bookmakers offering the best boxing odds.
Gary has been writing for a variety of well-respected media outlets for over a decade. His work has been published on websites such as The Mirror, Manchester Evening News and the Liverpool Echo. Formerly a reporter with the world’s largest football website in Goal.com, Gary is a boxing fanatic and previously ran his own boxing column for Betfred. He used to own an Everton fansite, but his love affair with his beloved Toffees is close to coming unstuck.