Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Daniel Jacobs will meet on Saturday in a middleweight unification superfight that’s been hailed by many as boxing’s biggest bout of 2019 so far.
The pair will face off at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, and the expert picks have rolled in thick and fast approaching such a highly anticipated bout.
IBF middleweight titleholder Jacobs beat Serhiy Derevianchenko via split decision in October to take the vacant belt, while Canelo will put his WBA (Super), WBC, The Ring and lineal middleweight belts on the line.
All pre-fight signs suggest Canelo will add to his collection of crowns when he returns to Las Vegas on Saturday, although there are experts out there who back “Miracle Man” for a mighty upset.
Jacobs is a legitimate threat to beat Alvarez, unlike the latter’s last opponent Rocky Fielding. Despite a huge size advantage as Alvarez moved up to 168 pounds to challenge for a lesser WBA title, Fielding looked disinterested and bowed out in the third round from a body shot. Don’t look for a fighter of Jacobs’ ilk to go softly into a good night.
If Alvarez does beat him, you can bet there will be a battle. Alvarez deserves all the credit in the world for taking this fight. It’s a tough matchup against a taller, skilled opponent with a real chance to compete or even win this fight. If Alvarez was still fighting on pay-per-view, this fight would be an automatic purchase for boxing fans.
Don’t be surprised to see some fighters, trainers, and members of the media picking Jacobs to get the win. Jacobs lost a disputed decision against Gennady Golovkin in 2017 and has won three straight fights en route to this huge opportunity. The cancer-survivor has the heart and will, and he’s also performing in his hometown of New York. All things considered, he couldn’t ask for a better opportunity. The question is: will he seize it?
The main event had better be good because the undercard doesn’t look special–at least not on paper. The fight that will set the table for Alvarez-Jacobs is a battle for the interim WBA super middleweight title between John Ryder and Bilal Akkawy.
Here are the other fights on the card:
Lamont Roach vs. Jonathan Oquendo Vergil Ortiz Jr. vs. Mauricio Herrera Sadam Ali vs. Anthony Young Francisco Esparza vs. Aram Avagyan
Potential Viewership Competition
Luckily for Golden Boy and DAZN, the sports programming that figures to provide the stiffest competition should be just about done before Alvarez and Jacobs climb into the ring. Game 4 of the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets Western Conference Semifinals series begins at 8:30 pm ET, barring overtime, it should conclude around 11 pm. That’s right around the time Alvarez and Jacobs should be in the ring.
The same can be said for UFC Fight Night Ottawa. A fan-friendly main card begins on ESPN+ at 8 pm ET. Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone will face “Raging” Al Iaquinta in the main event.
Canelo should win this one. His body punching ability will break Jacobs down and there could be a late stoppage.
Canelo to win: 4/11
Jacobs to win: 9/2