By Malibongwe Tokwe
When two top fighters meet for the special unification bout in middleweight division, the world of boxing always pay attention. The middleweight division is one of the best divisions in the history of boxing, it has brought us memorable fighters and fights, from the early days of Stanley Ketchel, Harry Greb, Carlos Monzon, Freddie Steele, Tiger Flowers, Jake Lamotta, Ray Robinson, Marvin Hagler, James Toney, Bernard Hopkins and even Roy Jones jr.
The science of boxing is a combination of exceptional abilities, both physical and emotional strenghts. The beauty of these abilities is always amplified by the strong physiques of the fighters themselves and the division of middleweight is where you get the abundance of those fighters.
Fighters at middleweight division are averaging at 160 pounds/73Kg weight, evolving around the height of 1.85m (not a requirement). These athletes are bigger than the average man you see walking outside your house, and that on its own makes it interesting to watch their contests. Indeed, it is true that the natural bloated middleweight fighter is the power lacking heavyweight in boxing. At middleweight division everything sums to the middle, it is the division where you see speed, power and adversity.
On the 4th May 2019, we will have another fight that belongs to this noble division of boxing, and this one will be even better because it will be for the unification of the titles from three major boxing organizations WBC, WBA and IBF.
The red headed Mexican, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez will take on the African American Daniel “Miracle Man” Jacobs, the pride fighter of Brooklyn in New York.
Jacobs is a tough competitor who has defeated cancer (bone) that was found around his spine few years ago. He is the IBF champion that is well known in current boxing, having lost only 2 fights in his career of 37 fights with 29 knockouts. His first loss was back in 2010 against the Russian fighter Dmitry Pirog. On the morning of that fight tragedy happened when he lost his grandmother who was very supportive to him. “I was just not myself on that night” he claimed.
The second loss was suffered against Gennady GGG Golovkin on 2017, in a very controversial bout that ended with GGG victorious with a unanimous decision. Personally, I have watched that fight 4 times and I truly believe Jacobs did enough to win, however, I suppose it was just not his night.
Alvarez is the most exciting fighter today in boxing with a record of 54 fights with only 1 loss against the great Floyd Mayweather jr. Alvarez is the top well-rounded fighter, who is not be the biggest middleweight champion in the game; however, he is such a gifted fighter that seem to be improving in every fight.
Even though the two styles that will be brought by the two fighters will result to a great competitive fight, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez will be victorious at the end of the day. He happens to be the better fighter of the two in all avenues. He has a better effective jab, he throws more punches, he possesses better boxing skills and is absolutely in his prime.
The are few mistakes in Jacobs game I believe Alvarez will capitalize on, Jacobs fights too upright, ending up taking a lot of punishment in his head. He does move his head well at times, however in championship rounds he has a tendency of relying in cross arm defense which can be penetrated easily by the uppercut, which happen to be Alvarez’s favorite punch. I can guarantee you, if Jacobs does not move his head inside that ring, Canelo will move it for him.
Jacobs is easily reachable; In all the fights I watched, he is not a hard man to find when attacking, his lateral movements are not so great, he likes to engage with wide punches and could be timed by a smart fighter and clipped by one big punch.
Jacobs is too brave for his own good; I truly believe fighters should fight to win fights and box to defend themselves. Jacobs does have explosive combinations, the problem is the rhythm, and he never say goodbye with a jab. He would explode a nice combination, and still be there for his opponent to land when done, and that end up soiling the good work he did.
In closing remarks, I can see also Jacobs falling into the traps where he is countered by rock solid punches in this fight. Alvarez’s Intelligence will show in those moments as Jacobs is likely to use his bigger body to smoother and discourage him from walking through in a close fight. Alvarez can be very quick down below in his legs, he can slide in no time and leave Jacobs vulnerable for the big punches. That is where I can see Jacobs hitting the canvas.
Boxing fans, do not get me wrong, this is a good fight but Saul “Canelo” Alvarez will overcome Daniel Jacobs on points, or Jacobs corner might be forced to save their man for another fight another day.