By Jim Dower: Daniel Jacobs doesn’t care one bit that the odds-makers have installed the highly popular Saul Canelo Alvarez a big 3 to 1 favorite going into their fight this Saturday night on DAZN at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Jacobs says the casual boxing fans, which are the ones that have installed Canelo (51-1-2, 35 KOs) as the favorite to win on Saturday, don’t know much about the sport of boxing. They just naturally assume Alvarez is going to beat everyone that he faces based on his popularity.
IBF middleweight champion Jacobs (35-2, 29 KOs) made his ‘Grand Arrival’ earlier on Tuesday at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas for photos to be taken and interviews before Saturday’s fight. Surprisingly, there wasn’t much excitement in terms of cheering for Jacobs. Danny was met with silence for the most part from the fans, who clearly were there to see Canelo. It might have been a mistake for WBA/WBC middleweight champion Canelo’s promoters at Golden Boy Promotions to negotiate to have the fight take place in Las Vegas rather than on the East Coast in New York. It would likely be a sellout by now if they had booked Madison Square Garden or the Barclays Center in New York. There’s still tickets available for the Canelo vs. Jacobs fight at the T-Mobile Arena for Saturday. Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya is saying it’ll be a sellout by Saturday, but we’ll have to see. The lack of fans and the lower than expected media turnout for today’s ‘Grand Arrivals’ in Las Vegas isn’t a good sign.
“It doesn’t anything to me, because the [casual] boxing public, which really doesn’t know much about boxing, are really the ones that make the odds,” Jacobs said when asked today during his ‘Grand Arrival’ at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, what he thinks about the odds-makers having Canelo as a 3 to 1 favorite. “Canelo is such a big draw so that anybody that faces Canelo, they think he’s going to beat. But if you really know the sport of boxing, and really know what I bring to the table, you might actually like those odds, because you would want to bet on me. There’s a really good chance you’ll win a lot of money,” Jacobs said.
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Jacobs is correct in talking about the odds-makers. They’re often wrong. They make obvious choices for mismatches, but when it comes to competitive fights where the fighters are evenly matched, the odds-makers tend to pick the more popular fighter, and end up getting their picks wrong. In this case, Canelo is by far the more popular of the two, but he’s much shorter at only 5’8″, and he’s been involved in a couple of recent controversial decisions against former IBF/IBO/WBA/WBC middleweight champion Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin that could have gone against him if it was scored by a different set of judges, and perhaps in a different city or state. Canelo does well when fighting in Las Vegas when it comes to his fights being scored. He brings a lot of fans to the city, and they bring money with them to spend. Jacobs will need to put out a lot of effort to prove the odds-makers wrong on Saturday night.
“It seems like a huge Canelo crowd,” Jacobs said in noticing the lack of cheering for him as he made his ‘Grand Arrival’ on Tuesday at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. “Hopefully after this fight, I can win some of those fans. This is the pinnacle of my career. This is the biggest fight that can be made for me. We’re the best fighters in the division. I’m looking forward to displaying good skills come Saturday night, and looking forward to being victorious,” said Jacobs.
Jacobs can definitely win this fight. He’s got the size, power, speed and the mobility to out-box Canelo the way that Floyd Mayweather Jr. did in 2013, and the way GGG did as well in the first fight and the second half of their rematch last September. Jacobs, 32, can’t just move for 12 rounds and expect to have his hand raised based on him eluding or out-jabbing Canelo. Jacobs will need to fight in the trenches a certain amount of the time, and come forward to attack Canelo in order to win. Mayweather did a lot of attacking Canelo to beat him six years ago. Mayweather took risks in throwing power shots, and backing Canelo up at times. Mayweather was hit with some big punches, but he handled it well and boxed his way to a decision. Jacobs has the ability to do the same thing if he does’t put himself in an immediate hole by giving away the crucial first half of the fight like he did in his 12 round unanimous decision loss to Golovkin in March 2017.
“You have to go in and win a fight decisively, so that’s what I look forward to doing,” Jacobs said. “I don’t want no controversy in this fight. I want to be victorious, and I want the fan and all the boxing public to know that I’m the best middleweight in the world. Styles make fights. Any boxing person knows that every fight is not going to be the same, so you have to approach fights differently. This is the biggest fight to get up for. So if I’m at my best, which I look forward to doing, I look forward to being victorious and beating Canelo Alvarez on Saturday night. I’ve always envisioned getting my hand raised. I’ve always been vocal about getting a knockout, and a knockout being possible. I look forward to getting in there and letting my skills setup whatever arises in the fight. You know me. I have an 80% knockout ratio. If I get a guy hurt, you guys know I can get them out of there. I’m self-motivated,” Jacobs said.
For Jacobs to win decisvely, he’s going to need to be a lot more aggressive than he was in his fights with GGG, Maciej Sulecki and Sergiy Derevyanchenko. If that was Canelo that Jacobs was fighting in those three contests, he likely would have lost.
“He has his own future in his hands. He got up from a very painful defeat with [Floyd] Mayweather, many could stay there, he won good money, he was very young, he was completely dominated and determined and now he is the world champion,” World Boxing Council president Mauricio Sulaiman said to ESPN Deportes about Canelo. “He beat GGG, that was a monster, that nobody gave Canelo a chance, tied and then won,” Sulaiman said.
Canelo has made a lot of money in the last six years with his two fights against Golovkin, his matches against Mayweather, Amir Khan, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Rocky Fielding. Canelo’s $365 million contract he signed recently with DAZN will bring him massive money if he makes it to the end of the 12-fight deal.