By Mark Elezaj
(Joe Camporeale-USA Today Sports)
LAS VEGAS – Canelo Alvarez showed just why he is arguably the face of boxing Saturday night.
The Mexican superstar beat Daniel Jacobs by unanimous decision in their highly anticipated middleweight title unification fight, before a crowd of 20,203 at the T-Mobile Arena. All three judges, Glenn Feldman (116-112), Dave Moretti (115-113) and Steve Weisfeld (115-113) – scored the fight for Alvarez.
Jacobs started off slow, not throwing many punches in the early rounds, and it cost him.
Alvarez pushed the action from the opening bell, attacking the body and landing jabs while making Jacobs miss his shots with slick defense and head movement.
“It definitely took me a couple rounds to get my wits about me, to figure out his rhythm, because he’s a pop-shotter,” Jacobs said. “He was a fast guy, very slippery. It was a great contest. I look forward to the future. I feel like I gave enough to get the victory, so I’ll have to go back to the tapes to see exactly what happened.”
Jacobs, sometimes switching between orthodox and southpaw stances, was able to finally get something going in the sixth with a flurry that backed Alvarez up. His momentum continued into the seventh, as he landed shots, including a big left hand on Alvarez.
There was back and forth action in the eighth, both landing solid punches during exchanges, but Alvarez seemed to stun Jacobs numerous times.
In the ninth round, they took turns landing big shots. Jacobs landed a pair of left hands, his best punches of the fight, but Alvarez took them well, showing a strong chin.
In the tenth, with his right eye swelling, Jacobs unloaded some big punches on Alvarez, who was up against the ropes, in one of his best rounds of the fight. Alvarez appeared to be ok, coming back in the eleventh round. In the final round, both men came out firing shots.
Jacobs slipped to the mat on the wet canvas after throwing a left hook he missed. Referee Tony Weeks called a timeout to clean up the canvas, and the fight resumed. After Alvarez landed a left hook to the head and an uppercut to the body, both men finished the fight in a heated exchange, bringing the fans to their feet.
(Ed Mulholland/Matchroom Boxing USA)
“It was just what we thought,” Alvarez told DAZN’s Chris Mannix through a translator. “We knew he was gonna be a difficult fighter. But thank God we did things the right way, the things we were supposed to do.”
Jacobs acknowledged he started off slow, but he felt the fight was close enough for him to have been awarded a victory.
“I feel accomplished; I feel great,” Jacobs said. “I have to go back and look at the tapes, to see exactly what the judges thought. But I kept in conversations with my corner, inside the breaks. They said that, to me, I was up. So, I was still pressing forward, because I still wanted to finish strong.
“But he’s a tremendous champion. I take my hat off to him. I’ve gotta go back, like I said, and look at the tapes. But I gave my all out there. We’ll see Daniel Jacobs bigger and better next time.”
When asked what’s next, would a fight with GGG be something we would see, Alvarez said,
“I’m just looking for the biggest challenge. That’s all I want. No, for me, it’s over,” he said regarding any unfinished business with Golovkin. “But if the people want another fight, we’ll do it again, and I’ll beat him again.
“That’s why I’m here. That’s what I was born for — to fight, to defend what’s mine. I’ll fight anyone.”
~ The Fighting Voice ~