Canelo-Jacobs: Staff picks and predictions

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Canelo Alvarez and Daniel Jacobs square off tomorrow night in Las Vegas. The BLH staff make their predictions.

Canelo Alvarez vs Daniel Jacobs is coming tomorrow night. People have asked for this feature to return, and what better time than now, the first true big fight of 2019? (Sorry, Pacquiao-Broner, Spence-Garcia, and Crawford-Khan.)

So here are our picks for Saturday’s main event.

Scott Christ

One of the things being used to help sell this fight — and subscriptions to DAZN to see this fight — is the fact that in 2017, Daniel Jacobs gave Gennady Golovkin a lot of grief, losing a narrow decision in New York. And we all know that Golovkin gave Canelo all (or more, depending on whom you ask) he could handle in 2017 and 2018.

So as far as a competitive matchup on paper goes, Jacobs is good for Alvarez. They’re two of the top three at 160 with Golovkin, But I don’t think it’s going to be a great fight, either, and I don’t think Jacobs can beat Alvarez. Jacobs does a lot of things well, and he believes his movement can trouble Alvarez. I’m not sold on that being a difference-maker. And I don’t think Jacobs can knock Canelo and his tree-trunk neck out, so he’d have to really punish the body, which Canelo generally protects well, and I don’t think Jacobs can seriously outbox Canelo over 12 rounds. Jacobs is really, really good, but I don’t think he has the advantages needed to convincingly beat Alvarez, and if it’s not convincing, he’s not getting the scores. Canelo UD-12

Wil Esco

Canelo Alvarez vs Daniel Jacobs represents two of the three best middleweights in the world going head-to-head. Strictly speaking, the sport needs much more of these kind of competitive fights so I should be more excited for this than I actually am. But, unfortunately, the best fighting the best doesn’t always make for the best fights, and I believe this is one of those cases.

The styles of Canelo and Jacobs don’t mesh all that well together since neither fighter is particularly comfortable playing the role of aggressor for any length of time. Because of this I see a fight that doesn’t have a ton of sustained action, and one in which neither fighter gets dropped or stopped. Ultimately, though, I think Canelo’s head movement is good enough to keep from getting picked off by the taller Jacobs at distance, with his flashier combinations on the inside likely to get the attention from judges. When it’s all said and done I see Canelo taking a majority decision in a fight that ends up looking better on paper than it does in the ring. Canelo MD-12

Patrick L. Stumberg

The question here is “what does Daniel Jacobs offer that Gennady Golovkin didn’t?” Jacobs can thump, sure, but Canelo stayed on his feet for a cumulative hour against Golovkin with nary a flinch. He can punish the body, but Canelo completely shut down Golovkin’s body work. The one edge Jacobs might have that Golovkin didn’t is trickier footwork; in recent years, however, Canelo’s shown an increasing ability to deal with opponents who won’t willingly step into the pocket with him.

There’s also, of course, Canelo’s “luck” with the judges. Jacobs could put on a perfect fight and I still don’t envision him walking away with anything better than a draw, regardless of what he “earns.” Whether Canelo’s style is just that visually appealing or if he gets help, Jacobs needs a finish here and I just don’t think he can get it. Canelo’s body work and unflappability carry him to victory in a fight much closer in reality than on the scorecards. Canelo UD-12

Lewis Watson

Make no mistake: this is the standout fight of the year so far. Three of the four middleweight marbles underpin the importance of this bout, with the victor moving within touching distance of an undisputed fight. Jacobs is smart, with adept footwork and astute ring IQ, enough to cause Alvarez serious problems in the first half of the fight.

It’s crucial that Jacobs takes an advantage into the championship rounds, where Alvarez is expected to come on strong. Patience is the key for Alvarez; he is likely to reap the rewards of consistent body attacks late in the fight. If Jacobs can stay switched on and committed to his game plan for 36 minutes, this could go down to the wire, but a slight lapse in concentration could grant Alvarez a late stoppage. Canelo TKO-10 to 12

And the staff winner is…

1033990316.jpg - Canelo-Jacobs: Staff picks and predictionsPhoto by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Canelo Alvarez!

Bad Left Hook will have live coverage of Canelo vs Jacobs on Saturday night, with round-by-round updates for the main card and main event. Live coverage will begin at 6 pm ET, with the main card set to begin at 9 pm ET.

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