The fight game could use a main event that matches the expectations and lives up to the hype, right?
We could see that on May 4. Are you feeling the same vibe? I am…
Now it’s possible this is my optimism, my desires seeping in and clouding judgment.
However I do believe that on May 4, at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, we the people will indeed take in 12 rounds – or maybe less, if we get a climactic ending – of ebb and flow, of athletic superiority, of in-ring mastery.
We could use it.
The ending of the Terence Crawford-Amir Khan scrap fizzled, rather than popped, so that is fresh in our minds. Fresher in a not-so-hot way for those waiting for their May cable bill, which will see that $70 tack-on fee. But listening to IBF middleweight titlist Daniel Jacobs (35-2, 29 knockouts) on the Monday conference call touting the DAZN/Golden Boy Promotions card headlined by his challenge of The Ring Magazine/WBA/WBC middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez, I came away with the feeling that this tango will live up to the billing.
Jacobs, as per usual, was calm, cool, collected, reasoned, polite. Yes, these are times in which those traits are not rewarded like you might think they would or should be.
However his manner on the call made me more hopeful that this one will leave watchers feeling satisfied. Some highlights…
Jacobs’ promoter Eddie Hearn, of Matchroom Boxing, piped up and said he thinks the fight will deliver. He added that recent pay-per-views have not delivered value but he is fully confident that Jacobs, who he signed two years ago, will down the Mexican.
One thing I picked up on, one theme: This is being packaged to Jacobs and by Team Jacobs as a destiny play. Everything has been leading to this fight, the Gennady Golovkin fight and the cancer battle, chapters leading to a bang-up ending. Adviser Keith Connolly opined that a win will get Jacobs high atop that vaunted, mythical pound-for-pound list. Jacobs himself, a humble sort, isn’t a chest-thumper. He told me it’s not for him to say if he’s pound for pound No. 1 or 2 or whatever. He wouldn’t weigh in on whether Crawford or Vasiliy Lomachenko or whomever is at the top of the mountain. “The winner of this fight is pound-for-pound number one,” the Brit dealmaker declared.
Trainer Andre Rozier sounds like he thinks the pages are written. “Danny was destined to be middleweight champion of the world and he’s destined to be a Hall-of-Famer,” he stated. That’s new talk…Hall of Fame. The 32-year-old is setting the bar higher, as top-tier people do.
Jacobs is so decent on these calls; he’s polite but he will share some tidbits, insights, not be too cautious and thus boring. “I definitely think I’m the stronger fighter (the bigger puncher),” he allowed. He believes his reach, height and range will take him to the W. Watching Canelo against Floyd Mayweather Jr. and in subsequent fights tell him that Canelo’s mobility is not his best trait. Jacobs will exploit that; he told us. Canelo has trouble with “a moving target.” File that note away as you ponder what the Jacobs game plan could look like.
Hearn and Jacobs both said they enjoyed how this fight can be sold on its own merits, that there doesn’t have to be hijinks to pump up the volume. Instead we hear about how the fight itself could look, instead of back-and-forth enmity. Rozier told us Danny grew up tough, in Brooklyn. “He’s been places none of us have ever had to visit,” he said and when you fight those hard battles, a boxing match is not as hard. Danny is once again to rise to the occasion, he says. Heart and soul and desire to win will be difference, the tutor maintained.
Again, reason reigned. Jacobs said Canelo (51-1-2, 35 KOs) has improved very much since he fought Mayweather in 2013 and that he too has gotten better since he met “GGG.” And yes, he’s aware that Vegas judges can lean toward A-sides but he wants to focus on what he can control and that’s his effort.
My three cents: My fingers are positioned in the same place they basically always are, as we count down to a big fight. I’m hoping we see a great tango and fingers are crossed. Yep, the game could use it. It would help us see the first half of the year in boxing in a more positive way and aid in providing momentum for a good second half of 2019 in pugilism.
Follow Michael Woods on Twitter @Woodsy1069 for more boxing news.
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