ON Saturday (May 4) at the T Mobile Arena in Las Vegas WBC and WBA middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez took on rival belt-holder, the IBF titlist Danny Jacobs in a unification clash. Canelo won a hard-fought but deserved decision, 116-112 for judges Steve Weisfeld and Glenn Feldman and 115-113 on Dave Moretti’s card. Here’s how the fight unfolded:
A quiet first round. Canelo comes out to take the centre of the ring, as Jacobs edges round to his left. They trade body shots, evade jabs and neither makes a significant breakthrough.
Canelo’s shots begin to tell. A quick double jab lands, striking Jacobs’ chin then hits the body. The Mexican drives Jacobs back a few paces with a right hook. The American fires off a flurry on the inside but has to duck under a fast right hook.
Alvarez presses his attack early in the round. With Jacobs backed onto the ropes, Canelo plies him with right crosses. The American does seem able to hold the power well and he clips Alvarez’s head with a combination, picking his moments to step in to attack.
Canelo is a hard target for Jacobs. He sharpens up, evading the American’s punches. Alvarez’s jabs fly through and he brings in his left hook, catching Jacobs with that shot as he looks commanding in this session.
Jacobs jabs without conviction, the movement of Canelo’s head and upper body throwing him off. But if Jacobs is looking diminished, at least in confidence, Alvarez is almost at ease, showing greater variety in his attacks, working at Danny’s defences.
Jacobs has boxed predominately in the orthodox stance but he can switch and this round stays southpaw. Here he finds more success, pushing a left cross through. He throws the back hand to move off behind a right hook. But he will still need more to turn the momentum of this fight.
Canelo piles in with heavy attacks to start the seventh, looking to snuff out Jacobs rally in the last session. The American did clip him with a good left hook when Alvarez wandered in too close with his guard down. Alvarez still cracks him with a hefty left, fighting at a contained pace.
Jacobs presses his attack well. He forces Canelo on to the backfoot, pushing him into the ropes where Jacobs unleashes flurries of hooks, catching the Mexican’s body. Working their way to the centre of the ring, they lean on each other, staying in the pocket to hack punches at one another.
Canelo clips him with his left hook and lets right crosses bomb through. But Jacobs uncorks a massive left hook, catching the Mexican’s chin flush. It’s a huge hit but Canelo takes it, not shifting on his feet. The pace of the bout still drops off, Jacobs not really capitalising on that moment of success.
Alvarez might well be flagging and Jacobs comes on, heartened. The American attacks well in combination, his hook catching Canelo again. Jacobs nods at his own success. He is getting through and lets his right loop over the top. It’s a hard round for the Mexican star.
Jacobs looms over his foe, his size starting to tell. As the American stands southpaw, Canelo flicks his right through the gap in his guard. But when Alvarez waits for Jacobs, Danny’s punches do break through.
The final round finishes on even terms. A momentary embarrassment for Jacobs as he loses his footing throwing a left hook. After resuming the action, Jacobs does catch him with that left hook. Canelo still fires off quality combinations, banging his right over.
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