Feature | Apr 16 2019

Danny Jacobs on facing death and Canelo Alvarez

Danny Jacobs thinks Canelo Alvarez should have lost both of his fights with Gennady Golovkin. He details the Mexican star's flaws
Danny Jacobs
Boxing: Daniel Jacobs Workout  |  Ed Mulholland/Matchroom Boxing USA

CANELO ALVAREZ might believe Danny Jacobs deserved to beat Gennady Golovkin. But IBF titlist Jacobs does not afford the Mexican star the same courtesy. In contrast he believes Alvarez, now the WBC and WBA middleweight champion, was fortunate to escape from his two fights with “GGG” unbeaten and with the world titles.

“I give Canelo all the respect in the world. He’s definitely top 10, pound for pound. There are some controversial fights that he’s had that where I thought he lost, including both Golovkin fights. But I respect any man that has the courage to fight, as this is a kill or be killed sport but that’s where the respect ends. As far as getting in the ring with him goes, I want to be the victor. I want to take his head off and prove that I am the best gladiator in the world. That’s my true intentions so there’s no respect when it comes to that. But we’re both gentlemen and in my opinion, we’re great ambassadors for the sport. But take that away, and it’s going to be a blood sport in the ring,” Jacobs said.

He of course is going to have to take on Alvarez in his Las Vegas stronghold at the T Mobile Arena on May 4. “It’s a little annoying to have to keep talking about the judges and Canelo getting favouritism, but it’s also a fact in most people’s mind so that’s why it comes up so much,” he said. “I don’t want the mindset to be going in there to fight Canelo and the judges. I don’t need any more stress in this fight as Canelo is a force in himself and it’s going to take a lot to figure him out.”

Breaking down Alvarez’s qualities, the American said, “Canelo takes a good shot and he’s very elusive with his upper body, so [in training] we wanted to make sure we’re faster on our feet, with our hands and with our combinations than in previous fights.

“I study all the fights and [especially] the ones I believed he lost as those are the fighters that showed his bad habits and the opponents were able to exploit them. Canelo has great upper body and head movement, but his legs and his knees don’t hold up well. He doesn’t cut the ring off well like Sergey Derevyanchenko or Golovkin. We look at things like that. I’m one of the longest fighters that he’s faced too, and I’m so fast, so I think I can use all that to my advantage.

“Every fighter has a flaw or makes mistakes that you can exploit. I’m a longer fighter. I’m just as fast, I’m stronger and I have skills, too. I am not like the recent opponents that just come forward. I can go back and side-to-side and I can switch stances. I can do a bit of everything in the ring, so it’s going to be a challenging fight for him and I really believe my hand will be raised that night.

Canelo Alvarez vs Danny Jacobs

“I don’t necessarily think Canelo can bully me. I think that it’s going to be really hard for him being the smaller guy to dictate that. I’m a rough guy when it comes to being in the ring. From the outside looking in, it might look different. But in the ring, I’m a physically big guy with speed and power, so it’s more about the tactics that I choose to use to be victorious.”

Jacobs, who recovered from cancer to return to world title level, believes he is mentally strong enough to excel in this fight. “This is my opportunity to prove what I have been saying, that I am the best middleweight in the world. Doing the impossible is not new to me. Ten years ago, I was in a wheelchair in the hospital. Fast forward to now and I’m fighting for middleweight supremacy. You can’t make this story up, and I feel like this is my destiny,” he said. “I’ve looked death in the eyes. It happened when I was in the hospital bed with my back to the wall after doctors told me that I had cancer and would never box again. I’ve been through the toughest of all mental battles. I see it and feel it. Canelo hasn’t faced and beaten an opponent like cancer, but I have, so to me I am already a victor.”

However even if he were to beat Alvarez, he doesn’t believe he’ll get a rematch with Golovkin. “They would rather fight Canelo. So, we see from that that boxing is a business. It’s a compliment for sure that he thinks that way. Golovkin knows he lost the fight against me. I saw it in his eyes when they gave me the decision, and he’s never been vocal about giving me the rematch. It’s either been small talk or just swept under the rug. So, for me, I just want to make sure that I not only fight Golovkin again and prove the naysayers wrong, but show him that he knows that I am better than he is,” Jacobs declared. “Victory would truly show the fans that, whether you think I beat Golovkin or not, I am the best middleweight in the world. I’ve always said that I am the best, and I’ve also always been vocal that the win over Golovkin was taken from me. So, a win over Canelo puts a new idea in the fans’ minds that this guy is the best as he’s proven it against a guy that beat Golovkin.”

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