EVERY fight is important. But some are more important than others. This time last year Canelo Alvarez was not competing on his usual Cinco de Mayo date. Failing a drug test for eating beef contaminated with clenbuterol saw him serving out a six month ban instead. He still secured a victory over Gennady Golovkin later last year. Now he returns to Las Vegas, with the WBA and WBC middleweight titles he captured, to take on IBF titlist Danny Jacobs in a unification clash on Saturday (May 4) at the T Mobile Arena. It is not an easy fight but a crucial step on the road towards becoming undisputed champion.
It is also increasingly rare in modern boxing for the top fighter in a division to actually sign on for a contest with the next best in his weight class. For that Canelo and Jacobs should be saluted.
“Every single fight marks history for me. It’s another check. He is the second best middleweight in the world, so it’s another step in that direction, to keep writing my history,” Alvarez said. “For me, it’s the most important. Nobody in Mexico has ever done that, won all four belts in one division, so that’s my motivation. To keep writing history.”
He warns that he will be able to handle Jacobs’ movement. “Look, nothing’s impossible in life and much less in boxing. I’m prepared. If the KO is there, believe me, I’m going to get it. And if not, I’m prepared for whatever, including going 12 rounds,” he said. “Jacobs is a little different. He brings a lot of abilities and talent. It’s much more difficult. But that’s what we prepared and trained for, to come out with our hands raised Saturday night.
“I have the experience. I’ve fought taller fighters, longer, bigger. That’s what we prepared for. We had the right sparring partners, with similar styles. I have the ability to adapt to any fighter, and that’s what I’m prepared to do.”
Both fighters made their Grand Arrivals on Tuesday at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Canelo, as far as he is concerned, is back where he belongs. “To me, wherever I go, the people receive me with all this love and support,” he said. “That is beautiful. I can’t say enough. It’s just another great experience for me.”