Unified middleweight champion Saul "Canelo" Alvarez is set to make his 2019 debut when he defends the WBA and WBC middleweight championships against IBF titlist Daniel "Miracle Man" Jacobs in a title unification bout May 4 from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Live and Exclusively on DAZN.
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The 28-year-old Alvarez (51-1-2, 35 KOs) has suffered only one loss to an undefeated Floyd Mayweather jr. He went through two wars against GGG and moved up to Super middleweight in December and captured the WBA title and became a three division champion. He has held the WBA, WBC, Ring magazine and lineal titles since last year. And as of December 2018 he has been ranked as the world's best active fighter pound for pound.
Saul, or "Canelo" as he is known by fans across the globe, has been in the ring with the best of the best. Known for his dynamic counterpunching skills and ability to find openings in his opponents guard and expose his weaknesses and since his fight against Mayweather he seems to have taken a few notes out of the defensive chronicles of TBE. Canelo has become almost impossible to hit. Frustrating opponents with evasive head movement and making them pay with brutal combinations.
In his last fight against British fighter Rocky Fielding, Canelo wasted no time with a feeling out process. Catching Fielding with brutal body shots and dropping Fielding to his knee with 1:00 remaining in the first. Fielding did survive the first round only to be dropped to a knee by yet another massive body shot with twenty seconds left in the second. Fielding gave it his fighters best but in the third round he was out of the fight after going to a knee twice in the third.
If the Canelo/Fielding fight was your first time seeing the Mexican superstar fight you would be under the impression that this fight was just a tune up fight set up for Alvarez to capture another win against some bum from England. And if you knew absolutely nothing about Rocky Fielding you would be shocked to find out that he is the former WBA (Regular) super middleweight champion and former WBA Inter-Continental super middleweight champion, as well as former British, Commonwealth and English super middleweight champion. So to say Canelo was ever in the ring with a "nobody" is a stretch.
Canelo has been a professional since the age of 15. And now at only 28 years old, he has already fought and defeated the best fighters in the sport. From the likes of "Trout", "Lara", "Cotto", "Amir Khan" and "GGG". He has earned the respect of fight fans of different cultures and ethnicities around the world. And with his success in the ring has come financial success as well. Alvarez signed a five-year, 11-fight deal worth a minimum of $365 million with DAZN. Alvarez's deal is the richest athlete contract in sports history, eclipsing the 13-year, $325 million agreement that New York Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton signed in 2014 when he was with the Miami Marlins.
In wake of the now faded Mayweather era, Canelo has redefined the strategies on success in the sport.
But no matter what the young star from Guadalajara accomplishes, there is one man that's unimpressed.
Daniel "The Miracle Man" Jacobs, (35-2-0, 29KO's), a native of Brooklyn, N.Y., Brownsville to be exact.
It's been said, "If you can make it in New York, you can make it anywhere". Daniel Jacobs is the living embodiment of that phrase in the flesh. Not only did he survive the mean Brooklyn concrete but Jacobs defeated an opposition that most times has an undefeated record.
In May 2011, Jacobs was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a life-threatening form of bone cancer. After spending 19 months out of the sport and going through treatment, Jacobs returned to the sport he loved so much. The plans Jacobs had for his life and the future of his son Nathaniel was one of elite success in boxing and all the financial rewards he could earn for his family. Most people who battle the beast called Cancer have a much different story to tell. Some of those stories end sadly. But for Daniel Jacobs, Death from Cancer was not in his plans.
Jacobs went through a very delicate surgical procedure called CyberKnife – a non-invasive way of removing tumors located in sensitive areas of the body. This is normally done by going in through the chest, but because of Jacob's profession as a boxer, Doctor's decided it would be better for his career if they went in through his back, which would be much more complicated because they would be forced to deflate Jacob's lungs and go around his ribs to get to the tumor. Nevertheless, the surgery was a success.
25 radiation treatments later, Jacobs was Cancer free. Being the fighter he is, he began to weigh the odds of his return to the sport. He insisted that he felt as good as he ever had. And at 25 years old, he began looking for an opponent for an upcoming fight. Jacobs return to the sport gave him a completely different approach and outlook on his goals as a fighter. He no longer wanted to just be the best champion he could become but he wanted to do it through inspiring people with his story of defeating the odds of Life and Death. After his return to boxing he went undefeated until 2017.
Jacobs story is not one most of his opponents in the ring can relate to. But on May 4th, he and Canelo will step into the ring knowing that they have both faced GGG, someone that has beaten every man to stand in front of him, every man except for Canelo Alvarez. One might think this has played a role in Daniel Jacobs mental preparation of the May 4th showdown, but it does not appear to have Jacobs distracted from the only fight that matters right now. Canelo is the better favorite and coming off two impressive wins, a majority decision of Gennady Golovkin and a three round destruction of Rocky Fielding at the super middleweight limit of 168.
Daniel Jacobs and his promoter Eddie Hearn both feel as if this is Jacob's time and that he will pull of what could be the upset of the year. Most would agree, a win against the only man to defeat GGG would not only redeem Jacobs of his loss to GGG but would define the name Miracle Man entirely.