- Canelo Alvarez produced a classy performance to outpoint Daniel Jacobs in a close affair in Las Vegas
- The Mexican sensation won a tight unanimous points decision to unify the middleweight world titles
- Canelo started the fight brightly, dominating the early rounds with his stiff jab and shots downstairs
- Jacobs finished strong, but the judges gave Canelo the nod with cards of 115-113, 115-113 and 116-112
- Canelo hinted at facing Gennady Golovkin next, saying: ‘If the people want it we can do it and I will win again’
Canelo Alvarez added the IBF belt to his WBC and WBA middleweight world titles with a unanimous decision victory over Daniel Jacobs in Las Vegas.
Alvarez added another belt to his collection by winning rounds early and outboxing Jacobs in their middleweight showdown to take a close but unanimous 12-round decision.
Two ringside judges scored it 115-113, while the third had it 116-112. ‘It was just what we thought,’ Alvarez said. ‘We knew it would be a difficult fight. We just did our job.’
Jacobs, who lost $1 million out of his purse by not making the contracted weight the morning of the fight, was clearly bigger than Alvarez and landed perhaps the biggest punch of the fight in the ninth round when he connected with a left hook.
But Alvarez was fast and quick and kept Jacobs off balance with his movement as he won a narrow decision in the same arena where he fought to a draw and a close win over Gennady Golovkin.
‘He’s a pot shotter,’ Jacobs said. ‘I felt I did enough to get the victory.’
The judges didn’t, though, largely because Alvarez was more active early and was the more aggressive of the two fighters. Alvarez built a lead early, winning the first five rounds on one scorecard and four of the five on the other two.
But Jacobs seemed to find himself midway through the fight and roared back to make it competitive on the scorecards. He won the 12th round on two of the three scorecards.
Alvarez, a 5-1 favorite at fight time, was tested but did enough to win in a fight that had no knockdowns and no serious fouls. Neither fighter ever appeared badly hurt, though Jacobs landed some of the bigger punches in the late rounds.
That included the left hook in the ninth that seemed to shake Alvarez, if only for a moment.
‘It was a hard shot but I went to the corner and they asked me and I said it was no big deal,’ Alvarez said. ‘I continued with the fight. What do you want?’
Alvarez, the red-headed Mexican sensation, earned $35 million for risking his titles against Jacobs, a Brooklyn fighter who held a piece of the middleweight crown himself. He got another $1 million from the purse of Jacobs after Jacobs weighed in too heavy the day of the fight.
Jacobs had weighed in at the class limit of 160 pounds at the official weigh-in on Friday. But the two boxers had agreed in their contract not to weigh more than 170 pounds Saturday morning and Jacobs weighed 173.6.
Alvarez was aggressive from the opening bell, throwing punches with intent while Jacobs was content to try and fight from the outside while backing up most of the time. Neither fighter landed any sustained flurries, but Alvarez had more snap to his punches and landed them with more consistency.
By the middle rounds, Jacobs was switching from conventional to southpaw and back again, trying to find a rhythm. But Alvarez kept moving his head and making Jacobs miss, and often found him with a counter.
The two traded punches on several occasions, and Jacobs landed his biggest punch with a left hook in the ninth round that got the attention of Alvarez.
Alvarez rallied back to land some meaningful shots on his own in the tenth before seeing out the remaining rounds to take the decision.
Golovkin sat ringside for the fight, which set up a possible third bout with Alvarez, perhaps in September.
‘I’m here in Vegas because I want that fight,’ Golovkin said. Canelo added after his fight with Jacobs: ”I’m just looking for the biggest fights and the biggest challenge. That’s what I want for my next fight.
‘I don’t think me and Golovkin have any unfinished business. For me it’s done but if the people want it again we can do it and I will beat him again.
‘That’s why I’m here, that’s why I was born, to fight, to defend what is mine and I will fight anyone.’