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Three Punch Combo: A Look at Some Lead-in Fights to Canelo-Jacobs and More

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  • Three Punch Combo: A Look at Some Lead-in Fights to Canelo-Jacobs and More

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    By Matt Andrzejewski

    THREE PUNCH COMBO -- It is Canelo-Jacobs fight week and most of the attention of the boxing world will be fixated on this fight. But there is other action that deserves our attention this week. This includes a very intriguing middleweight crossroads fight between two former amateur standouts.

    On Thursday, Golden Boy will present a card from the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas that will be streamed live on Facebook Watch. The event is headlined by middleweights Yamaguchi Falcao (16-0, 7 KO’s) and Christopher Pearson (16-2, 12 KO’s). This is actually a rematch of their 2011 encounter in the World Series of Boxing. Pearson, representing the LA Matadors, won that fight by split decision.

    Falcao (pictured) had a very successful amateur career that included winning a bronze medal at the 2012 Olympics. He turned pro in 2014 and began his career as a fairly active fighter with 13 fights in his first three years. However, since then he has had only four fights. Moreover, he has yet to really step up his level of competition. At 31, time is becoming a factor.

    Like Falcao, Pearson also had a very successful amateur career and entered the pro game with plenty of hype. And also like Falcao, Pearson has yet to tap into much of that potential as a pro. Pearson’s issue has been a questionable set of whiskers and there have also been questions about his dedication to the sport. The talent is there and at 28 Pearson still has time to turn things around but his window is also closing.

    On paper, Falcao-Pearson is a very evenly matched fight. Both are southpaws though stylistically they differ in how they fight behind that stance. Falcao is aggressive and likes to press forward looking to work combinations behind the right jab. He also frequently looks to counter with the straight left and will sit back in spots waiting for his opponent to throw to create counter opportunities.

    Pearson is a boxer-puncher who will look to use his legs and use the entire ring. He is athletic with good speed and possesses very fast hands. Pearson is going to look to box behind the right jab and land quick combinations behind that punch as Falcao attempts to close the distance.

    Will Falcao’s pressure and counterpunching ability neutralize the speed and athleticism of Pearson? This is a very fascinating matchup in what is frankly a toss-up fight. I am looking forward to seeing how it plays out.

    About The Canelo-Jacobs Undercard

    The undercard for Canelo-Jacobs has certainly been ravaged by some bad luck. First, the original proposed co-feature between David Lemieux (40-4, 34 KO’s) and John Ryder (27-4, 15 KO’s) was postponed when Lemieux came down with a right hand injury. And then a fight that was certain to be all action between Pablo Cesar Cano (32-7-1, 22 KO’s) and Michael Perez (25-3-2, 11 KO’s) was also postponed when Cano suffered a hand injury. So what are we left with? Well, to be honest, mostly showcase bouts for the “A” sides.

    The new co-feature showcases sizzling 140-pound prospect Vergil Ortiz Jr. (12-0, 12 KO’s) taking a step up in class against veteran Mauricio Herrera (24-8, 7 KO’s). Ortiz, 21, looks like the real deal. He has dynamic speed and blistering power. To say the sky is the limit for him would be an understatement.

    Herrera, 38, has seen his better days. He is just 2-3 in his last five fights and frankly is looking shopworn. In his prime, he was a slick boxer-puncher with excellent movement inside the ring. But in his recent fights he has been more of a stationary target and much easier to hit.

    While Herrera has never been knocked out, this is a fight where Ortiz not only needs to score a knockout but do so early. Ortiz has nothing to fear in regards to Herrera’s power and Herrera will be standing right in front of him all night long. It should be easy work for Ortiz and he needs to make the appropriate statement given his status on this event.

    Joseph Diaz (28-1, 14 KO’s) is coming off a tough 2018. First, he dropped a twelve round decision to WBC featherweight champion Gary Russell Jr. Then, accorded a second shot at a world featherweight title, he was unable to make weight. He out-pointed WBA title-holder Jesus Rojas, but could not claim the coveted title belt and made a bad impression by missing weight in such a critical fight.

    Diaz now fights at 130. He scored a solid win against Charles Huerta in February and now faces Freddy Fonseca on a bigger stage. Fonseca has a nice record of 26-2-1 with 17 KO’s but has fought very limited opposition. This is a spot where Diaz should shine and put on a dominant performance. Anything less would be unacceptable and drop his stock at a time when he can ill afford to do so.

    Speaking of Canelo-Jacobs…

    I am not going to give my prediction at this time. It will come later in the week when the other TSS writers have their say. But I want to point out a few subtle factors that will go a long way in determining the winner.

    There is nobody in boxing today who commits to going to the body with as much ferocity as well as consistency as Canelo Alvarez. He will beat his opponent’s ribcage from the first round until the end of the fight. This calculated attack often wears down and softens up his opposition as the fight progresses.

    It is not inconceivable that this fight could be very close after six rounds. And this is where the body assault for Canelo could come into play down the stretch. Jacobs has never faced an opponent who goes to the body as well as Canelo and how he responds will be critical.

    Will the cumulative effect of the body punches impact Jacobs’ movement? Will it take a lot of zap from his punches? If Jacobs becomes more of a stationary target and can’t get Canelo’s respect, the second half of the fight could be all one-way traffic for Canelo.

    Canelo’s commitment to going to his opponent’s body, particularly with the left hook, is one of his strengths, but it also can create plenty of countering opportunities for his opponent. This especially came to light when Canelo fought Mayweather and Golovkin.

    The openings will be there for Jacobs to land the counter right when Canelo dips down to throw the left hook to the body. Often times when fighters face Canelo, they become too defensive and focused on blocking the body shots without looking towards their own offense. What will Jacobs do? He does have an excellent quick right hand and if he is willing to stand in there he can certainly land that punch flush. Particularly early when he is fresh, Jacobs could be very dangerous with this punch.

    Finally, with a big third fight with Golovkin looming ahead, a massive big money legacy fight, one must ask if Canelo will be fully focused. There is no doubt that he is training hard and preparing for a tough fight, but with something so big on the horizon it’s only human nature to glance ahead. And sometimes in boxing, as well as sports in general, when a not-100% focused fighter or team fails to bring their “A” game it is ripe to be upset.

    Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel

  • #2
    I'm looking forward to the Canelo-Jacobs predictions.

    Seems like a VERY evenly matched world title fight.

    No weight manipulations, no obvious diva demands.


    • #3
      I'm mot going tp pay PPV for that crap of an undercard. No way José.


      • #4
        It's an incredibly weak undercard for a PPV event. Just shows you how big Canelo has become, much to the surprise of Anglos of the Baby Boom generation.


        • Kid Blast
          Kid Blast commented
          Editing a comment
          If Lemieux had not been injured, IU would pay.

      • #5
        DAZN is considered to be PPV?


        • Kid Blast
          Kid Blast commented
          Editing a comment
          Good point. No I guess but you still have to pay.

      • #6
        Originally posted by Kid Blast View Post
        I'm mot going tp pay PPV for that crap of an undercard. No way José.
        The undercard is very bad. It will remain to be seen if this is how DAZN/Golden Boy handle such future big events.

        I will admit I was looking forward to Cano-Perez as at least that would have been quite entertaining.