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Canelo Wins Strategic Battle Over Daniel Jacobs in Las Vegas

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  • Canelo Wins Strategic Battle Over Daniel Jacobs in Las Vegas

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    By David A. Avila

    LAS VEGAS-Mexico’s Saul “Canelo” Alvarez won a tactical battle by unanimous decision over Brooklyn’s Daniel Jacobs that saw several changes over 12 rounds. But now the red head adds the IBF title to his collection of middleweight belts on Saturday.

    WBA and WBC titlist Alvarez (52-1-2, 35 KOs) showed the sold out crowd of 20,203 at T-Mobile Arena that the smaller guy can indeed beat the bigger guy Jacobs (35-3, 29 KOs) even though he weighed four pounds more than the contracted weight. It really didn’t matter.

    Despite the extra pounds it didn’t prove an advantage for Jacobs who was tentative in the beginning as was Alvarez. But in the second round both began to target the body and the fight slipped into a more aggressive round.

    The speed of Alvarez began to tell as he connected with shots to the body and head. And when he felt even more comfortable in the fourth round, the Mexican middleweight began to show off his defensive skills by slipping various combinations fired by Jacobs. The crowd of predominantly Latino fans cheered the exhibition of defensive skill.

    “It took me a couple of rounds to get my wits about me. Because he is a pot shotter. He’s a fast guy,” explained Jacobs.

    Jacobs changed the strategy of the fight in the fifth round by changing into a southpaw. The move stalled Alvarez’s rhythm and the fight slowed to a crawl. A wicked left cross connected by Jacobs flush to Alvarez’s jaw. It was the Brooklyn fighter’s best punch of the night.

    “It was a hard shot, no big deal I continued with my fight,” said Alvarez of the Jacob’s left cross.

    Whenever Jacobs used a southpaw stance Alvarez found success with a ramrod left jab. It was his best response to the Jacob tactic. However the crowd did not like the tactic because of the lack of action in produced.

    From the 10th round on Alvarez used his quicker hand speed to fire off combinations that kept Jacobs from returning fire. Though the Mexican middleweight was landing combinations whenever Jacobs fought from an orthodox stance, he had problems with the lefty stance by the New Yorker.

    Jacobs never surrendered and managed to land shots, but never was he able to hurt Alvarez whose jaw had already been tested twice against the powerful Gennady “GGG” Golovkin in two prior fights. Canelo’s chin was intact and unbreakable against Jacobs. That proved to be a major difference.

    Alvarez was able to take chances knowing he could handle Jacobs power. He also knew he could slip Jacobs if necessary. After 12 rounds all three judges agreed that Alvarez was the winner 115-113 twice and 116-112. It was a clear and decisive verdict not bemoaned by Jacobs.

    “I have to go back and see exactly what the judges saw. He’s a tremendous champion and I take my hat off for him,” said Jacobs.

    The crowd departed the arena satisfied but not exactly ecstatic. Most expected a knockout by either fighter, not a decision.

    “It was a thinking fight. He’s a little heavier, it was the right style to fight him,” said Alvarez. “For sure it was a strategic fight. I had to think what to do but it was a matter of switching from left to right.”

    Sitting in the audience was former middleweight champion Golovkin. Alvarez was asked if Golovkin would be next on his list.

    “For me no, but if the people want it, we can do it again,” said Alvarez. “If the fight is right I’ll fight anyone.”

    Vergil

    Young firebrand Vergil Ortiz (13-0, 13 KOs) lowered the boom on veteran world title challenger Mauricio “El Maestro” Herrera (24-9, 7 KOs) to win by knockout in a fight held in the welterweight division. But only for this fight.

    Herrera had fought for the super lightweight world title before and many felt he won against Puerto Rico’s Danny Garcia back in 2014. But against the lean punching machine Ortiz it was a different matter.

    After a round of Herrera setting the pace with peppering shots to the body, Ortiz began opening up in the latter half of the second round. A sizzling right hand followed by several blows sent Herrera down at the end of the round. Herrera got up but looked slightly woozy.

    In the third round Ortiz was in full stalking mode and Herrera seemed a little groggy. Normally Herrera, who lives in trains in Riverside, Calif. like Ortiz, has shown an uncanny ability to slip punches. But Ortiz cornered Herrera and sent a right cross missile that connected solidly. Herrera was out before a left hook follow-up blow from Ortiz grazed the unconscious fighter. Referee Russell Mora stopped the fight at 29 seconds of round three.

    “I’m very satisfied with my performance. I spar world champions all the time,” said Ortiz after the win. “He was keeping his left hand down all the time. I had the fight figured out.”

    Despite the success at 147-pounds, Ortiz prefers to drop back to the 140 pound super lightweight limit.

    “I want to go back at 140 and get that world title,” said Ortiz who is from Texas but is trained in Riverside, CA, by Robert Garcia. “If they ask me to fight for a world title in two weeks I’ll take it right now.”

    Jojo

    Southern California’s Jojo Diaz (29-1, 15 KOs) opened up with a steady battering of Costa Rica’s Freddie Fonseca (26-3-1, 17 KOs) to prove he belongs at the 130-pound super featherweight division.

    “I’m able to take more chances and take more risks. At 126 my body would fatigue in the later rounds,” said Diaz a former 2012 USA Olympian. “I’m ready right away for a world title my next fight.”

    Diaz had twice fought for world titles in the featherweight division. In his last attempt he failed to make the required weight limit of 126 pounds last August 2018 against Puerto Rico’s Jesus Rojas. Though he won the fight he was unable to win the title.

    Lamont Roach Jr. (19-0-1, 7 KOs) took a beating early in the fight but slowly turned things around with distance, counter shots and a point deduction against Puerto Rico’s Jonathan Oquendo (30-6, 19 KOs) late in the fight. But after 10 grueling rounds Roach was given the unanimous decision 96-93 twice and 97-92 and keeps the NABO featherweight title.

    From the first round on Roach’s nose was bloodied by an Oquendo blow and was then hurt by body shots. Somehow he shrugged it off and began turning things around with smart fighting on the outside. Oquendo was deducted a point in the eighth round by referee Russell Mora for repeated head butts.

    Roach earned the win the hard way.

    “He is as tough as they come,” said Roach. “I’ve been hit in the face a lot of times. He hit me with a clean body shot.”

    New Jersey’s Anthony Young (21-2, 8 KOs) started fast and finished former world champion Sadam Ali (27-3, 14 KOs) to win a vacant regional welterweight title. Young pummeled former super welterweight world titlist Ali with a barrage of blows in the third round. More than 20 unanswered blows including a left hook to the temple forced referee Robert Byrd to end the fight by technical knockout at 2:38 of round three.

    “I saw his fight against (Mauricio) Herrera and he couldn’t pull the trigger,” said Young of Ali’s fight against Southern California’s Herrera in New York. “So when they offered the fight I jumped on it.”

    England’s John Ryder (28-4, 16 KOs) floored Australia’s Bilal Akkawy (21-1-1, 16 KOs) twice before referee Jay Nady stopped the fight giving the interim WBA super middleweight title to the British fighter. A left cross floored Akkawy in the third round and he beat the count. Then Ryder cornered the Aussie and fired a four-punch combination that sent Akkawy to the floor once again. The fight resumed and Ryder snapped Akkawy’s head back with a left uppercut forcing referee Jay Nady to halt the fight at 2:12 of round three.

    “I picked my shots and put him away,” said Ryder who fights out of London. “To fight in Las Vegas was amazing. To put on a performance like that, possibly the best of my career, makes it all the sweeter.”

    Russia’s Aram Avagyan (9-0-1) out-hustled Francisco Esparza (9-1-1) of Las Vegas over 10 rounds to win by unanimous decision in a featherweight fight. Both fighters engaged mostly on the inside with neither fighter hurting the other much. Avagyan won by scores 97-92, 96-93 twice to keep the title.

    “I executed the game plan,” said Avagyan.

    Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel

  • #2
    Nice fight, good scores. Great sportsmanship on display. If Jacobs had been able to pull out the final round, maybe it would have taken a little bit longer to add them judges score cards up and maybe just maybe they could've done something to get Danny KO's upset SD but in the end it obviously wasn't to be.

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