Canelo Alvarez announced Thursday that he would be fighting Daniel Jacobs on Cinco de Mayo weekend in a fight meant to unify their middleweight world championship titles.
Alvarez currently holds the WBA middleweight crown, while Jacobs is the IBF champion in that weight division.
Canelo Seeks Undisputed Status
While Jacobs (35-2, 29 KOs) is not as well-known as Alvarez or Gennady Golovkin, he is widely considered to be the third-best middleweight in the world. Jacobs has previously fought Golovkin, losing a close unanimous decision in March 2017 in what has been considered one of the toughest fights of GGG’s career.
That means the May 4 fight isn’t likely to be a walkover for Alvarez (51-1-2, 35 KOs), who himself narrowly earned a majority decision over Golovkin on Sept. 15. But in announcing the fight, Alvarez expressed confidence that he would earn a victory that would take him one step closer to his ultimate goal.
“I will unify my middleweight titles against Daniel Jacobs on one of the two most important dates that belong to me,” Canelo said, speaking of Cinco de Mayo. “I have no doubt that I will be victorious and that I’ll be one step away from becoming the undisputed middleweight world champion.”
This will be the second fight for Alvarez since signing a $365 million deal with streaming service DAZN. On Dec. 15, Alvarez knocked out Rocky Fielding to win the WBA super middleweight title as well, though he has said that he plans to continue fighting mainly in the 160-pound division.
Jacobs Believes He Belongs
Jacobs earned his middleweight crown by defeating Sergiy Derevyanchenko by split decision in a fight for the vacant IBF title. That title had previously belonged to Golovkin, but it was stripped after GGG refused to fight Derevyanchenko, the IBF’s mandatory challenger.
For Jacobs, stepping into the ring with Alvarez gives him the opportunity to make a case that he is the top fighter in the division.
“I have always believed I can beat Canelo,” Jacobs said. “It’s going to be a huge event where I believe I will cement myself as the best middleweight in the division.”
Alvarez Favored, But Jacobs Has Hope
Jacobs isn’t the only one who thinks he can win, either. Roy Jones Jr. told Fight Hub TV that he believes Jacobs has a stylistic advantage thanks to being the larger fighter.
“Danny’s gonna pick his shots on the [outside] and do what he wants to do on the [outside],” Jones said. “So the advantage fighting-wise, stylistically, goes to Danny. But that don’t mean Danny gonna win, but that’s who I think stylistically has the advantage.”
While many sportsbooks have yet to put a line on the fight, those that have decided to do so have made Alvarez a solid favorite. Irish bookmaker Paddy Power has Alvarez as a 2/5 pick, while Jacobs is fetching 15/8 odds.