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Who Will Win the Canelo-Jacobs Fight? 15 TSS Writers Give Their Picks 

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Canelo vs Jacobs

Mexican superstar Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and middleweight title-holder Daniel “Miracle Man” Jacobs collide on Saturday, May 4, at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. As is our custom whenever there is a mega-fight, we reached out to our community of writers to get their predictions. Our reach extended to our colleagues at our Spanish-language sister sites.

Predictably, there was a strong lean to Alvarez, the betting favorite, but Jacobs had his supporters and they made some provocative points.

Comic book cover artist ROB AYALA, whose specialty is combat sports, provided the graphic. Check out more of Rob Ayala’s illustrations at his web site fight posium.

The correspondents are listed alphabetically.

Gilda Aburto

A majority of people in the boxing business think Canelo will win, but Jacobs won’t be a piece of candy. Jacobs has a good defense, throws powerful combinations, he can fight in and out, and has proved he can go the distance. In order to win, Jacobs will have to pressure Canelo from the opening bell. Some say he doesn’t have a chance if the fight goes to the scorecards with the fight being held in Las Vegas, but JACOBS has everything that it takes to get a sound victory on Saturday.

J.J. Alvarez

Jacobs is taller, faster, stronger and has superior movement inside the ring. But his skills may be receding. In his last fight against Sergiy Derevyanchenko, the man who defeated cancer lacked potency behind his strikes and the ability to maintain the volume of his punches. The Mexican is strong and resilient, possessing a left hook which is his most lethal weapon. This will be the biggest concern for Jacobs defensively from start to finish. And due to his superior stature, his torso will be easily targeted by his opponent’s most devastating weapon. CANELO by decision.

Matt Andrzejewski

The signs all point to a JACOBS  upset. He possesses the type of movement that can give all sorts of issues to Canelo. In addition, I think Jacobs will land his counter right with consistency when Canelo attempts to throw to the body. It’s a bad style matchup for Canelo. Jacobs by clear cut unanimous decision.

Rick Assad

Because of his height and reach advantage and his punching power, Jacobs, the Brooklyn, New York native, could cause Alvarez problems throughout. But CANELO will work the body and counterpunch effectively and should prevail in the late rounds, say the 10th or 11th.

Bernard Fernandez

If professional boxing were like Olympic boxing, Daniel Jacobs would be, barring the standard and reprehensible corruption often seen at those quadrennial world events, a good bet to come away with no better than a bronze medal. But unless Gennady Golovkin has aged faster than most people think, and Canelo Alvarez’s skill set is not as outsized as his popularity, Jacobs will continue to be slotted in as the No. 3 guy at 160 pounds. It’s competitive, but call it CANELO by unanimous decision.

Jeffrey Freeman

JACOBS SD 12:  By now, most knowledgeable observers can see how good Canelo is and what it will take to beat him. Danny Jacobs has the right stuff—superior size, an edge in punching power, and arguably better boxing skills. If Jacobs can finally put it all together and stay off the canvas for twelve rounds against the best counterpuncher in boxing, he will be rewarded with a split decision victory, all the title belts, and an even bigger bucks rematch with the biggest money fighter in the game. Sure, Canelo (and Oscar) will insist he won and jaded fans will give him no sympathy regardless, but it will be Alvarez laughing all the way to the bank as he and Jacobs lay the groundwork for a middleweight championship trilogy on DAZN.

Miguel Iturrate

I think Daniel Jacobs has a chance. He is a skilled boxer and if he has a good horse under him and can keep moving he could convince the judges he did more. It would be interesting to see a version of Jacobs like we did against Peter Quillin, where he came out ruthless and mean. We will see, it is Vegas, and it is Cinco de Mayo, which is “Canelo” day basically. But JACOBS is longer, taller and has a high boxing IQ. Canelo shouldn’t be too comfortable leaving it to the judges.

Lazaro Malvarez

We are in the presence of an enticing fight, but not necessarily a good one. Jacobs, with a large purse secured for retirement, may not be very aggressive, giving Canelo opportunities to gain confidence and land significant strikes which will be responded to by roaring support from the crowd. The red headed boxer from Guadalajara is currently at the peak of his career. He’s the king of the party and business must go on. Only a miracle could have the “Miracle Man” leaving victorious on May 4th. CANELO by decision.

Kelsey McCarson

Despite his tremendous accomplishments, Alvarez is still just 28 years old. The scariest thing about that is that he always seems to be improving as a prizefighter, at least since he lost to Floyd Mayweather by decision in 2013. I don’t expect that to change on Saturday, so I’m picking CANELO by decision. Jacobs is a very good middleweight. He has a tremendous back story and will use his excellent skills to give Alvarez a tough test. But Alvarez is one of the best counterpunchers in boxing, and once he starts letting his hands go, Jacobs will have little to rely on but his jab. Alvarez will land the cleaner, harder punches and the judges will have a pretty easy fight to score.

Matt McGrain

I’d like to see Jacobs hold the line a little bit more than he did against Golovkin.  Alvarez is a dangerous puncher. He’s nothing like as thudding as GGG but the Mexican is probably every bit as good at finding his man when he moves.  If Jacobs turns consistently to squabbling on the backfoot he’ll get out-picked by consistent hitting.  If he can hold the line I make this a 50.50 fight.  However, I expect CANELO to start moving Jacobs later in the fight with the cards in the balance. The American will drop a narrow but just decision.

Sean Nam

Daniel Jacobs may have all the physical attributes to beat Saul Alvarez. He is bigger and just as quick, if not quicker. He also knows how to switch stances intelligently and carries above-average punching power. But his last two fights, close decisions over Sergiy Derevyanchenko and Maciej Sulecki, revealed just where Jacobs is: a very good middleweight, but not great. Against, Alvarez, he will need to be busy every round. That the fight is taking place in Alvarez’s adopted hometown of Las Vegas pretty much ensures that Jacobs will need a knockout to win — but that is far more unlikely than the fight going to the cards. CANELO by split decision.

Ted Sares

Jacobs will come in looking much bigger than CANELO as he rehydrates like David Lemieux, but that won’t save him from Canelo’s pressure and especially Canelo’s body work. I look for a late stoppage in the redhead’s favor. Danny’s corner may have to save him from himself.

Phil Woolever

Jacobs seems prepared to perform much better than predicted by the majority of oddsmakers who currently list him at around a 3 or 4 to 1 underdog, but much of that depends on how Alvarez, who looks like he’s getting even better, shows up on fight night. As the saying goes regarding motivational money, CANELO has millions of reasons to be at his best for this contest and I think he’ll respond looking stronger than ever.

The Last Words

For our final thoughts we turn to TSS West Coast Bureau Chief David Avila and to Dino da Vinci, a man who needs no introduction.

AVILA: Unless someone scores a knockdown I see it as a very even fight. I am picking a draw.

da VINCI: Canelo begins his ascent to claim Floyd’s P-4-P King status.

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Looking at the Heavyweight Calendar (Odds Review)

Miguel Iturrate

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Joshua vs Ruiz

This past Saturday night saw Deontay Wilder’s WBC world heavyweight title defense against Dominic Breazeale go down on Showtime. The fight lasted just 137 seconds as Wilder floored Breazeale with a cannonball of a right hand to end the night early.

With Wilder out of the way, Anthony Joshua vs Andy Ruiz Jr is up next. They meet June 1st at Madison Square Garden. Two weeks later, on the 15th of June, ESPN+ will deliver Tyson Fury vs Tom Schwarz, so fight fans will get a look at all three members of the “Big Three” all in a month’s time.

Wilder’s erasure of Breazeale this past weekend sent a message to the rest of the division as well as giving him a highlight reel to show during upcoming negotiations. Wilder entered a strong -1000 favorite at the sportsbooks for this fight.

Check out our pre-fight review of the Wilder vs Breazeale odds right here at TSS –

http://tss.ib.tv/boxing/featured-articles/57588-wilder-vs-breazeale-odds-review

Looking forward, the odds posted for Joshua and Fury’s upcoming tussles are even less competitive. Let’s take a look at what the books are giving us as we await the two big Brits fighting in the USA.

Madison Square Garden – New York City – Saturday, June 1, 2019

Heavyweight 12 rounds –

Andy Ruiz Jr +1500 Over 6½ +100

Anthony Joshua -3000 Under 6½ -130

Ruiz Jr is 32-1 overall with his lone loss coming at the hands of Joseph Parker in a failed WBO world title bid. That same WBO belt is now in the hands of Joshua as are the WBA and IBF belts.

Joshua was a big favorite over Jarrell Miller, his original opponent, who was denied a license in New York after testing positive for a buffet of steroids. Ruiz Jr took the fight with less than a full training camp, but you have to believe that he is going to come in highly motivated. Ruiz Jr has been caught at a different type of buffet, the all-you-can-eat kind, but even when in the best of shape his body type isn’t “poster boy material.” Miller was big and bulky as well, but he was a near 300 pounder whereas Ruiz Jr will come in between 250 and 260 pounds, which is right around Joshua’s size. Rather than slaying a 300-pound giant, he is facing a guy who is shorter and fatter than him, making it very hard for Joshua to look great on paper.

At +1500 will people bite on Ruiz Jr? He is more experienced than Miller and he is probably a better fighter overall and though he is facing a formidable champion, Joshua is not a finished product. Perhaps Joshua will be chasing an early finish, feeling the pressure of Wilder’s performance, and if so will he make a mistake that Ruiz can exploit? We are roughly 10 days from finding out.

MGM Grand Garden – Las Vegas, Nevada – Saturday, June 15, 2019

Heavyweight 12 rounds –

Tom Schwarz +1800 Over 9½ -105

Tyson Fury -3600 Under 9½ -125

Tyson Fury closes out the run of top heavyweights with a very deliberately chosen showcase fight against Tom Schwarz. Schwarz is 24 years old and 24-0 but he is a fighter who has come up on the regional German scene and as the old boxing cliche goes, there are levels to this game.

Former contender David Haye mounted a 2016 comeback, booking fights against Mark De Mori (30-1-2) and Arnold Gjergjaj (29-0). It took Haye precisely 6:42 to dispose of both of them, and though Fury is a completely different beast than Haye, the level difference between he and Schwarz may be even as striking.

Wilder has gotten through his “challenge” and if Fury and Joshua also emerge as winners as expected, it will leave several open questions –

– Will Fury vs Wilder 2 happen first, or will Wilder vs Joshua go down first? Could Joshua and Fury meet and freeze Wilder out?

And….

– Will we see any of these fights take place in 2019?

If Joshua or Fury stumble, it will only add to the chaos in the heavyweight division. But if the professional oddsmakers know anything, it isn’t likely to happen.

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Three Punch Combo: An Early Look at Inoue-Donaire and Under the Radar Fights

Matt Andrzejewski

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Inoue vs Donaire

THREE PUNCH COMBO — This past Saturday, Naoya Inoue (18-0, 16 KO’s) punched his ticket to the bantamweight final in the World Boxing Super Series when he impressively knocked out Emmanuel Rodriguez in the second round of their scheduled 12-round fight. The win sets up a showdown with veteran Nonito Donaire (40-5, 26 KO’s) who punched his ticket to the final with an impressive knockout of Stephon Young last month.

As expected, Inoue has opened as a monstrous favorite in the betting markets. While this suggests a one-sided wipeout, I have some other thoughts.

Inoue is pound for pound one of, if not the, hardest puncher in the sport today and put that power on full display in his destruction of Rodriguez in the semi-finals. But having enormous power does not make him indestructible.

In watching that fight against Rodriguez, there were clearly flaws on display on the defensive side of Inoue’s game. For one, Inoue does not move his head at all and as such can be hit. Rodriguez landed several clean punches on Inoue in the first round. And Inoue frequently keeps his hands low looking to bait opponents into throwing to set up counter opportunities. It has worked so far but could be something he pays for down the road.

Donaire is a smart and skilled fighter and though he is 36, his last few fights have shown that he still has plenty left in the tank. Moreover, he possesses one thunderous left hook and has always been at his best when fighting below 122. He has all the capabilities to expose Inoue’s flaws and a left hook that can alter the course of a fight as we have seen him doing plenty of times in the past.

Unlike a lot of people, I do not consider Donaire to be another layup for Inoue. There is real danger in this fight for Inoue if he does not make changes to his game. Donaire has starched big punching rising stars before and I would not discount his chances to expose the significant defensive flaws in Inoue’s game.

 Under The Radar Fight

Boxing returns to ESPN on Saturday with a card from Kissimmee, FL headlined by 130- pound champion Masayuki Ito (25-1-1, 13 KO’s) who is making the second defense of his title against former US Olympian Jamel Herring (19-2, 10 KO’s). While I think this should be an excellent fight, the co-feature, which is flying deep under the radar, should be even better.

In this fight, former two division world champion Jose Pedraza (25-2, 12 KO’s) makes his return to the ring after losing his lightweight title to Vasiliy Lomachenko in December to face Antonio Lozada (40-2-1, 34 KO’s). Given their respective styles, this fight at the very least will provide plenty of sustained action.

Appropriately nicknamed “The Sniper,” Pedraza at his best is a precision puncher. A boxer-puncher by trade, he uses subtle movement inside the ring to create angles that are used to land sharp power shots on his opposition. He is also a very good inside fighter and will shift around on the inside to once again set up just the right angle to land his power shots with maximum efficiency. But despite being a good inside fighter, Pedraza has a tendency to stay in the pocket a bit too long which leaves him open to getting hit.

Lozada is best known for his upset TKO win against one-time blue-chip prospect Felix Verdejo in March of 2018. However, he failed to build momentum off that win and is coming off a lackluster split draw his last time out to 12-7-1 journeyman Hector Ruben Ambriz Suarez.

Lozada certainly does not have the technical proficiency of Pedraza. He is slow and plodding. But what he does bring to the table is relentless pressure combined with a high volume of punches. He will press forward, recklessly at times, winging punches consistently hoping to wear down his opposition through attrition.  As such, he tends to get hit a lot and can be involved in shootouts.

Cleary, Pedraza is the more skilled fighter, but given Lozada’s all-offensive mindset as well as Pedraza’s willingness to stay in the pocket, the leather is all but guaranteed to be flying from the opening bell. Neither are big punchers either so I suspect we see a fight that goes rounds providing many exciting exchanges and one that could certainly steal the show on Saturday.

Another Under The Radar Fight

Also on Saturday, Fox Sports 1 will televise a card from Biloxi, MS featuring a crossroads fight between former 154-pound champion Austin Trout (31-5, 17 KO’s) and former US Olympian Terrell Gausha (21-1, 10 KO’s). But it is another 154-pound fight on the undercard that is receiving almost no coverage that I want to highlight. It pits Chordale Booker (14-0, 7 KO’s) against Wale Omotoso (27-3, 21 KO’s).

Booker turned pro in 2016 after a successful amateur career and has kept up a fairly busy schedule. He is coming off a dominating 8-round unanimous decision over veteran Juan De Angel in January and now is taking a big jump up in his caliber of opposition in facing Omotoso.

Booker, a southpaw, likes to press forward behind a stinging right jab. He possesses elite level hand speed and likes to use that jab to set up quick power punching combinations. Booker is also an excellent counter puncher and possesses a very potent right hook coming from that southpaw stance. He will often hold his left low to bait his opponents into opening up to set up counter opportunities. However, he has also been clipped by his share of left hooks fighting in this manner and this is something he will need to tighten up against Omotoso. So just how will Booker respond to Omotoso’s pressure and heavy handed body attack? Depending on the answer, we will either see Booker step up to the next level or get exposed. And that’s what makes this fight so intriguing to me

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Serhii Bohachuk KOs Mexico’s Freddy Hernandez in Hollywood

David A. Avila

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in Hollywood

HOLLYWOOD, Calif.-Super welterweight prospect Serhii Bohachuk got his first taste of upper tier boxing from Mexico’s Freddy Hernandez and gave him his best Sunday punch to win by knockout.

Bohachuk (14-0, 14 KOs) showed the excited Hollywood crowd he’s more than ready for former world title challengers like Hernandez (34-11, 22 KOs) or maybe even the current contenders with an exuberant display of pressure fighting at the Avalon Theater.

The smiling Ukrainian fighter has been steadily attracting fans to the 360 Promotions fight cards.

Trained by Abel Sanchez, the lanky and pale Bohachuk – whose nickname “El Flaco” fits perfectly – always moved forward against Mexico City’s Hernandez who has made a reputation of being crafty despite the strength of competition. With Bohachuk constantly applying pressure the Mexican fighter used the first round to touch and feel his way around the Ukrainian bomber.

In the second round a sharp counter right floored Hernandez who quickly got up and resumed the contest. It looked like the end was near until Hernandez caught Bohachuk with a solid right cross. It was a warning shot well heeded by Bohachuk.

Both fighters exchanged vigorously in the third round with the Ukrainian fighter’s youth a definite advantage. Hernandez was able to display his fighting tools more effectively in the third round but could it be enough?

Bohachuk was clearly the heavier-handed fighter but was finding it difficult to connect solidly against the Mexican veteran. But in the fifth round Bohachuk lowered his gun sights and targeted the body with a left hook that dropped Hernandez.  The fight was stopped by referee Wayne Hedgepeth at 1:40 of the fifth round.

Other Bouts

A battle of super featherweights saw Rialto, California’s Adrian Corona (5-0) rally from behind to defeat Florida’s Canton Miller (3-3-1) by split decision after six rounds.

Corona had problems with Miller’s speed in the first two rounds and was unable to track the moving fighter’s direction. But in the third round Corona began to apply more aggressive measures against Miller and was especially effective with lead rights. The momentum changed quickly.

Miller switched from orthodox to southpaw and it served to pause Corona’s momentum, but he seldom scored with solid blows. Though Miller landed quick soft blows, Corona was landing with strong shots and convinced two of the three judges that he was the winner by 58-56 twice. A third judge saw Miller the victor by the same score 58-56.

“It’s not my job to judge the judges,” said Miller. “It’s my job to just fight.”

Corona was happy with the victory.

“I could have put the pressure on him a little more,” said Corona. “It was a very technical fight and he put on a great fight.”

Other Bouts

George Navarro (6-0-1, 2 KOs) knocked out Cesar Sustaita (3-5) with a perfect overhand right that disabled the senses and forced referee Raul Caiz Jr. to halt the fight at 1:37 of the first round.

“I worked hard to prepare for this fight,” said Navarro.

A super bantamweight clash saw Humberto Rubalcava (10-1, 7 KOs) knock out Daniel Constantino (3-3-2) and win by knockout after a flurry of a dozen blows went unanswered. Referee Angel Mendez stopped the battering at 1:39 of the first round.

Photo credit: Al Applerose

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