A potential candidate for fight of the year takes place on Saturday night with the middleweight unification clash between Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and Daniel Jacobs in Las Vegas.

Mexican star ‘Canelo’ Alvarez puts his WBC and WBA world titles on the line against IBF champion Jacobs at the T-Mobile Arena. Canelo is a clear favourite although he will certainly not be taking his dangerous American opponent lightly this weekend.

 

Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez

The 28-year-old, widely considered one of the pound for pound best boxers in the sport, has built a hugely impressive career with a record of 51 victories from his 54 professional bouts.

Canelo’s only loss to date came against the undefeated Floyd Mayweather Jr and he has come through unscathed against elite fighters including Gennady Golovkin over two engrossing fights.

Alvarez was beaten on points by Mayweather in 2013 but his defeat to arguably the greatest defensive boxer ever was nothing to be ashamed about.

He captured the WBC middleweight title one year later after a unanimous points decision against Miguel Cotto.

Amir Khan took a gamble against the Mexican in 2016 but the British boxer was stopped by Canelo in the sixth round of their contest.

Liam Smith was the next victim as he lost the WBO light-middleweight title after a ninth round knockout in Dallas.

The long-awaited unification clash against Golovkin took place two years ago in Vegas, ending in a controversial split decision despite many having the Kazakh ahead.

It set up a rematch last September which was initially delayed after Canelo failed two drugs tests.

Alvarez inflicted the first defeat of Golovkin’s career after a majority points victory in another result which split opinion.

Canelo stepped up to super middleweight in his last fight, knocking down Rocky Fielding four times during a third round stoppage in December’s New York bout but returns to his natural weight of 160 lbs this weekend.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 15: Canelo Alvarez reacts after the technical knock out of Rocky Fielding in their WBA Super Middleweight title bout at Madison Square Garden on December 15, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

 

Daniel Jacobs

Jacobs also comes in with an excellent record, winning 35 of his 37 fights.

The 32-year-old breezed through his early career until a shock fifth round stoppage defeat against Dmitry Pirog in 2010.

Jacobs was diagnosed with bone cancer in 2011 and made a remarkable recovery after his comeback the following year with a first round knockout of Josh Luteran.

‘Miracle Man’ Jacobs won the WBA world middleweight title in 2014 with a fifth round stoppage of Jarrod Fletcher in New York.

He clinched knockout wins over Sergio Mora, Caleb Truax and Peter Quillin before stepping up to face Golovkin in 2017. Golovkin took the unanimous decision although Jacobs was adamant he won the unification fight.

Jacobs won the vacant IBF world middleweight title in October after a split decision victory over Sergiy Derevyanchenko to set up this weekend’s unification showdown.

 

Canelo v Jacobs

Alvarez is the 1/4 favourite for the bout with Jacobs 3/1 to pull off the upset. The odds though do suggest this could be a close contest and Canelo will not have it all his own way in Vegas.

The hugely popular Mexican has 35 knockouts from his 51 wins and will be looking to make a statement with a big performance this weekend.

Jacobs has only been stopped once though and the skilful American has the ability to go the distance as he managed against Golovkin. His last four bouts have gone to the final bell and he will prove a durable opponent.

Canelo is the global star though and if it is a tight decision his exceptional workrate is likely to get the rounds in his favour, as we saw during his controversial fights against GGG.

His natural power and phenomenal hand speed is likely to catch the eyes of the judges and can build a lead on the scorecards which will be hard to be overturned.

Canelo is the rightful favourite and worth backing to unify the titles by defeating Jacobs on points to move within one win of becoming undisputed middleweight champion.

Tip: Alvarez to win by decision or technical decision at

Odds are correct at the time of posting

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