It’s a compelling fight that finds Canelo taking on arguably the toughest test in the middleweight division in only the second fight of his record breaking $365 million deal with streaming service DAZN. Jacobs represents a different challenge than the one Canelo faced against Gennady Golovkin on two occasions. He’s bigger and faster than GGG, which could give the IBF middleweight champion some distinct advantages over his Mexican opponent. Not to mention that there are those who believe Jacobs defeated GGG more definitively than Canelo despite Canelo being the only individual to have a win against the hard-hitting Kazakh fighter.
Oddsmakers have sided heavily in favor of Canelo, who can be found as much as a -500 favorite while Jacobs sits as high as a +378 underdog despite how both have looked against GGG in recent fights.
Simply put, it’s not advised to bet on Canelo with the line sitting the way it is. Jacobs is absolutely a live dog in this fight and certainly being disrespected by the sportsbooks. But let’s dig a little deeper into the two fighters and figure out where the value is.
Canelo has improved tremendously over the past few years. He possesses undoubtedly the best portfolio of opponents for an active fighter with the likes of Floyd Mayweather, Erislandy Lara, Miguel Cotto, Amir Khan, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., Austin Trout and the aforementioned Golovkin.
The lessons he’s learned against those names have been applied in every fight thereafter. He’s become a remarkable counterpuncher with an exceptional ability to adjust on the fly. He can do just about everything well and has showcased a special set of tools that can upend any fighter. On the other hand, despite only having one official loss on his record, he’s has a few fights that could have gone the other way. Both fights against GGG and his narrow decision against Lara immediately come to mind as fights that could have ended in losses. Nevertheless, he’s proven to be one of the best boxers in the world who has been adamant in facing the best the sport has to offer as a 28-year-old who is just now entering his physical prime.
But is he a -500 good against Jacobs?
Plain and simple, the answer is no.
Jacobs is very talented and proven his worth as the IBF champion. Somehow, he’s flown under the radar. His only other loss was to Dmitry Pirog in 2010, but he was facing more than the opponent across the ring as his grandmother passed just a few days before the fight and played a major role in Jacobs’ mental state that night. His well-documented battle with cancer in 2012 is also something to consider because it has only strengthened his will to win.
Jacobs is going to give Canelo all he can handle on May 4th with his underrated boxing ability, speed and power certain to present the Mexican with a look that he hasn’t dealt with yet. It’s going to come down to activity as Canelo often likes to fight in sports while seeking opportunities to counter while Jacobs is always looking to press the action while utilizing his size and reach to keep his opponents just outside of range.
Few believe that Jacobs can win a decision in Las Vegas considering that Canelo has squeezed out narrow victories against Lara and GGG in Nevada while also managing to draw an even score on one judge’s scorecard in what appeared to be a clear unanimous decision loss to Floyd Mayweather. With that evidence, it’s hard to see Jacobs managing to convince the judges that he is the better man, no matter what he does.
And that’s where you should be looking if you decide to go with Canelo.
William Hill has Canelo as a -125 to defeat Jacobs by decision. Quite frankly, it’s hard to see Canelo stopping Jacobs when GGG couldn’t. Jacobs has been put down by the light hitting Sergio Mora, but that was due to Jacobs being overzealous in his attack. Aside from Pirog, nobody has been able to clearly rattle Jacobs in the ring. Roll with the decision because all of the evidence points in that direction.
Jacobs is fully capable of winning this fight and is certainly worth a roll of the dice as a +378 underdog over at BetOnline. Canelo has a great chin so it’s not likely that we’ll see Jacobs put him down, but it’s certainly possible that he can outwork him over the course of 12 rounds.
And then there’s the draw.
This should be a nip and tuck contest throughout with several rounds being very hard to score. It could lead to some scorecards being all over the place and a draw is certainly not out of the question. And at +2200 over at William H, why wouldn’t you take a shot at it.
This is an incredibly tough fight to pick but if you look at the history of Canelo in close fights you’ll see that Canelo by decision is the most likely outcome. But don’t be afraid to drop something on the draw.
Free Pick: Canelo by decision
Best Odds: William H (-125)