Canelo Alvarez vs. Daniel Jacobs: Roundup of Expert Picks for the Superfight

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistMay 3, 2019

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 15: Canelo Alvarez celebrates his third round tko against Rocky Fielding during their WBA super middleweight title fight at Madison Square Garden on December 15, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Tom Hogan/Golden Boy/Getty Images)
Tom Hogan/Getty Images

Saul "Canelo" Alvarez and Daniel Jacobs will meet on Saturday in a middleweight unification superfight that's been hailed by many as boxing's biggest bout of 2019 so far.

The pair will face off at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, and the expert picks have rolled in thick and fast approaching such a highly anticipated bout.

IBF middleweight titleholder Jacobs beat Serhiy Derevianchenko via split decision in October to take the vacant belt, while Canelo will put his WBA (Super), WBC, The Ring and lineal middleweight belts on the line.

All pre-fight signs suggest Canelo will add to his collection of crowns when he returns to Las Vegas on Saturday, although there are experts out there who back "Miracle Man" for a mighty upset. 

      

Expert and Pro Picks

Neither boxer is short on support heading into what promises to be a special matchup between two supreme talents. Jacobs has had 37 fights and lost only twice in his career, although Canelo's monstrous record of 54-1-2 is practically unparalleled in today's sport, certainly at middleweight.

ESPN writer Dan Rafael wrote that he felt the judges will play a big factor considering the panel is made up of those same names who awarded him a majority-decision victory over Gennady Golovkin in September. Rafael predicts Jacobs will last 12 rounds, but his display won't be enough to convince on the cards, and ESPN host Max Kellerman agreed.

Boxers turned ESPN analysts Timothy Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez also backed Alvarez to triumph on Saturday, albeit by knockout and split decision, respectively.

Presenter Stephen A. Smith threw his support behind Canelo and recently said the Mexican star's counter-punching would be key against Jacobs, who holds a three-inch reach and height advantage:

Jacobs, 32, has lost only twice in his career and is one of only five fighters who have gone the distance against former WBA (Super), WBC, and IBO middleweight champion Golovkin (a unanimous-decision loss).

Alvarez is also among that number and managed to do so on two occasions (one draw, one win), and two-time super featherweight world champion Gervonta Davis ranked him at the top of the pound-for-pound charts:

It's been six years since Alvarez, 28, suffered the only defeat of his career to date against Floyd Mayweather Jr. Standing at just under six feet, Jacobs offers a different kind of dilemma and has the knockout potential to upset his superstar opponent.

One person backing bone cancer survivor Jacobs for a major shock is Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn.

Although he has clear bias in backing his own fighter, Hearn spoke passionately of why he felt Jacobs has the heart to end Canelo's reign, via TalkSport's Michael Benson:

Former super middleweight world champion Badou Jack spoke to the Mayweather Boxing Channel (some language NSFW) and said he was rooting for Jacobs. However, he echoed the opinion that Alvarez will not lose if it's left up to the judges.

Andre Ward has shown his expertise as an analyst since retiring as a boxer in June 2017, and he feels Jacobs has the capacity to shock Canelo.

He told FightHype.com"Danny has to come in there with his mind made up, that he's not OK with losing a close decision. He has to make up his mind that 'I'm going to walk through fire to get what I'm trying to get and I'm not leaving here without it.' If he has that mindset, he's going to be a hard man to beat."

Least surprising of all is the fact Jacobs himself feels he has the power to defeat Alvarez on Cinco de Mayo, via Sky Sports:

Jacobs will attempt to become the first middleweight to beat Alvarez in Vegas on Saturday, and he'll continue to fight against the odds as the experts lean in favour of Canelo to take the victory.

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