Canelo vs. Jacobs was perhaps not a wild, fireworks kind of fight. But it was an entertaining example of high level boxing, and a close battle between two world class fighters. Neither man imposed his will, but I had Canelo just controlling a bit more from round to round. One key differentiator was the Canelo defense, which was excellent, particularly early in the fight. He also seemed to land the harder power shots - though that impression might be impacted by Canelo’s impressive chin, as he at one point took a big, clean shot from Jacobs and didn’t seem phased at all. So I had it 115-113 Canelo, same as two judges. The third has it 116-112 meaning this is the exceptionally rare event in boxing - a Canelo fight with three reasonable scorecards. Wonders never cease.
Less reasonable was the announcing, which by round 8 was talking about how Jacobs had no prayer, which was completely ridiculous. Their lopsided favoritism for Canelo was bad - real bad. After the fight, De La Hoya spoke to the announce team, and his card was closer than the announcers - and when you have a more lopsided score on a Canelo fight than DE LA HOYA HIMSELF, you’ve got to rethink what you’re doing.
So what’s next for Canelo? Barring some weird Rocky Fielding-esque keep busy fight, it will be one of two men, both of whom are thankfully with DAZN. Option 1: the third Golovkin fight. Clearly this is the bigger money option. Option 2: Demetrius Andrade to unify all the Middleweight titles. That’s an interesting one for Canelo as he’d be heavily favored, but Andrade is tricky and could make it a tough night. If I had to guess, I’d wager it’s Canelo vs. someone random in September, then GGG 3 next Cinco de Mayo. Leaving GGG to deal with Andrade in the meantime. But time will tell.
Thoughts on the rest of the card:
- Vergil Ortiz ladies and gentlemen. He walked into this fight a heavily hyped up and comer, going against a tough, battle-tested veteran who had never been stopped. And he steamrolled him. Mauricio Herrera had absolutely nothing for Ortiz, going down in the 2nd, and then down for good in the 3rd. It was a great showing for Ortiz and puts him alongside fighters like Teofimo Lopez and Shakur Stevenson as the sport’s must-watch next gen prospects.
- It wouldn’t surprise me at all if that is the last time we see Herrera as he seemed out of his league here. And if so, must respect to him. Herrera will go down as a fighter who never fully got his due, as judge scorecards really robbed him, not once, but twice against first Danny Garcia and then Jose Benavidez. Many fighters complain about scoring, but there aren’t many who have as much to complain about as Herrera. If he’s done, then kudos to him for a good career.
- Joseph Diaz Jr.’s career had seemed to kind of stall out. With the Gary Russell loss, then some weight issues, much of his hype had dissipated. It’s back now. JoJo completely wiped out Freddy Fonseca here, just dominating him from the start before getting a slightly late but much needed TKO stoppage in the 7th round. Fonseca was never going to win this, so the hype for Diaz here is not just about winning, it’s about how he looked. High volume, heavy shots, great body work, and stopping an opponent who had never previously been stopped. Terrific showing, and in his second fight at 130 pounds, it’s clear JoJo is all the way back and ready for a major fight next time.
- JoJo vs. Tevin Farmer for the IBF title was the big fight discussed here, and that sounds like a great idea. Let’s do it.
- Lamont Roach Jr. kept his undefeated record alive with a win over Jonathan Oquendo. It wasn’t a terrible fight, but it wasn’t super exciting or memorable, and it was made worse by the absolutely, completely dead crowd. Seriously, this felt like it was in an empty arena (and it kind of was). A good crowd can make a fight something more, and here, they made it something significantly less.