• He is still a top-three middleweight in boxing.
• But he’s only third, with no immediate sign of progression of 160 pounds.
• He should move up to super middleweight.
The latter was made obvious during fight week. Sure, Jacobs made weight. However, the two agreed to weigh no more than 170 pounds on fight morning, and Jacobs tipped the scale at 173.6 pounds, a fine that would cost him a reported near $900,000 - $250,000 for each pound – though, the Miracle Man was also reportedly guaranteed to bank $10 million, even in defeat.
Alvarez outpointed Jacobs by a narrow score of 115-113 and two tallies of 116-112, respectively, taking home the WBC, WBA, IBF, and Ring Magazine Middleweight World Championships as a result.
Given the tenor of the action largely driven by Canelo’s defense and Jacobs’ inability to hit his opponent on a consistent basis, it was hard to make a case in the Brooklyn native’s favor.
Furthermore, given the historical context of Canelo-related controversial decisions – his “draw” and “victory” in two fights with Gennady Golovkin, his “draw” with Floyd Mayweather, according to one judge, and his “wide-margin of victory” over Miguel Cotto all serving as prime examples – Jacobs’ hopes of winning wouldn’t have come from the scorecards in all likelihood.
“I have to go back to look at the tapes to see exactly what the judges thought,” said Jacobs after the fight. “They said to me that I was up, so I was still pushing forward because I wanted to finish strong.
“He’s a tremendous champion and I tip my hat to him,” he added. “I gave my all out there. You’ll see Daniel Jacobs bigger and better next time.”
Ideally, bigger and better means at the 168-pound division, which is tailored for Jacobs, now 32 years old, to do some damage and become a two-weight world champion.
Jacobs insists that despite weighing 173.6 pounds Saturday morning – likely closer to 180 around fight time – he didn’t feel any different.
“I’m just a naturally big middleweight,” he said. “I made the sacrifice of coming in 173 and paying a hefty fine for it but end of the day, I made sacrifices. The journey is not over.”
Jacobs’ only two losses since 2010 have been closely scored decisions in favor of both Alvarez and Golovkin, the latter of which took place at Madison Square Garden in March of 2017 before GGG and Canelo engaged in their own rivalry marred by dissension and dollars.
If he can’t beat the best at middleweight, though his loss to GGG is especially debatable, Jacobs should step-up to 168, where the champions are frankly more beatable. Additionally, it would be easier for a 32-year-old Jacobs to cut eight fewer pounds ahead of weigh-ins.
The current 168-pound champions are Callum Smith (WBA Super, 25-0, 18 KOs), Caleb Plant (IBF, 18-0, 10 KOs), and Alvarez, who owns the WBA regular world title.
Anthony Dirrell (33-1-1, 24 KOs) and David Benavidez (21-0, 18 KOs) are supposed to compete for the WBC Championship later in 2019, while Billy Joe Saunders (27-0, 13 KOs) faces Shefat Isufi (27-3-2, 20 KOs) for the WBO title on May 18.
Outside of Alvarez, an argument could be made that Jacobs would be favored in every possible world title clash at 168 pounds, or at the very least have a good chance at winning.
At middleweight, Jacobs is looking at rematches with Alvarez or Golovkin, which could be difficult to sell, or a bout with either WBO champion Demetrius Andrade (27-0, 17 KOs), with whom Jacobs shares the same promotional company in Matchroom Boxing, or WBA Regular champion Rob Brant (25-1, 17 KOs).
Jacobs has shown in recent bouts that he clearly has much more to give to the sport. Though, the recent losses may distort fans and media outlook, Jacobs’ performances highlight that he’s at least on the backend of his prime. His age would relay a similar message.
It’s common for fighters to move up in weight as they attempt to age gracefully. There’s no better time for Jacobs to experiment than right now.