After claiming a world title at super middleweight in December, Canelo Alvarez will return to the 160-pound division to defend his WBA (Super), WBC, The Ring and lineal middleweight titles against Daniel Jacobs on May 4. The venue has not been announced although it's expected that the fight will take place in Las Vegas, where Canelo has routinely fought during Cinco de Mayo weekend.
— Canelo Alvarez (@Canelo) January 17, 2019
The fight – which will be broadcast live on DAZN and serve as Canelo’s second fight of his historic 5-year, $365 million deal with the streaming service – will pit two of the top middleweights in the world against one another.
Canelo (51-1-2, 35 KOs) captured the WBA (Regular) super middleweight title when he stopped the overmatched Rocky Fielding in the third round with a series of body shots. The victory made him a world champion in his third weight class. However, Canelo was more interested in returning to the division where he unified the middleweight titles against Gennady Golovkin last September. Although there was speculation that Canelo could face GGG for a third time in May, another contender emerged.
"I'm happy to announce my next fight during the festive weekend of Cinco de Mayo," said Canelo Alvarez via press release. "I will unify my middleweight titles against Daniel Jacobs on one of the two most important dates that belong to me. I have no doubt that I will be victorious and that I'll be one step away from becoming the undisputed middleweight world champion. And what better way to watch it than on as tremendous a platform as DAZN."
Jacobs (35-2, 29 KOs) is coming off of a hard-fought victory in October against Serhiy Derevianchenko where he claimed the vacant IBF middleweight title via split decision. Jacobs may best be known for pushing Golovkin to the limit when the two met back on March 18, 2017, in a nip and tuck battle that many thought Jacobs won.
The former middleweight champion dropped his WBA (Regular) title to Golovkin but it came at a time when GGG was recognized as the most feared fighter in all of boxing. Jacobs performance turned a lot of heads and with Canelo reigning supreme over the division, a fight between the two only makes sense.
"This is the opportunity I have been waiting for. The opportunity to achieve greatness inside the ring," said Daniel Jacobs, who has inked a three-fight deal with Matchroom Boxing and DAZN. "I have always believed I can beat Canelo, and on May 4 live on DAZN, I will get my chance to play it out. It's been nearly four years since Canelo has faced an American challenger. It's going to be a huge event where I believe I will cement myself as the best middleweight in the division."
The fight will take place during Cinco De Mayo weekend, where Canelo has laid claim to the date with the retirement of Floyd Mayweather and has become a major event in Vegas for the current biggest star in the sport.
It's a particularly dangerous fight for Canelo, who will compete in for the second time since signing his deal with DAZN. Jacobs is known as an exceptional boxer with impressive power. Both Canelo and Jacobs had very close fights with GGG and an argument can be made that Jacobs won while Canelo lost both of his bouts with Golovkin. Nevertheless, the fight is the best possible bout that can be made for Canelo outside of a third fight with Golovkin.
"Canelo Alvarez wants the best fights and the biggest challenges," said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions. "That's what he did as the 154-pound champion, and that's what he's doing now as the king of the middleweight division. We are also proud to demonstrate to boxing fans that this new partnership with DAZN means that fans will get pay-per-view level fights without the cost of pay-per-view. Golden Boy Promotions is continuing its promise to make the sport as accessible as possible by putting this champion-vs.-champion fight on the platform."
Aside from being an impressive talent inside of the ring, Jacobs narrative has been one that's quite inspiring. Nicknamed "The Miracle Man," Jacobs managed to overcome osteosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer that threatened his career and sidelined him for over a year. Jacobs returned fighting at a high level with his first ten wins all coming by way of knockout. His controversial loss to GGG put the boxing world on notice and he has since reeled off three straight wins while claiming the IBF title.
"What a fight! I can't tell you how happy I am that Danny Jacobs gets this opportunity to fight Canelo on Cinco de Mayo in a massive unification fight," said Eddie Hearn, Managing Director of Matchroom Sport. "Victory would cap one of the most incredible, inspirational boxing stories of our generation, and Danny and the team will be putting everything in place to lead him to victory. Respect to Canelo and Golden Boy for accepting this challenge, and congratulations to DAZN and their subscribers for getting this incredible fight with no extra cost. Let's go May 4! Let's go Daniel Jacobs!"
Canelo is known to want the toughest fights possible and has the resume to back it up. Over the past seven years his resume features the likes of Floyd Mayweather, Shane Mosley, Austin Trout, Erislandy Lara and Miguel Cotto, among others. Since losing to Mayweather in 2013, Canelo has gone 9-0-1 with 5 knockouts. He's shown improvement throughout his career and at the age of 28, he still hasn't hit his physical prime. His exciting style has helped push him into the mainstream as the biggest star in the sport and he'll look to continue his dominance against one of his toughest tests to date.