Cinco de Mayo weekend is all about Canelo Alvarez boxing in Las Vegas.
The biggest-name-in-boxing has two of the middleweight titles and this Saturday he looks to add the third quarter of the crown by beating American champ Daniel Jacobs.
The other fights this Saturday don’t have the same name recognition but there’s plenty to get excited about – London’s super-middle contender John Ryder is in Vegas facing unbeaten prospect Bilal Akkawy, light-heavy boss Artur Beterbiev has a tougher-than-expected bout with Radivoje Kalajdzic, and Jerwin Ancajas and Ryuichi Funai battle for the super flyweight championship.
Canelo v Jacobs – Bet Now
Canelo has a star-studded CV, the second biggest contract in all sports worth $365m, and we’ve all almost completely forgotten about the incident with the tainted sirloin last year. This Saturday he can add another trinket to the collection and another big scalp to his record.
Jacobs is a two-time middleweight champ and the only smudges on his slate are a tight decision defeat to Gennady Golovkin in 2017 and a slightly premature stoppage loss to former Russian ruler Dmitry Pirog in 2010. The American has knockout power, fast hands and tidy footwork.
From looking at the record books you’ll see that Jacobs lost to ‘GGG’, and Golovkin lost to Canelo, but most people think ‘GGG’ beat Canelo, and many had Jacobs nicking the win against Golovkin – what’s for sure is that the three fighters are very evenly matched.
Another nailed-on cert is that the ginger Mexican will want to be on the front foot. The New Yorker, on the other hand, could try to box from the outside the whole time or pick his moments to mix it. Paddy sees Jacobs as a clear 10/3 underdog, while Canelo is just 8/11 to win on points.
You don’t get the biggest ever cheque in boxing without being a dab hand with the mitts on and Canelo is the favourite, but I am not sure he should be so far out in front.
Despite all the attacking skills of Alvarez and the sharp-shooting of Jacobs I just don’t see a stoppage finish. In 24 sessions with the stone-fisted Golovkin Canelo was never really wobbled, but the unified titleholder has never blitzed a truly world class opponent either.
The fluky thing for Canelo is that the same judges that scored his second fight against ‘Triple G’ are also scoring this fight against Jacobs, and all three regularly judge the champ’s contests in Vegas.
Although the judges know which side their bread is buttered, none of these three are totally bent. Canelo has drawn twice before and an even result this time is tempting at 20/1, but I am depositing my money in the simple bet that fight goes 12 rounds.
Bet of the bout: Fight to go the distance at 4/9.
Heading up the undercard is the scrap between Ryder and Akkawy to get within a jab’s distance of a world title shot. The Brit is on a three-fight KO streak and maybe the best form of his career, while the unbeaten but less experienced Akkawy is a late replacement for the bout.
Both men will come forward and the British southpaw will easily find a home for his hands, but the Australian is young, tough and has a menacing 76% KO ratio.
There’s a great upset bet on the cards in Cali and it’s going to be a fun fight too. Reigning light heavyweight king Beterbiev has won all 13 of his professional bouts early – his last was a 4th round KO victory over Lancashire’s Callum Johnson – but he’s shown a delicate chin.
The opponent this weekend is Kalajdzic – a big, tough Bosnian-American who lost by a one-round split decision to fellow world champ Marcus Browne.
The other thing about Kalajdzic is that he can really bang – I am backing this match to be over in 6 rounds and I am doubling up with Kalajdzic by KO at 16/1.
* All odds correct at time of posting.