So Daniel Jacobs was 160, and Canelo Alvarez 159.5, and they came together, head to head, face to face…nose to nose, forehead to forehead.
Close, then closer, then it boiled over, a bit, at T-Mobile in Las Vegas, the night before the middleweight unification clash, pitting the Mexican hitter against the man who battled back from the brink of death, against cancer in the other corner, Canelo against Jacobs, not on PPV, but on DAZN streaming service.
Canelo jutted forward, using his noggin, and then Jacobs answered, jutting back, using his forehead to try and shove the Golden Boy boxer backward. Canelo gave Danny a shove, as handlers moved in between. Oscar De La Hoya was in the center, trying to defuse…what….legit bad blood?
Or semi staged feistiness to help get a hit on SportsCenter?
Only those two gents know, and it doesn't much matter, probably, because both are seasoned pros who wouldn't let weigh-in ire bleed into fight night. Nobody will come out looking to mug the other because of shoving and harsh words exchanged between two guys who just want a steak or a plate of chicken and rice and swigs of Gatorade.
Canelo seemed the more peeved, as he worked to get free from crew-members who kept him at safe space. “I see fear…that was fear right there, what he did,” Canelo said as he swigged re-hydrating liquid after the pre-fight beef. And no, no beef for his post weigh-in meal…some pasta, and a nice fish filet, that's what Canelo was craving. He made a crack, that meat is better than fish, after he was told Jacobs said he'd be eating beef after the weigh in. (Yes, there was an implication there.) And he said a line that had the Spanish speakers dropping jaw. Canelo told Jacobs in his native tongue to go fuck his mother. Yep, some street talk from the typically classy sportsman, who reminded us that end of the day, it is a fight for survival in the square ring, and so at times, emotions will go from simmer to boil, with extra salt in the stew.
“I don't back down from a challenge…I'm from Brownsville, I never ran, and I never will,” said Jacobs, after the fracas cooled.
He said he was pumped to be there with his son, and was doing it for his neighborhood and for the city.
“That motherfucker right there, he gonna get it tomorrow,” he said, pointing at the red-head.
“Bumpin' me with that big-ass head, it's time to put on. I'm gonna talk with my fists tomorrow,” he declared, game face fully affixed.
Real or staged or semi staged, it worked, if any part of the tussle was meant to juice interest. A buzz check on Twitter indicated that interest climbed a notch after the shove match.
It gets sorted for real tomorrow.
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