It bears repeating, because it is maybe the best reason for the sport existing, and we spend so much time critiquing prize fighting, and all the downsides to the sport.
NO Boxing NO Life, that’s what the tattoo on the arm of Canelo Alvarez reads, and it’s good to learn, or recall, where he’s come from, and what the sport has made possible for him.
It gave him structure, a hand up, a road to prominence, fame, fortune and the respect of much of a nation which has a strong reverence, still, for pugilism.
On the “40 Days” shoulder program, put out by Maverick Carter, a cohort of Lebron James, we see and hear where Canelo, who battles Daniel Jacobs this Saturday in Las Vegas, came from.
Guadalajara, Mexico, that’s where Canelo came from…and we also gain insight into the origins of Jacobs. He came from Brownsville, Brooklyn, and yep, he saw things.
He battled a bully, and then heard that the bully was learning boxing, at a gym. Jacobs, his second week at the gym, whupped the bully. “And he never returned,” said Jacobs, who never left.
Jacobs is seen chopping it up with his crew, including trainer Andre Rozier, in a barber shop, and the fellas talk about how a standout boxer can be seen as better than a God in the hood…because this being is real, and you can see the exploits, you don’t have to be reading or hearing stories from ten thousand years ago.
We see Oscar De La Hoya talk about this middleweight mashup, and hear promoter Eddie Hearn talk up the event. “I think the odds are 50-50,” says Canelo, to a press gaggle.
Jacobs keeps it simple, when asked his recipe to win May 4th: “Hit and don’t get hit,” he shares.
Jacobs has beaten cancer, so he's thinking Canelo isn't a bridge too far, as we count down to Canelo vs. Jacobs.
Jacobs has beaten cancer, so he’s thinking Canelo isn’t a bridge too far, as we count down to Canelo vs. Jacobs.
NO BOXING NO LIFE…Maybe Jacobs would have risen up if not for boxing….but it suits him. He has, not apparently, he HAS a warrior spirit, which was proven on his way to becoming a prospect, when he faced down a cancer invasion, when he he climbed the ranks of 160.
And Canelo, he is wearing his standing in the game and Mexico well. He carries himself with ultra confidence, but not in a dick-ish way. Him and trainer Eddy Reynoso have a blast singing their lungs out on the jet plane ride to another promotional outing and you get the sense he could be on top for a long, long spell, that he doesn’t seem the sort to be taken off course by the trappings of fame, and ego over-inflation.
The main eventers put in their time shooting promos, and Jacobs isn’t having the easiest time with the Spanish…but he gets an A for efforting. We see them in Mexico, on their promo tour, and Jacobs admits he feels disrespected as he has to wait for a long spell to be introed. He guarantees he will win and the crowd reacts respectfully, but cooly. He admits he doesn’t feel totally financially set, he still feels that sting of having a humble up-bringing. Rozier calls that on the way up, the accommodations weren’t always stellar, or close to that.
Jacobs tells us he has different sides; he is the gent outside, but he will want to hurt Canelo, and not in gentlemanly fashion, come May 4. In LA, Jacobs hears more cheers during a promotional session. They stare down, and you see Danny’s height advantage. He hears boos when he promises he will get the W. “I’m not supposed to be here, when I couldn’t walk, when I was fighting for my life, all I wanted to do was step foot in the ring, so I myself being victorious because this is my second chance at greatness. And I believe I will be great come May 4th!”
He flashes back to falling, as his legs didn’t work, from a nasty spinal cancer. “It was a huge tumor which was cutting the circulation from my spine,” he said, of the osteo-sarcoma. His chance of surviving the surgery was maybe 40-50 percent, the doc told him. They put titanium rods so his spine stayed straight, after the cancer chipped away at it. The doc then told him he’d not be able to box. Jacobs listened, but he refused to accept it. “Cancer for me was the biggest blessing that I could ever have, it made me stronger, it made me hungrier,” he stated. He accepts and appreciates being a focus point of hope, for other people battling such ills.
Canelo is becoming a bigger and bigger favorite over Daniel Jacobs as Cinqo de Mayo approaches, moving from -375 to as short as -500 at some betting sites listed on MyTopSportsbooks.com. With the odds for Canelo to win losing value by the minute, the better option is wagering on Canelo by decision, which bettors can still get at -120. While Jacobs was stopped once (by Dmitry Pirog in 2010), he also survived 12 rounds with Gennady Golovkin. Throw in the fact that Canelo has always received favorable scoring in his career, and Canelo winning on points is the likely outcome.
Summing up, Jacobs has said he thinks it quite possible they will be talking about this one 20 years down the line, as they do Hagler-Hearns.
Readers, talk to me…Will this one measure up? You lean Canelo..or think Jacobs is destined to keep climbing, because fate decrees it?
Listen to Woods’ Everlast podcast “Talkbox” here, for more boxing news and insights.