When Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Daniel Jacobs enter the ring at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena on May 4, the bout will represent more than a pair of world champions squaring off. Two distinct cultures will literally come face-to-face.
Canelo, 28, the highest-paid boxer in the world, will ignite his Mexican fan base as he tries to legitimize his place as one of the all-time greatest pound-for-pound fighters. A victory means he’ll hold five middleweight title belts (WBA, WBC, The Ring, Lineal, and IBF) at once, placing him in rarefied air.
Across the ring, Jacobs, 32, the “Miracle Man” cancer survivor from Brooklyn, has a chance to shift the boxing power dynamic to the East Coast. With a stellar 35-2 record and the IBF middleweight championship around his waist, his talent is evident but a marquee win is still lacking. Defeating Canelo, who has a five-year, 11-fight, $365 million deal with sports subscription streaming service DAZN (pronounced “Da-Zone,”) changes that narrative for Jacobs. It would make him, arguably, the best middleweight fighter on the planet. Not to mention, he’d strut back into NYC with a whole bunch of belts to show for it.
The differences between the fighters go beyond in-ring tactics and accolades. Their journeys, culminating in the big-time, early spring showdown, feature personal hardships, agonizing defeats, and triumphant victories that helped lay the groundwork for a unique tale of the tape. Here’s how Canelo and Jacobs match up.