By Jake Donovan
Daniel Jacobs knew exactly what he signed up for when agreeing to face Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez in Las Vegas. It’s never once discouraged him from going through with the biggest opportunity of his boxing career.
The two-time middleweight titlist from Brooklyn will enter as the B-side of the promotion when he faces Alvarez in their May 4 middleweight unification bout. The event will take place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, a town where Alvarez has been the benefactor of several scorecards which reek of favoritism.
Most notably among the lot are his pair of fights with former unified middleweight titlist Gennady Golovkin. Most observers believe the Mexican superstar clearly lost their first fight in Sept. ’17 and deserved no better than a draw in their rematch last September.
Instead, Alvarez managed to go 1-0-1 during the set, including a majority decision win last September to reclaim the World (lineal) middleweight championship.
If it’s of any concern to his next opponent, it’s being disguised remarkably well.
“I don’t want to spend too much focus on it,” Jacobs (35-2, 29KOs) noted during a recent media conference call when asked about his worries of getting a fair shake on the scorecards. “We're getting closer to the fight and just want to become headstrong and know that if I go in there and do my job, I'll be awarded the victory with no added influence outside the ring.
“I don't really want to touch on it too much, but at the same time we know that the past has spoke for itself.”
The same town has also played host to Alvarez’s narrow split decision win over Erislandy Lara in 2014, and somehow managing to pull even on one card in an otherwise decisive loss to Floyd Mayweather in their Sept. ’13 superfight.
C.J. Ross was the judge who turned in a 114-114 scorecard for Mayweather-Alvarez, the last major fight she has ever worked as a ringside judge.
Still very much in the mix, however, is Adalaide Byrd, who had Alvarez (51-1-2, 35KOs) winning 118-110 in his first fight with Golovkin. An internal review came of her work that night, but she not only continues to get major opportunities but was on the list of officials to be considered for Alvarez-Jacobs, as previously reported by BoxingScene.com’s Keith Idec.
The matter will be addressed during the commission’s monthly agenda which takes place this Wednesday at Nevada State Athletic Commission headquarters in Las Vegas. In the event Byrd is mentioned as a potential judge for the fight, there will be an opportunity to object to her appointment.
Beyond that, the plan for Jacobs—who claimed his second major title in a split decision win over Sergiy Derevyanchenko last October—is to focus on what’s within his own control.
“I have to block those things out and remain head strong to where I go in there and do my job and get the victory,” states Jacobs. “I go in there and get a knockout then all of that is out the window, anyway.
“I just have to focus on our game plans, focus on being the best version of myself that night and block out any entities that would play in my mind or that I would allow in my mind.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox