Former two division world champion Bernard Hopkins believes Daniel Jacobs will provide Canelo Alvarez with a stiffer test than Gennady Golovkin, who fought for 24 rounds with the Mexican superstar.
Canelo and Jacobs will collide on Saturday night, at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, with the WBC, WBA, IBF middleweight belts at stake.
Canelo fought Golovkin to a controversial draw in their 2017 encounter, but brawled his way to a close decision win in last year's rematch.
Jacobs lost a close twelve round decision to Golovkin in 2017.
Canelo has remained unbeaten since a dominating decision loss to Floyd Mayweather in September 2013.
That loss, says Hopkins, made the Mexican boxer a much better fighter - and set him on a path to replace Mayweather as boxing's box office star in the United States.
“WhatCanelo did, as young as he was at 23, was to take that lesson that he got for 12 rounds and move his career forward,” Hopkins said to The Los Angeles Times. “Winning, of course, is everything to him, but he now is able to say, 'You know what? I got schooled, but I was competitive in the fight … ,' and you've seen how that loss has made him better because he can go into that trick bag of knowledge gained.
“People are missing that about Canelo. He has the style to fight in his culture. And he has the style to fight in my culture. If nobody understands how important that is, they don't understand boxing. Boxing is in every part of the world, in every city. So no matter where you live, you should learn how to do certain things and fight like others do. You're going to see the experience from the previous fights, the styles that Canelo's been up against from the first significant super-fight he had.
“That style that Jacobs has is a little bit more difficult for Canelo to do from what he did against GGG. GGG was there, right in front of Canelo. He rarely moved or slipped to get out of the way. Jacobs fights in an urban style, the way [US] amateur [coaches] teach you. He's not a brawler. He's going to move. He'll want to establish that in the early part of the fight and carry the fight into the middle and championship rounds. I've been studying.”