Friday Night Fights: Jacobs vs. Chavez Jr.
By Robert Ecksel on December 18, 2019
Saturating the market, the fights DAZN has streamed have been somewhat hit or miss.
On Friday, December 20, in a fight streamed live on DAZN in the US and on Sky Sports in the UK from the Talking Stick Resort Casino in Phoenix, Arizona, Daniel “Miracle Man” Jacobs (35-3, 29 KOs), the former WBA middleweight champion from Brooklyn, New York, will get it on with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (51-3-1, 33 KOs), the former WBC middleweight titleholder from Culiacan, Jalisco, Mexico.
Both men will fight at an agreed upon weight of 168 pounds.
Thirty-three-year-old Chavez was inactive for two years, after his one-sided tromping by Canelo Alvarez in May 2017. He returned to active duty in August of this year with a first round blowout of 25-10-1 Evert Bravo, which was presumably a place setter for Friday’s fight against Jacobs.
“This is the right fight to get me back to the top,” Chavez said. “It’s a big risk because of the activity he’s had, but I am not a steppingstone for him, I am ready and I need to win the fight and I know I have the skills and the heart to win.
“There are a lot of good fighters out there at 168 pounds; not big names but strong guys. I feel I can beat them all and with the right decisions I will get there, and that starts with a win over a great fighter like Jacobs. I am a fighter and I take the risks, now I am doing things right.”
It’s about time Chavez is now “doing things right.” He was doing things wrong for awhile and something of a laughingstock. But he is big and strong and elected to box, not because he had to, but because he wanted to, and for that alone he deserves our respect.
“I think this is my time,” he added, “and now I need to take the next big step. It’s going to be a good fight for the fans and after that I’ll be ready to win another world title. This feels like a world title fight as Danny is a true champion and so am I.”
Jacobs has not fought since his loss to Canelo seven months ago, but he is more seasoned, skilled, and athletic than Chavez, and now that he’s campaigning at super middleweight, he sounds happier than he has been in some time.
“It’s been amazing,” Jacobs said. “I’ve been able to be genuinely happy, to focus only on training and focus only on my skillset and not on the idea of cutting 10 to 15 pounds before the weigh-in. So, it’s a big deal for me and I’m happy and I’m looking forward to showing everyone in the world that it wasn’t an excuse last time around.”
The less said about Canelo vs. Jacobs the better. Neither man tried to decisively beat the other. It was less a fight than a glorified sparring session between two DAZN properties fulfilling their respective contracts.
“It was the actual fact of me cutting the weight and that would make a difference in the previous fights that I’ve been having,” said Jacobs. “So now you’re going to see, in my opinion, a better version of myself and I look forward to that.
“I’m able to be a lot freer when it comes to putting more food and necessary foods in my body. I don’t have to limit myself and most importantly, I don’t have to go through that weight cut process that always drains me the 48 hours before the fight.
“I think with this last fight, it really took a toll on me. Obviously, we know the stipulations. I was in a contract with my last bout, so that was a clear indication for me that maybe I need to try and test the waters in 168 pounds just to give myself an opportunity to be myself, to be 100 percent.”
With Chavez finally doing things right and Jacobs at 100 percent, perhaps we’ll have a fight on our hands.
Also on the card, Julio Cesar Martinez Aguilar (14-1, 11 KOs), from Mexico City, takes on Cristofer Rosales (29-4, 20 KOs), from Managua, Nicaragua, for the vacant WBC flyweight title.
Maurice Hooker (26-1-3, 17 KOs), the former WBO super lightweight champion from Dallas, Texas, moves up to welterweight to take on unheralded Uriel Perez (19-4, 17 KOs), from Veracruz, Mexico.
Josh Kelly (9-0-1, 6 KOs), the undefeated boxer-puncher from Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, United Kingdom, meets veteran southpaw Winston Campos (31-6-6, 19 KOs), from Managua, Nicaragua.
Daniyar Yeleussinov (8-0, 4 KOs), the Olympic gold medalist from Berezino, Kazakhstan, gets it on with Alan Sanchez (20-4-1, 10 KOs), the former WBC Continental Americas welterweight champion from Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico.
Gabriel Rosado (24-12-1, 14 KOs), the rugged practitioner from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, fights for the 38th time as a pro against Humberto Gutierrez Ochoa (33-8-2, 22 KOs), a southpaw from Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico.
Liam Smith (28-2-1, 16 KOs), the former WBO super welterweight champion from Liverpool, Merseyside, United Kingdom, fights a ten-rounder against Roberto Garcia (42-4, 25 KOs), the veteran banger from Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Mexico.
Chavez Jr. fails to make weight
For a fighter who wants to be taken seriously, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. needs to watch what he eats. At Friday's weigh-in in advance of Saturday's main event, he failed to make the 168-pound limit, instead tipping the scales at 172.7 pounds. Daniel Jacobs comfortably weighed in at 167.8 pounds. A 12:1 favorite going into the bout, Jacobs agreed to fight Chavez at a 173-pound catchweight, for a third of his $3 million dollar purse. And the show goes on.