TWO FLAWLESS BOXING CHAMPIONS CANELO ALVAREZ DANIEL JACOBS MATCH UP RUNDOWN INTRO TEXT

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.

SAUL CANELO ALVAREZ VS DANIEL JACOBS COMPLEX STATS DAZN BOXING CHAMPS CHAMPIONS TALE OF THE TAPE ILLUSTRATION BLACK AND WHITE FACEOFF
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HOMETOWN PRIDE SECTION TITLE DAZN COMPLEX CANELO ALVAREZ DANIEL JACOBS BOXING TALE OF THE TAPE

CANELO

Canelo reps Mexico and then some. 52 of his 54 professional fights have gone down there or in the American Southwest; the upcoming match with Canelo representing his 12th in Vegas (fifth at T-Mobile Arena). These factors, combined with the Guadalajara native’s propensity for fighting on Cinco De Mayo weekend—it will be his fourth time doing so in the last five years—essentially make the May 4 bout a “home game” for Canelo. It also doesn’t hurt that he’s mentored by Mexican-American boxing legend Oscar De La Hoya, which ups his cred.

JACOBS

Jacobs reps Brooklyn hard. He’s competed in 11 of his last 14 matches in the New York City area—six of those at Barclays Center where he’s undefeated. Jacobs has said he draws inspiration from fellow BK legends Mike Tyson, Riddick Bowe, and Zab Judah, and it shows with his grit and fearlessness in the ring. Of his 35 victories, 29 have come by way of knockout. Jacobs isn’t about to go Tyson-on-Michael Spinks versus Canelo, but his punching power makes him a legitimate KO threat. As Jacobs prepares for the biggest road game of his life, you can bet the opportunity to bring the middleweight belts back to the Big Apple is lighting his fire.

FIGHTERS MAP GUADALAJARA MEXICO CANELO ALVAREZ BROOKLYN NEW YORK NYC DANIEL JACOBS BOXING TALE OF THE TAPE DAZN COMPLEX

MOTIVATION SECTION TITLE DAZN COMPLEX CANELO ALVAREZ DANIEL JACOBS BOXING TALE OF THE TAPE

CANELO

Born in Guadalajara, Canelo, then known only as Saul, moved with his family to a small Mexican town called Juanacatlán. Money was tight growing up in a house with six brothers and one sister, but even as a young child, Canelo offered a hand by trying (and failing) to sell popsicles on public buses. “ It was a tough upbringing. We were always working,” Canelo’s brother Gonzalo told The Sun last fall. “[Canelo] didn’t enjoy secondary school. He preferred fighting.” Boxing was actually a family tradition, as all of the Alvarez boys took up the sweet science. Going pro at age 15, Canelo won 20 times before his 18th birthday. Currently holding two middleweight titles, Canelo looks to unify the division by claiming Jacobs’ piece of the middleweight crown as well. “My main goal is to keep writing history and making history fight after fight,” he recently said. “My goal this year is to sweep the division and win all the belts.”

JACOBS

Jacobs was 24 years old with a 22-1 record when he learned that he had osteosarcoma, a form of bone cancer, in 2011. A tumor “the size of a handball” wrapped around “The Golden Child’s” spine, damaging his nerves and causing paralysis in his legs. When doctors caught the tumor, they told Jacobs it was just days from slowing down his heart, which could have not only ended his boxing career, but also his life. There was no guarantee that surgery would allow Jacobs to return to the ring, so just in case, he had his six-hour procedure done through his back instead of his chest (punches to the back are illegal in boxing). In October 2012, less than a year and a half after starting treatment—which included 25 radiation treatments—Jacobs made his return. He’s 13-1 since, and is now more commonly referred to as “Miracle Man.”

SAUL CANELO ALVAREZ VS DANIEL JACOBS WORKING OUT COMPLEX DAZN BOXING FIGHT WORKOUT PREPARING SPEEDBAG JUMPROPE ILLUSTRATION

ENTRANCE MUSIC SECTION TITLE CANELO ALVAREZ DANIEL JACOBS BOXING TALE OF THE TAPE DAZN COMPLEX

CANELO

Unlike most other professional boxers, Canelo has stuck with the same walk-out song for a number of years: “ Mexico Lindo y Querido ” by Vicente Fernandez. The Ranchera track boasts aspects of a traditional mariachi band and while there is no beat drop, the song is often sung in unison by Canelo’s Mexican fans. The title translates to “Mexico Beautiful and Beloved” and pairs perfectly with Canelo’s entrance wardrobe (more on that later).

JACOBS

Hailing from Brooklyn, Jacobs prefers more rap and R&B leaning vibes. His legendary 2018 Wakanda-themed entrance featured the song “Pray for Me” by The Weeknd and Kendrick Lamar, and he poetically walked out to LL Cool J’s “Mama Said Knock You Out” before taking on Sergiy Derevyanchenko in his most recent fight. The only question is whether Jacobs will opt for a ’90s Hip-Hop anthem or a current hit for the Canelo bout.

DANIEL JACOBS WAKANDA WALKOUT BOXING FIGHT ENTRANCE COMPLEX DAZN ILLUSTRATION
WARDROBE SECTION TITLE CANELO ALVAREZ DANIEL JACOBS BOXING TALE OF THE TAPE DAZN COMPLEX

CANELO

Canelo wears Mexico on his sleeve, literally. On fight night, he typically pays homage to his native country by sporting a variation of red, green, and white—the colors of the Mexican flag. Prior to his match with Julio César Chávez Jr., he donned a Mexico flag as a shirt, and similarly a Mexico robe before squaring off with Floyd Mayweather Jr. Outside the ring, Canelo expresses his personal style in different ways. While promoting his fight with Mayweather in 2013, he wore a series of plain black T-shirts. Now, as he’s deepened his pockets thanks to sponsorship deals with DAZN and several others, Canelo is adding luxury brands like Givenchy and more mature ensembles to his repertoire. Those include blazer and turtleneck combos, which he’s showed off during press junkets.

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JACOBS

Jacobs, conversely, mixes old and new school elements with his fashion choices. On press tours, he is almost always in a full suit, pulling out a white and blue pinstripe two-piece while promoting the Canelo fight. In the arena, Jacobs flexes his creative muscles even more. Last April, he wore that Black Panther-inspired outfit to the ring, and previously donned camouflage shorts for both his Peter Quillin and Gennady Golovkin fights.

BIG BUSINESS SECTION TITLE CANELO ALVAREZ DANIEL JACOBS BOXING TALE OF THE TAPE DAZN COMPLEX

CANELO

This past October, Canelo inked his landmark $365 million deal with DAZN, making him the highest-paid athlete in guaranteed annual salary by more than $20 million per year. Signed to De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions since 2010, Canelo has seen his stock rise in the eyes of both fans and brands. He touts major sponsors in Tecate, which got an ad in the ring of his last fight; Value, a Mexican brokerage house, which Canelo promotes on his waistband; Roger Dubuis, a watch manufacturer that advertises on his shorts; and Hennessy, an official presenting sponsor of the matchup with Jacobs. Canelo recently shared screen time with Sylvester Stallone in a 2018 Tecate commercial—a smooth way to introduce Canelo to casual boxing fans.

JACOBS

Jacobs takes a more blue-collar approach to his business deals. He wears Havoc shorts and his gloves are boxing blueblood Everlast. When fighting at Barclays Center, he used the prime real estate of his waistband to rep Brooklyn Boxing, a performance and lifestyle fashion brand, in partnership with the arena. In other instances, he passed on sponsorships altogether and opted to feature his son’s name, “Nate,” across his shorts. But Jacobs has still found ways to make big bank. According to the Los Angeles Times, “ Jacobs stands to collect as much as $15 million for the Alvarez fight. ” His previous career-high purse for a fight was $1.75 million when he lost in a narrow decision to Golovkin at Madison Square Garden in 2017.

CHARITY WORK SECTION TITLE CANELO ALVAREZ DANIEL JACOBS BOXING TALE OF THE TAPE DAZN COMPLEX

CANELO

One week after his draw with Golovkin in September 2017, Canelo traveled back to Guadalajara to lend a hand to Mexico. The nation had just been hit by two major earthquakes centered in Chiapas and Puebla, and the current WBC and WBA champ donated $1 million worth of supplies, medicine, and construction material to those in need. Despite his celebrity status, he also (personally) helped load the supplies with volunteers in his hometown.

JACOBS

In 2013, after returning to boxing following his cancer treatment , Jacobs shifted his attention toward philanthropy by establishing the Get in the Ring Foundation. The New York-based organization is committed to helping children with cancer and other life issues like childhood obesity. To date, Get in the Ring has partnered with prominent organizations like Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation and Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital.

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SOCIAL MEDIA REACH SECTION TITLE CANELO ALVAREZ DANIEL JACOBS BOXING TALE OF THE TAPE DAZN COMPLEX

CANELO

Canelo is more than a sports star in Mexico. He’s a national icon. His reach on social media is just as expansive as his reach in the ring (70.5 in), with over 2.9 million followers on Facebook, 1.33 million on Twitter, and a whopping 4.6 million followers on IG. While the proficient pugilist keeps his personal life close to the belt, he does display some notable trends on social. Canelo is an avid car collector (he’s said he’s lost track of how many he has), frequently posts shirtless training photos, and enjoys sharing throwbacks of his early boxing days in Mexico.

JACOBS

While Jacobs has a much more modest social following (172K on IG, 59K on Twitter, and 37K on Facebook) than Canelo, a strong online presence invites fans into his life. Jacobs posts videos highlighting his grind, meeting with kids, and making an impact in his Brooklyn community. Although not quite the household name who dominates timeline feeds (yet), Jacobs is poised to raise his already-star profile in a big way by taking on a mega-celebrity like Canelo. Regardless of the outcome of their fight, Jacobs will likely gain more than a few new followers in the process. In fact, the numbers are already climbing.

FLOYD MAYWEATHER CONNECTION SECTION TITLE CANELO ALVAREZ DANIEL JACOBS BOXING TALE OF THE TAPE DAZN COMPLEX

CANELO

At 23 years old, Canelo (42-0-1 at the time) was an undefeated challenger to Floyd “Money” Mayweather. But the boxers’ paths had crossed long before their 2013 title fight, which Canelo lost in a majority decision that gave him his only defeat to this day. Canelo had previously appeared on three Mayweather undercards from 2010-2012. One of those fights was a spilt-site doubleheader, featuring Canelo in Los Angeles and Mayweather headlining in Las Vegas on a single broadcast. Additionally, the duo worked with Golden Boy Promotions until the latter parted ways with the company in 2014, which opened the door for Canelo to become the brand’s poster boy and chief moneymaker.

JACOBS

Jacobs started his pro career with Golden Boy Promotions—which had Mayweather on its roster at the time—with his first fight coming in December 2007, on the undercard of Mayweather vs. Ricky Hatton. The Brooklyn native won his first nine matchups by TKO or KO, and he was named ESPN’s Prospect of the Year in 2009. Golden Boy continued to push Jacobs on high-profile cards, including a March 5, 2011 bout vs. Robert Kliewer that came before a Canelo title fight vs. Matthew Hatton. While Jacobs and Mayweather have never actually entered a ring together, their shared history is interesting.

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CREDITS

  • WRITER  Jeff Eisenband
  • EDITORIAL PRODUCTION  Macklin Stern
  • CREATIVE DIRECTION/DESIGN Mike Hernandez
  • WEB DEVELOPER  Osman Emara
  • ILLUSTRATOR  Joseph Applegate