Alvarez outpoints Jacobs to unify middleweight world titles

Alvarez (right) punches Jacobs during their middleweight unification fight at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. (AFP pic)

LAS VEGAS: Mexican Saul “Canelo” Alvarez earned a unanimous decision victory over Daniel Jacobs in a fight that pitted two of the world’s top middleweights against each other with three world titles on the line on Saturday.

Alvarez kept his World Boxing Council and World Boxing Association titles and seized Jacobs’ International Boxing Federation belt in a bout that marked the Mexican’s return to the 160-pound division.

Alvarez won on all three judges scorecards with two having it 115-113 and the other 116-112.

Since losing to Floyd Mayweather in 2013 Alvarez has gone 10-0 with one draw including five knockouts, and at the age of 28 is still in his prime.

Alvarez’s penchant for taking on all comers and his exciting style has elevated him to become one of the biggest stars in boxing, but it was his sound defence that stood out against Jacobs on Saturday at the T-Mobile Arena.

He dominated the early rounds, landing power jabs and slipping head shots by Jacobs in a manner that would have made Mayweather proud.

By the sixth round Alvarez looked in control, prompting American Jacobs’ corner to tell him to open up and take some chances. Up until that point, the most noteworthy move from Jacobs was his ability to switch from orthodox to southpaw style in an attempt to give Alvarez a different look.

Jacobs landed one of the best punches of the fight in the ninth round, a looping overhand right that hit Alvarez on the top of the head. Alvarez though didn’t flinch, showing that he was ready to take some punishment to win.

There were more good exchanges in the 10th as Jacobs’ confidence appeared to grow but Alvarez stuck to his fight plan and scored effectively.

Alvarez is known to take on the toughest fights possible and he has the resume to back it up. Over the past seven years his CV features the likes of Mayweather, Shane Mosley, Austin Trout, Gennady Golovkin, Erislandy Lara and Miguel Cotto.

After claiming a world title at super middleweight in December, Alvarez decided to return to the 160-pound division on Saturday.

He now hopes to add a fourth title by taking on World Boxing Organisation middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade.