Middleweight boxer Daniel Jacobs strolled through the lobby at the MGM Grand amid the sounds of traditional mariachi music and hordes of fans that want to see him lose Saturday to Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.
But he was unfazed with his response and unabashed with his intentions as he stepped to the makeshift stage.
“Boxing is bigger than ever,” Jacobs said, “and hopefully after this fight, I can win some of these fans.”
By beating the world’s best middleweight.
Jacobs and Alvarez made their grand arrivals Tuesday, thereby initiating the week of festivities ahead of their middleweight unification title fight at T-Mobile Arena.
The 32-year-old Jacobs (35-2, 29 knockouts) arrived first and vowed to win the fight as he spoke to a subdued crowd that mostly was waiting to greet the 28-year-old Mexican superstar, who arrived about 45 minutes later to a chorus of cheers.
And more mariachi.
“I’m always grateful and appreciate the support and love my fans always give me, not just here but everywhere I go,” Alvarez, the WBA and WBC champion, said through an interpreter.
Alvarez (51-1-2, 35 KOs) established himself as the world’s best middleweight in September with a majority decision over unbeaten Gennady Golovkin at T-Mobile. He’s a minus 450 favorite against Jacobs, with Jacobs at plus 350, at the Westgate sportsbook.
Jacobs lost to Golovkin in March 2017, then won three consecutive fights to get a title shot against Alvarez. Jacobs is the IBF champion.
“I have so many different things I can do inside that ring,” said Jacobs, a New York native who hasn’t fought in Las Vegas since 2010. “For me, it’s ultimately up to me to go inside the ring and do my job. … All I ever wanted was a clean shot to go in there and face one of the best and prove that I’m the best. I think I got that.”
Both boxers praised each other and avoided the trash talk that often accompanies fights of this magnitude. They instead are focused on fighting a good fight.
And, of course, winning.
“Who knows what they’re going to do,” said Alvarez’s promoter, Oscar De La Hoya, the chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions. “The fight fans deserve a great fight. Boxing in general deserves a great fight. If you lose in a great fight, you don’t really lose. People probably admire you even more.”