Saul “Canelo” Alvarez sat stoically inside MGM Grand’s KA Theater as his promoters, sponsors and adversaries expounded on the importance of Saturday’s middleweight unification title fight against Daniel Jacobs at T-Mobile Arena.
His championships are on the line. His pride and legacy are, too.
Ho-hum for the 28-year-old Mexican superstar.
Been there. Done that.
The world’s two best middleweight boxers had their final news conference Wednesday ahead of their title fight — and boasted varying levels of bravado before they vie for supremacy.
Alvarez (51-1-2, 35 knockouts) — eight months removed from a victory over previously unbeaten Gennady Golovkin — is preparing for his 12th fight in Las Vegas, where he’s been headlining megafight cards since age 23.
Jacobs, 32, a cancer survivor from New York, has worked the past several years to reach the pinnacle of his profession and is eager after three straight victories to prove that he belongs in the ring with Alvarez.
“When you’re at this stage, things that you’ve already dreamed of when you put your first pair of boxing gloves on come true,” Jacobs said after acknowledging the rigors of fight week in Las Vegas. “I’m just trying to embrace it, but I’m not trying to let my mental and physical state be drained as well. Right now, I’m just trying to remain focused.”
Jacobs (35-2, 29 KOs) hasn’t fought in Las Vegas since 2010. He said he can brawl or box, orthodox or southpaw. And he’s determined to entertain fans Saturday.
But not at the expense of victory.
“We have Plan A, we have Plan B, all the way to Plan Z,” said Jacobs, the IBF champion. “It’s about adjusting, implementing what I need to do inside the fight … and it’s just about getting the job done.”
Alvarez, the WBA and WBC champion, said he’s also willing to adapt to combat Jacobs, but added that he will attempt a knockout if an opportunity presents itself.
“We’re a couple days away. We’ll see Saturday night how everything unfolds,” Alvarez said through an interpreter. “I’ve worked hard for (this). This is not something you can just say with words. You have to put a lot of work behind it, and that’s what we do in the gym. But I’m happy with where we’re at in the moment. … It is my era.”
The fighters avoided trash talk for the second straight day and are eager to settle the score in the ring. But they didn’t avoid a faceoff, staring at each other for several seconds at the conclusion of the news conference.
Welcome to Las Vegas.
“There is only a handful of fighters in the sport who have been unified champions,” said Alvarez’s promoter, Oscar De La Hoya of Golden Boy Promotions. “You won’t see this every day in boxing. You probably won’t see this type of unification for a long time.”
Who: Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (51-1-2, 35 KOs) vs. Daniel Jacobs (35-2, 29 KOs) for the WBA, WBC and IBF middleweight titles
When: 6 p.m. Saturday
Where: T-Mobile Arena
TV: DAZN (streaming)
Odds: Alvarez -450; Jacobs +350 (Westgate)