Turns out, the only volume Daniel Jacobs chose Saturday was on the scale.
You’re not beating the A side — especially when it’s Saúl Canelo Alvarez — by taking off the middle rounds of a mega-middleweight fight that unified three championship belts in the division.
But that’s what Jacobs did and he rightly paid for it, outpointed in a decision by Alvarez 115-113, 115-113 and 116-112 before an announced Cinco de Mayo gathering of 20,203 at T-Mobile Arena and a curious streaming audience on DAZN.
Jacobs also paid another way: with around nearly $1 million in fines.
He missed a contractually agreed-upon rehydration weight of 170 pounds when checked Saturday morning, coming in at a reported 173.6.
It cost him $250,000 per pound over and don’t think for a second he didn’t miss on purpose.
His only chance was to wear Alvarez down as a sort of big, quick, powerful opponent that the Mexican champion hadn’t seen in his career. You have to believe that in Jacobs’ mind, whatever money he would lose by coming in heavier than 170 could be recouped by winning the fight and then earning a much higher purse his next time in the ring.
Come on. These dudes and their camps know weight down to the ounce.
Missing by nearly 4 pounds isn’t a mistake. It’s a strategy.
But it failed, much like that which Jacobs spoke about beforehand. His plan was to attack Alvarez from the opening bell, suggesting throwing as many as 100 punches per round. This, a guy who has averaged around 50 in his career.
He instead was credited with 649, but only 20 percent of them landed. He also threw more than half of them (341) over the final five rounds, when he was obviously chasing on the scorecards. He switched to southpaw a few times. Nothing worked enough.
Jacobs also said his corner kept telling him he was ahead in the fight as things got late, so I’m thinking those folks also ate too much the previous 24 hours and were talking from a food coma.
“I didn’t feel any different,” Jacobs said. “I’m just a naturally big middleweight. I made the sacrifice of coming in 173 and paying a hefty fine for it but at the end of the day, I made sacrifices.
“To my fans, to all my survivors out there who appreciate me and my story for what I represent, I thank you. The journey is not over. I continue to strive for success and be the best I can be.”
He speaks of beating a rare form of bone cancer that nearly ended his boxing career and now, eight years after undergoing surgery to have a tumor removed, he had earned the opportunity to complete his incredible comeback tale.
But he just wasn’t good enough.
The guy known as “The Miracle Man” simply waited too long to engage.
So it goes that Alvarez is 2-0 under his DAZN contract of 11 fights for $365 million and continues to be the hottest thing in boxing. He landed 40 percent of 466 punches Saturday, using his jab to win those middle rounds that ultimately gave him the victory.
It wasn’t a great fight and Alvarez only looked elite at certain times. As much as boxing wants him to be an unbelievable force in this post-Floyd Mayweather Jr. era, he’s not of that realm.
He’s really good.
Is that enough?
“It was just what we thought,” Alvarez said. “We knew (Jacobs) was going to be a difficult fighter, but thank God we did things the right way. … I’m just looking for the biggest challenge. That’s all I want.”
What most should want now: a third fight between Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin, who was in attendance Saturday.
The first was scored a draw and the second a majority decision for Alvarez.
You can make the argument GGG won both.
I don’t know if DAZN streaming really is the wave of the future as it barges into how the boxing business has been done for so long as a television sport, but with nine fights left in the Alvarez deal … doesn’t he have to fight Golovkin again?
“For me, it’s over,” Alvarez said. “But if the people want another fight, we’ll do it again, and I’ll beat him again. That’s why I’m here. That’s what I was born for. To fight. To defend what’s mine. I’ll fight anyone.”
Jacobs was here to win.
He didn’t do enough.
Except, I suppose, pay a fine as hefty as his weight.
Contact columnist Ed Graney at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-4618. He can be heard on “The Press Box,” ESPN Radio 100.9 FM and 1100 AM, from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. Monday through Friday. Follow @edgraney on Twitter.