On Saturday December 7, in the hastily constructed Diriyah Arena on the outskirts of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Anthony Joshua meets the man who handed him his first professional defeat, taking his heavyweight titles in the process, Andy Ruiz Jr.
With a middleweight division that’s starting to flatten out, Canelo Alvarez and Daniel Jacobs will undertake one of the most compelling fights the division has to offer.
Canelo Alvarez has now established himself as the best middleweight and perhaps the best pound-for-pound fighter on the planet. He’s built a reputation for fighting the biggest and hardest fights as he’s grown through the divisions, including a loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr and two close wins against Erislandy Lara and Austin Trout.
Daniel Jacobs has also sought out the best fights available throughout his career and was the first fighter to show the world that Gennady Golovkin was not invincible, narrowly losing on the cards.
The compelling nature of this fight runs across three axes:
Naturally these three considerations are all complementary, to a degree neutralising each other.
A grey cloud sitting over the fight is Jacobs’s chin. He was knocked out in devastating fashion when he was younger against Dmitry Pirog, and he’s taken knockdowns from Golovkin and Sergio Mora, though never from a body shot.
This has all the makings of a great fight or a strategic snooze, it’s hard to imagine anything in between. Canelo is going in as the favourite, but there is a clear path to victory for Jacobs.
The undercard will feature some exciting fights, but the key highlight will be Australia’s own Bilal Akkawy, who will fight John Ryder from the UK. Bilal has been training with Canelo and was brought in to help him prepare for Golovkin’s power.
Originally Ryder was set to face David Lemieux, who had to withdraw due to a hand injury. Bilal has stepped up to take on Ryder and challenge him for his interim WBA world super middleweight title.
Get ready for fight night live from T-Mobile arena, Las Vegas, as we see Bilal attempt to become a world champion and Canelo face his hardest challenge yet at middleweight.