However you feel about the stoppage in last night's Daniel Jacobs-Peter Quillin fight, the fact is that Jacobs stopped Quillin in a minute and a half, in a fight that was seen as 50-50 on paper. And my personal view is that if referee Harvey Dock had let the fight go on any further, it was a near lock that Jacobs was going to finish that fight in round one, what with Quillin out on his feet, getting battered, and Jacobs fully committed to stopping his badly hurt opponent.
So we now have a somewhat interesting question on our hands: what's the REAL best fight at middleweight?
The biggest is Canelo Alvarez against Gennady Golovkin. In all reality, the second biggest is probably Canelo Alvarez vs Daniel Jacobs now, because Alvarez carries a lot more star power than either of those guys.
But what about the best? That's not as clear -- or maybe it is.
Alvarez (46-1-1, 32 KO) had the big win over Miguel Cotto on November 21, but it wasn't a middleweight fight. With a 155-pound catchweight, the two agreed to fight with a limit a pound north of junior middleweight, and a full five below the 160-pound middleweight limit.
I'm not here to complain about catchweights. Both guys agreed to it and were in good shape. The fight was a hit, both looked solid on the night, and Canelo won, fair and square.
Whether it proved anything about Alvarez as a middleweight is another story. Cotto isn't a middleweight, not really, and never had any intention of fighting at a full 160. He used his star power to dictate terms against Sergio Martinez (a 159-pound catchweight, basically just to do it), and Daniel Geale (157). He was middleweight champion, but it was closer to novelty than a truly legitimate claim. Throughout his reign as champion, there were few who felt anyone other than Golovkin (34-0, 31 KO) was the real leader of the division.
That's still the case, but Jacobs (31-1, 28 KO) now has a good argument over Canelo, too. Frankly, so does Andy Lee, the WBO titleholder. We all understand that boxing is a business and all that promoter talk, but Alvarez, despite his status as champion and WBC titleholder, has not achieved anything as a true middleweight. And we all understand that because of boxing politics, GGG-Jacobs likely isn't going to happen any time soon unless something changes, and neither is Canelo-Jacobs.
This is just a simple question: what's the actual best fight at middleweight right now? Do you think it's really Golovkin-Canelo still, or has Golovkin-Jacobs become more of a serious threat to GGG, with Jacobs' size, power, and speed? Or do you think it's Golovkin against someone else, which would be weird, but OK, you have your own opinions?