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Canelo vs Jacobs: Alvarez looking to take another step toward full unification at middleweight

Canelo wants all the belts at 160, and on Saturday he’s got his chance to get three-quarters of the way there.

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Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

One of the things we haven’t talked a whole lot about ahead of this weekend’s Canelo-Jacobs fight on DAZN is belts. Belts! Either something you quote when trying to make your favorite fighters’ achievements sound better, or something you crap on for being paper trinkets that mean nothing. Depends on your mood, really.

But fighters far more than fans take these things quite seriously, and understandably so. Canelo Alvarez has two of the four major titles at middleweight right now, and on Saturday night he goes for a third, looking to add the IBF belt held by Daniel Jacobs to the WBC and WBA titles he already owns.

For Alvarez, it’s about more than simply collecting, though, it’s about doing something no other Mexican fighter — a country with a wonderfully rich boxing heritage — has ever done.

“Nobody in Mexico has ever won all four belts in one division,” he said on Tuesday at the Grand Arrivals. “That’s my motivation, to keep writing history and win those titles.”

Alvarez (51-1-2, 39 KO) has gone so far as to say he’s not particularly interested in a third fight with Gennady Golovkin unless Golovkin has a belt (or probably if Canelo wins all four and then has no more belts to add). That’s been poo-poo’d by the Golovkin side plenty, and with good reason, but Alvarez seems sincere in his mission to win all the middleweight straps.

If he can beat Jacobs (35-2, 29 KO), that would leave only the WBO title, currently held by Demetrius Andrade. Andrade is a DAZN fighter, too, so it would be a doable fight.

But Canelo isn’t looking ahead to Andrade or Golovkin or anyone. In Jacobs, he sees the best of all the styles he’s faced so far.

“Jacobs brings all the abilities in one,” he said. “It makes him much more difficult, but that’s what we’ve prepared for.”

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