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Canelo vs Jacobs: Chris Algieri breaks down the fight and past sparring with Alvarez

Chris Algieri has sparred Canelo Alvarez and has worked in Daniel Jacobs’ camp for several fights. He breaks down Saturday’s matchup.

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

Former 140-pound titleholder Chris Algieri wears many hats in boxing these days. He’s still fighting, returning after a long layoff last November and most recently fighting in January, both wins for the 35-year-old from Huntington, New York.

But he also is an analyst and commentator for ESPN these days, and he works as a nutritionist with Daniel Jacobs, who faces Canelo Alvarez on Saturday night on DAZN.

Algieri spoke with Marcos Villegas about Saturday’s fight.

On preparing Daniel Jacobs for the fight

“This is my fifth camp with Team Jacobs and I like to tell everybody that the guy who comes to camp each one of those camps is a different guy every time. The way he is unpredictable in the ring is the way he lives his life and does his training, as well. He’s kind of an enigma. Sometimes he comes to camp and he’s kind of thin and light, sometimes he comes to camp and he’s bigger. We have to deal with it on a case-by-case basis. We’re always making sure we’re doing exactly what we need for who we have in front of us.

“Canelo is a very specific style and we’ve trained specifically for that. Danny needs to be sharp, he needs to be athletic, he needs to be big and strong and durable, so that’s what we’ve been working on from a training and nutrition aspect.”

On what Jacobs needs to do to be successful

“I actually sparred Canelo back in (2010). He was getting ready for the Jose Miguel Cotto fight on the undercard of Floyd Mayweather and Shane Mosley. I think we had, like, two sparring sessions together. He’s adapted tremendously since then. He’s got a lot more shoulder roll defense, which you’ve seen since the Mayweather fight (in 2013).

“Danny just has to be Danny. He’s gotta be Danny Jacobs. He’s long, he’s strong, he’s athletic, he’s got that east coast style of being slick and maneuvering, and he has a very high boxing IQ. He’s got to utilize all those tools to get the victory on Saturday night.”

On Canelo

“Canelo’s a strong guy, he’s a powerfully-built guy. Even then, I think he was 20 years old at the time, I could see his wrists were very thick, his neck was thick, his ankles were thick — he’s a well-built, strong guy. He’s not a one-punch power guy, he’s more of a combination puncher, he’s a great power puncher. He’s got fast hands, good defense. I think he gets guys out of there more from breaking them down, countering them, hitting them with shots they don’t see.”

On people believing Canelo can’t lose in Vegas

“Anybody can lose on any given night. There’s possibly an issue with the judges and the powers that be, but if you go out there and do your job and do it every round, they can’t take it from you. And more importantly if you knock him out, that’s it, the victory is secure. Danny’s not going out there for the knockout, but if he gets him hurt, he’s definitely gonna go for it.”

On how he sees the fight playing out

“I think Canelo’s gonna be very surprised with Danny’s power. Danny is a surprisingly tricky puncher. He’s got the power but also he sneaks in punches that you don’t necessarily see that hurt guys, and I think he’s gonna be able to hurt Canelo early. Then he’s gonna have to utilize his boxing skills from there, and I think it’s gonna be important to get Canelo to fight off his back foot, to pressure him and really push the pace, especially as the rounds go on.

“Canelo has a tendency, we’ve seen it in the GGG fights, to kind of pull off the gas a little bit toward the end of the fight, and Danny tends to pick up. He’s got an extra gear that I think has been the major difference for him in all of his big fights.”

On Canelo or Golovkin being tougher for Jacobs

“I think mentally the Golovkin fight was harder for Daniel. That was when Golovkin was undefeated, there was no chink in the man’s armor; he was fighting the bogeyman, basically. And Danny had that a lot in his mind in training camp. This fight’s different in that maybe mentally Danny’s a lot more confident going into this fight, but I think this is a very tricky fight because of the style that Canelo utilizes and just the fact that he’s Canelo. He is a great fighter. So is Daniel, but Danny’s gonna have to pull out all the stops to get the victory.”

On nerves if it goes 12 and we’re waiting on the judges

“I’m gonna be nervous. But if Danny does what he’s supposed to do and does what he can do, I don’t think there’s gonna be any question. But I’ll still be nervous until I hear that Brooklyn is in the house.”

Bad Left Hook will have live coverage of Canelo vs Jacobs on Saturday night, starting at 6 pm ET for the prelims and continuing with round-by-round updates for the main card at 9 pm ET on DAZN.

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