Former two-time Middleweight champion Daniel Jacobs (35-3 KO 29) will make his move up to Super Middleweight official in the early hours of Saturday morning as he squares off against former WBC middleweight king Julio Cesar Chavez Jr (51-3-1 KO 33).
Jacobs will be wanting to make a splash in his new home of 168lbs by putting on a clinical performance against a fellow former middleweight kingpin in Chavez Jr. Chavez is, of course, the son of Mexican legend and three-weight world champion Julio Cesar Chavez.
Jacobs was last seen in May when he fought Mexican pound for pound superstar Canelo Alvarez in a Middleweight unification clash worth three belts, WBC & WBA (Canelo) and IBF (Jacobs). Jacobs came out on a losing effort on points in a close encounter in that one and made the decision to move up to Super Middleweight shortly after the fight.
Danny is, of course, a remarkable human, having been diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer in May 2011 and was told he would likely never walk again, never mind box on and become a two-time world champion. But Jacobs defied the odds and was crowned WBA Middleweight champ when he stopped Jarrod Fletcher in the fifth round in 2014.
Chavez Jr has had a strange career. A controversial reign as WBC Middleweight champion was ended at the fists of Sergio Martinez on points in 2012 and since then Jr has had an up and downtime in boxing. Linked with a huge clash with Carl Froch, before Froch retired, Chavez fought up at Light Heavyweight against Andrzej Fonfara where he retired on his stool at the end of the seventh, which is a big no-no for a Mexican who pride themselves on being warriors. A couple of fights later and he found himself in an all Mexican showdown with fellow Jacobs alumni, Canelo Alvarez where he fought bravely this time but ended up on the end of a lopsided decision.
There is a lot at stake in this main event, live from Phoenix, Arizona. For Chavez, it is the chance to finally grab that career-defining win and gives him the chance to finally breathe some sort of life into a boxing career that has become stagnant and has been riddled with controversy and missed opportunities. This may be the last hope for the son of one of the great Mexican warriors to finally earn the respect from the fans he feels he deserves.
For Jacobs, it represents the chance to step up in weight and make a statement to all four Super Middleweight champions. A chance to get himself in a position to challenge for a belt in a second weight class and also gives him the chance to open up a division that has no clear number one even further.
This feels like an intriguing fight, will Chavez finally show the promise that was expected of him and shed the burden of being remembered as the son of the legend? Or, will Danny Jacobs continue his remarkable story of going from cancer survivor to World champion, to two-weight world champion and write another chapter in his movie like life? There is only one way to find out, let the bell ring and the fists fly on Friday Night/Saturday Morning.