Daniel Jacobs and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. to Battle in Phoenix

Looking to become titleholders once again, former middleweight champions Daniel Jacobs and Julio Caesar Chavez Jr. will meet on Friday in Phoenix.

Updated: Dec. 19, 2019 • 3:45 PM ET

Daniel Jacobs is looking past his last fight with Canelo Alvarez.

In the main event of a card stacked with great fights, former WBA and IBF middleweight champion Daniel Jacobs will face former WBC middleweight champion Julio Caesar Chavez Jr. in a super middleweight bout this Friday in Phoenix.

Jacobs (35-3, 29 KOs) will attempt to rebound from his last fight against Canelo Alvarez, which he lost by unanimous decision while also relinquishing possession of the IBF middleweight belt. In the bout, Jacobs also fought for the WBA super and the WBC middleweight titles, but he’ll now try to regroup and go on another title run at super middleweight.

“I think with this last fight, it really took a toll on me,” Jacobs said via Bad Left Hook about moving up in weight. “Obviously, we know the stipulations. I was in a contract with my last bout, so that was a clear indication for me that maybe I need to try and test the waters in 168 pounds just to give myself an opportunity to be myself, to be 100 percent, and camp has been beautiful.”

Jacobs, who has key victories over Caleb Traux, Sergio Mora (twice), Peter Quillin and Sergiy Derevyanchenko in his career, feels the move up in weight has made him a different fighter.

“It’s been amazing,” said Jacobs. “I’ve been able to be genuinely happy, to focus only on training and focus only on my skill set and not on the idea of cutting 10 to 15 pounds before the weigh-in. So it’s a big deal for me, and I’m happy and I’m looking forward to showing everyone in the world that it wasn’t an excuse last time around.

“It was the actual fact of me cutting the weight and that would make a difference in the previous fights that I’ve been having. So now you’re going to see, in my opinion, a better version of myself and I look forward to that.”

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Chavez (51-3-1, 33 KOs) is coming off a first-round knockout of Evert Bravo in August, rebounding from a unanimous decision loss to Alvarez in 2017. He held the WBC middleweight title from June 2011 through September 2012 and comes from one of the most prestigious boxing families in history. His father, Julio Caesar Chavez Sr., was a six-time world champion, and his brother, Omar, is also a professional fighter.

The 33-year-old Chavez Jr., who has notable victories over Peter Manfredo Jr., Marco Antonio Rubio, Andy Lee and Marcos Reyes in his career, believes the fight with Jacobs is a great opportunity to remind everyone that he’s still a championship caliber fighter.

"This is the right fight to get me back to the top,” Chavez Jr. said in a news release via DAZN. "It’s a big risk because of the activity he’s had, but I am not a stepping stone for him. I am ready and I need to win the fight, and I know I have the skills and the heart to win.

“There are a lot of good fighters out there at 168 pounds; not big names but strong guys. I feel I can beat them all and with the right decisions I will get there, and that starts with a win over a great fighter like Jacobs. I am a fighter, and I take the risks. Now I am doing things right."

A title fight for the vacant WBC flyweight belt between Julio Cesar Martinez and Cristofer Rosales will also be on the card.

Martinez (14-1, 11 KOs) is coming off a no contest against Charlie Edwards for the WBC belt in August. He landed a body shot while Edwards was on the ground, which was originally ruled a knockout and later overturned to a no contest. The result ended Martinez’s 14-fight winning streak, but the door to a title shot has opened once again for the Mexican after Edwards vacated the belt and moved up to super flyweight in October.

Martinez’s only loss came by split-decision in his professional debut in 2015. On Saturday, the 24-year-old will fight for the first time in the United States.

Rosales (29-4, 20 KOs) is coming off a TKO of Eliecer Quezada in August, rebounding from a unanimous decision loss to Edwards last December in which he lost the WBC belt. He won the title in 2018 and defended it once before running into Edwards.

The 25-year-old Nicaraguan fighter will also make his U.S. debut.

• The main card can be seen on DAZN at 11 p.m. EST this Friday

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