Through court cases, weight clauses and a late round of negotiations, the show goes on for Daniel Jacobs and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.

The pair of former middleweight titlists collide in a scheduled 12-round catchweight bout Friday evening at Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Arizona. The bout streams live on DAZN, beginning at 7:00pm ET.

Jacobs (35-3, 29KOs) makes his super middleweight debut, leaving behind two separate middleweight title reigns following a 12-round loss to Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez in their three-belt unification bout this past May.

Chavez Jr. (51-3-1, 33KOs) shows up at the lowest weight he could manage, checking in at 172.7 for a bout which he only received full clearance on Tuesday following a lengthy court battle. The early fight week good news transitioned into Thursday’s mess, when his team had to renegotiate terms to restructure the contracted weight from 168 to 173 pounds.


Raymond Ford matched his career-quickest performance, stopping overmatched Francisco Muro in the first round of their featherweight swing bout.

The unbeaten prospect from Camden, New Jersey twice floored Muro, the second of which produced the stoppage at 1:41 of round one.

True to his nickname, Ford was 'Savage' from the opening bell, immediately taking the fight to Tucson's Muro (3-7, 0KOs). A left hand floored the in-state featherweight early in the fight, though to his credit Muro managed to peel himself off the canvas.

Ford (5-0, 2KOs) finished the job in his follow-up attack, pummelling Muro along the ropes in forcing a second knockdown and immediate halt to the mismatch.

Reshat Mati put on a body punching display for as long as Rakim Johnson could take it, which wasn't very long at all.

Four knockdowns paved the way for a 1st round knockout for Mati (6-0, 4KOs), a promising 21-year old welterweight from Staten Island.

Johnson (6-9-1, 5KOs) was made to order for the unbeaten prospect, who scored the first knockdown less than a minute into the fight. A left hook downstairs forced Indianapolis' Johnson to the canvas, a sequence which appeared to produce the end of the night.

To his credit, Johnson climbed off the deck, doing so again twice more and both courtesy of body shots. Mati dropped Johnson a fourth time, prompting a stoppage at 2:05 of round one.

Daniyar Yeleussinov delivered his most complete performance to date, pummeling veteran Alan Sanchez en route to a 5th round stoppage.

The two-time Olympian and 2016 Olympic Gold medalist from Kazakhstan—now based out of Miami—was in control from the opening bell, the only deterrent coming when his southpaw stance clashed with his orthodox opponent. Steady punishment from the unbeaten 28-year old welterweight showed in the form of massive swelling under and around Sanchez’s left eye.

To his credit, Sanchez (20-4-1, 10KOs)—a durable Mexican veteran who lives in Fairfield, California—never left his feet but reached a point where he could no longer see out of the swollen shut eye. It was enough for the ringside physician to order a medical stoppage, coming at 0:19 of round five.

The bout marks the second straight loss inside the distance for Sanchez, who was halted in nine rounds by Alexander Besputin—now a secondary titlist—last September.

Yeleussinov (9-0, 5KOs) turned pro in 2018, though his career progress proving inconsistent while on the rise. Friday was by far his best performance to date, the perfect capper to a four-win 2019 campaign.

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for Twitter: @JakeNDaBox