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Danny Jacobs’ camp to have former Soviet Union feel to it

Brook (left) on the receiving end of a right hand from Gennady Golovkin. Photo: Matchroom Boxing
28
Dec

Danny Jacobs’ training camp will have a decidedly Eastern Bloc feel to it.

As he prepares to face middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin on March 18 at Madison Square Garden on HBO PPV, Jacobs has assembled a series of sparring partners that have at least one thing in common with Golovkin: They all have roots in the former Soviet Union.

For his nearly 10-week training camp, Jacobs will be sparring with world-ranked middleweight contenders Sergiy Derevyanchenko (9-0, 7 knockouts), Ievgen Khytrov (14-0, 12 KOs) and Avtandil Khurtsidze (32-2-2, 21 KOs).

Derevyanchenko is a former Ukrainian amateur standout who competed at the 2008 Olympics and won bronze at the 2007 World Championships. Khytrov, who is also a native of Ukraine, struck gold at the 2011 World Championships and was a 2012 Olympian. Khurtsidze is from the former Soviet republic of Georgia and upset Antoine Douglas in March with a 10th-round stoppage. And of course, Golovkin is from Kazakhstan and has zapped 23 straight opponents.

“We think they can emulate Golovkin’s style better than anybody out there,” Keith Connolly, who advises all three, as well as Jacobs, told RingTV.com on Wednesday. “They’re from the (former) Russian system and they’re all top middleweights. Besides Danny and GGG, I don’t think there’s anyone out there even in the Top 10 who can really compete with those guys. The fact that they’re from (the former) Russian amateur program, a lot of these guys have the same type of style and I think just psychologically, it will be good for Danny to be in with them.”

Jacobs has sparred with all three before, since they all live in Brooklyn. “But not at the level they’re going to be sparring with him this time,” Connolly said. “They’re going to be away with Danny for an extended period of time; we’re going to ask them to try to emulate GGG’s style, as far as cutting off the ring and throwing that left hook to the body that GGG throws when he has his opponent on the ropes. So I think it will be on a much more intense level.”

Khytrov has a significant fight against Immanuwel Aleem (16-0-1, 9 KOs) on Jan. 14 on the undercard of James DeGale-Badou Jack at Barclays Center. He will take a few weeks off after the fight and join Jacobs in camp. Derevyanchenko is also expected to return in the first quarter of 2017, and Khurtsidze is jockeying for a title shot against WBO champion Billy Joe Saunders. They are all involved with the New York-based promoter Lou DiBella.