Gennady Golovkin and Daniel Jacobs will square off Saturday night at Madison Square Garden in New York City for the IBF/WBA/WBC middleweight titles. The eagerly anticipated encounter will be available on HBO Pay-Per-View 9 p.m. ET/PT and on BoxNation in the U.K. at 2 a.m.
It looks like an intriguing match-up of two heavy-handed boxer-punchers and is expected to be exciting and not go the distance.
Golovkin (36-0, 33 knockouts) is the longest reigning titlist currently in boxing and has made 17 title defenses, second only in middleweight history to Bernard Hopkins’ mark of 20. During that stretch, Golovkin has become the most feared fighter on the planet, stopping his last 23 opponents inside the distance.
The soon-to-be 35-year-old looked less than his usual best, last time out, before beating blown-up welterweight titlist Kell Brook. Some believe that is a sign of him slipping; others believe he was merely trying to entice other big names to face him. We’ll have a better idea of which on Saturday.
Jacobs (32-1, 29 KOs) enters as the challenger and the man most feel is the best fighter Golovkin has faced so far. Jacobs, now 30, is a 10-year veteran who, mid-career, had to take time out to recuperate from cancer. He has rebounded better than anyone could have ever hoped. He worked his way back into contention and has put a stoppage loss to Dmitry Pirog behind him to look better than ever.
“The Miracle Man” is one fight removed from an outstanding first round KO over Peter Quillin for local bragging rights. Jacobs has looked fallible; as well as the Pirog reverse, he was dropped by light-punching Sergio Mora. He did, however, look much better in their rematch.
HBO’s “24/7: Golovkin/Jacobs”:
An HBO Preview:
Online gambling group bet365.com lists Golovkin as a 1/7 (-700) favorite while Jacobs is priced at 5/1 (+500).
Golovkin is a sizable favorite in the eyes of the bookmakers and many others. Junior middleweight contender Demetrius Andrade – who hopes to be in attendance – believes it’s a 50/50 fight.
“I think it’s going to be a great fight for boxing,” said Andrade. “I think Danny Jacobs can use his reach and jab to try to keep his distance and it could go the distance.
“For GGG, he’s got to work on getting to get on the inside and throw them power shots to the body and the head. But definitely a 50/50 fight.”
RingTV.com polled 22 boxing insiders for their picks:
Eric Bottjer, Roc Nation Sports Matchmaker
Gennady Golovkin in 9 Daniel Jacobs: I think Jacobs will put up a good fight. I think he’s improved but he’s not in Golovkin’s league. Golovkin’s major weakness, at this point, is boredom and overconfidence. I don’t think this challenge bores him but he may be a tad overconfident, as I’m sure he doesn’t see anything in Jacobs that worries him. It’s a shame Pirog never fought again after knocking out Jacobs (which was not a fluke). (Editor’s note: Pirog actually fought three more times over the following two years after stopping Jacobs). He looked like a young Monzon. He and Golovkin would have been a classic.
Lucian Bute, former super middleweight titlist, who faced Golovkin as an amateur
Gennady Golovkin UD 12 Daniel Jacobs: Jacobs will have some moments but not enough. Jacobs will be knocked down early but will recover and survive to lose a decision, final score 117-111.
Robert Diaz, Golden Boy Promotions matchmaker
Gennady Golovkin TKO 9 Daniel Jacobs: Very good fight, exciting and fun. This is, by far, the best opponent GGG has now faced. In Jacobs, he faces a fighter that doesn’t fear him and that has the pedigree and, most importantly, is coming to win. GGG hasn’t really faced this combination before. Jacobs can box, has the speed, the jab and the power to make this difficult. Danny must be careful the early rounds and try to take the fight to the later rounds. Regardless if he wins, loses or draws, Danny Jacobs is – and will always be – a champion. With all that said, I see GGG breaking him down with a strong body attack and the corner stopping it in the late rounds. GGG TKO 9.
Alantez Fox, middleweight contender
Gennady Golovkin KO Daniel Jacobs: I think if Danny Jacobs boxes smart, he can beat Triple G but if he bangs with Triple G, he may get knocked out. I don’t know that Triple G had been as tested as people may think. I believe that Kell Brook fight showed us some flaws in G’s game. If I were to be betting, though, I think I would bet on GGG because Danny Jacobs has been knocked out before and Triple G is powerful enough to hurt just about anybody; I believe. I think it might be a stoppage if Triple G wins. I don’t think he knows any other way.
Norm Frauenheim, The Ring/www.15rounds.com
Gennady Golovkin TKO 7 Daniel Jacobs: Daniel Jacobs is about an inch-and-a-half taller. His reach is three inches longer. He’s at home. He has advantages but they won’t hide a vulnerable chin against Golovkin’s persistence and power. After GGG looked vulnerable for a couple of rounds against Kell Brook, and with his 35th birthday less than a month away on April 8, there’s talk that GGG is a step beyond his prime. Don’t believe it. Yeah, he’s hittable but he has great balance and his chin withstands the kind of power that figures to finish Jacobs.
Jeffrey Freeman, KO Digest/TheSweetScience.com
Gennady Golovkin KO 3 Danny Jacobs: Do you believe in miracles? As a diehard New England Patriots fan, I do but not when that divine intervention involves Gennady Golovkin’s doomed opponents. It will take a truly special operator to diffuse the bomb that is Golovkin. Brooklyn’s Danny Jacobs can deliver a hard punch much better than he can take one. That will be a problem against Triple G, a fighter known for both his granite chin and rock-hard fists. For as long as Jacobs can stay on his feet and chuck leather at Golovkin’s chops, this one should be fun to watch. In the end, GGG cuts off and corners Jacobs, ultimately knocking him out in the third round.
Sean Gibbons, Zanfer matchmaker
Gennady Golovkin KO Daniel Jacobs: I see the GGG-Jacobs as two different fights. I love Danny early in the fight. He is a big 160-pounder and can box and punch. He is in tremendous shape. As the fight progresses, I think that favors GGG, so I see GGG with a late-round stoppage.
Tom Gray, RingTV.com
Gennady Golovkin KO 7 Daniel Jacobs: I give Jacobs more of a chance of taking down Golovkin than any opponent the fierce Kazakh has faced. The challenger is a fast starter. He has terrific hand speed; he carries power in both fists and he’s very accurate. Let’s face it, Golovkin is findable but I just get the impression that no 160-pound fighter can knock him out. With that in mind, as well as Jacob’s capitulation at the hands of Dmitry Pirog all those years ago, I have to back the champion to retain his titles via brutal knockout.
Lee Groves, RingTV.com
Gennady Golovkin KO 8 Daniel Jacobs: While it is true that Jacobs is arguably the most dangerous opponent of his long middleweight reign, GGG is also the most formidable foe Jacobs has faced. Four factors will separate Golovkin from Jacobs. First, Golovkin is capable of producing high volume consistently while Jacobs has been hot-and-cold with his output. Second, versatility kills. Golovkin showed against David Lemieux that he can box well against a fellow KO artist and may try it again against the “Miracle Man.” Third, GGG has fought away from home his entire career and the Kell Brook fight in England showed he can operate just fine in a massively hostile environment. Finally – and perhaps most importantly – Golovkin owns the better chin. Jacobs was knocked out against Pirog and thus can be knocked out again. Because of the KO threat on both sides, this should be riveting, for as long as it lasts, but GGG’s experience, two-fisted power, knowledge and all-around game will negate the enormous home-ring advantage Jacobs will enjoy at Madison Square Garden.
Gary Lockett, boxing trainer
Gennady Golovkin KO within 8 Daniel Jacobs: I’d love to see Jacobs win, seems like a real nice fella, but unfortunately I don’t think it will happen. If he catches Golovkin, he can certainly hurt him but I think he lacks the tools that you’d need to beat GGG. Jacobs to fall within eight.
Duke McKenzie, former three-division titlist
Gennady Golovkin PTS 12 Daniel Jacobs: Obviously Golovkin is favorite, and rightly so, given his outstanding record but no one gave Leon Spinks a chance against (Muhammad) Ali or Lloyd Honeyghan a chance against Donald Curry. Could this giant of the ring just maybe take his eyes off the prize? Jacobs is a solid pro, a fair puncher, nice stylist. It will depend how long he can stay focused for. This isn’t a formality that Golovkin will walk through Jacobs. Golovkin isn’t noted for his boxing ability, more his KO percentage. He will need to box more than he usually does to secure a points win.
Sergio Mora, middleweight contender
Gennady Golovkin KO 9 Daniel Jacobs: Jacobs will be in the greatest shape of his life & will come into fight with high confidence. Problem is GGG is comes into every one of his fights feeling that way. I would LOVE to see Jacobs beat GGG but I just can’t see it happening…Jacobs is big after weigh-in, so it’ll go some rounds. He also punches just as hard as GGG but lacks his technique. I choose technique and precise power wins. GGG by KO 9.
Diego M. Morilla, TheSweetScience.com, ThePrizefighters.com
Gennady Golovkin KO 5 Danny Jacobs: I know, time has passed. Things have changed, apples and oranges, my foot. I was at ringside in Las Vegas when a scrawny, largely untested Eastern bloc fighter named Dmitry Pirog demolished Jacobs with frightening ease. Six years have passed and I can only assume that Jacobs has improved both mentally and physically after enduring his toughest fight outside of the ring but it takes a special kind of fighter to stand in front of the human wrecking ball that is GGG. At the end of the day, Jacobs might manage to make him go the extra mile to achieve his goal but the goal will be achieved nonetheless when Golovkin scores another stoppage win.
Marty Mulcahey, UCNLive.com
Gennady Golovkin KO Daniel Jacobs: There are only four boxers whom I consider a lock when they enter the ring against someone their own size. Those are Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez, Guillermo Rigondeaux, Naoya Inoue and Gennady Golovkin. That should tell in what direction I lean but that is not to say Daniel Jacobs is without a chance. Jacobs has the proverbial puncher’s chance, since he carries a big hook in his arsenal and Golovkin has allowed himself to be hit more of late. Jacobs is also the naturally bigger man, with a good three-inch reach benefit but I do not see him being able to use those advantages. For me, Jacobs simply does not have the elusiveness or offensive variance to confuse Golovkin into multiple mistakes. Golovkin will do his usual stalking early, finding range and deflating Jacobs’ spirit with his accuracy and power as the minutes build up. By the fourth round, the rhythm is set and Jacobs keeps backing up until he slows down and runs into big hooks that stop the fight before the ninth round.
John J. Raspanti, Maxboxing.com, Ringside Boxing Show, Doghouseboxing.com
Gennady Golovkin KO 6 Danny Jacobs: Three questions popped into my mind when I pondered this fight. Can the chin of Danny Jacobs hold up the first time Gennady Golovkin connects with one of his power shots? Will Golovkin return to form? Can Jacobs hurt Golovkin? Ever since being knocked out in 2010, Jacobs’ chin has been a question mark. It didn’t help when light-hitting Sergio Mora knocked him to the canvas in 2015. I see Jacobs doing pretty well in the early rounds. Golovkin looked mediocre against Kell Brook in his last fight. He still came out on top but was on the receiving end of number of hard blows. Jacobs punches hard enough to hurt Golovkin but the reigning middleweight champion has a better chin and more power. Golovkin will work the body and stop Jacobs in round six.
Gilberto Ramirez, WBO super middleweight titlist
Gennady Golovkin KO Daniel Jacobs: Golovkin is stronger and has the skills to beat Jacobs. Jacobs doesn’t have the chin to take Golovkin’s punches…GGG by KO.
Cliff Rold, BoxingScene.com
Gennady Golovkin KO Daniel Jacobs: Jacobs has the size, skill, speed and power to make this interesting. If he lands right, we could find out some new things about Golovkin. But it’s not like Golovkin has never seen someone who can hit. His durability has been fine. It’s a question mark with Jacobs. The Pirog loss was years ago; almost getting drilled by Sergio Mora isn’t. As good as Jacobs can box, Golovkin is a deeply skilled fighter with excellent balance, punch placement and power. Eventually, he’s going to either break Jacobs down or simply ice him.
Michael Rosenthal, Editor-in-Chief of THE RING Magazine
Gennady Golovkin KO 9 Daniel Jacobs: This is anything but a gimme for Golovkin, as Jacobs is clearly the toughest challenge Triple-G will have faced (on paper, at least). Jacobs is quick, skillful, as big as Golovkin and experienced. I won’t be shocked if he scores an upset. I just think Golovkin is a better all-around fighter, even though we saw some vulnerability in his fight against the smaller Kell Brook. I think Golovkin will gradually wear Jacobs down and stop him in the late rounds. Golovkin KO 9.
Ryan Songalia: THE RING Magazine, sports editor of Rappler.com
Gennady Golovkin to beat Daniel Jacobs: I’m picking Gennady Golovkin to win, based on his track record and his power, but Danny Jacobs is not someone to overlook. From what I’ve seen in training videos, he’s been getting himself sharp and staying disciplined. If Jacobs can establish a rhythm early with his jab and stay within his envelope, he can cause a lot of trouble for Golovkin. We don’t know when Golovkin’s age will catch up with him and we’ve seen a few fighters have success, while boxing him. Jacobs has top shelf talent. Do not count him out.
Dillian Whyte, heavyweight contender
Gennady Golovkin KO Daniel Jacobs: That’s a good fight. The smart money says Golovkin but the fighter in me says Danny Jacobs. He’s a big middleweight. He can punch. His boxing abilities are not bad. I think these guys are scared of Golovkin. Once he hits them, they shy away but Danny Jacobs is coming from a rough background. I’m inclined to pick Golovkin but there’s a little bit of me that says Danny Jacobs might do it. I think I’ll have to go Golovkin, maybe stoppage in the later rounds. When you have two punchers going into a fight, it’s always dangerous because Golovkin does get hit a lot.
Michael Woods, NYFights.com, RingTV.com, Everlast podcast “TalkBOX”
Gennady Golovkin TKO mid-rounds Daniel Jacobs: Gennady Golovkin just might be on the slope to his athletic downside. He turns 35 on April 8. If that is so, it would be understandable but his possible slippage won’t be so glaring versus Danny Jacobs that the Brooklyn boxer will be able to capitalize to an immense degree. Expect a variation of the same structure in his recent professional performances from GGG; patient stalking, assess then assassinate. Middle-round stoppage for GGG.
Hector Zapari, trainer of Gilberto Ramirez
Gennady Golovkin KO Daniel Jacobs: I believe GGG will beat Jacobs by KO in the middle rounds or finals. GGG is a much stronger fighter and has a powerful punch to KO Jacobs.
Final tally: 22-0 in favor of Gennady Golovkin to win Saturday’s middleweight showdown against Daniel Jacobs.
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