Boxing as a sport is one that is constantly searching for two components. The next rising star and the sport’s next big “Mega Event.” It should be no secret to longtime readers that one such fighter’s rise that has been chronicled in recent years here at The Boxing Truth® has been the rise of undefeated unified Middleweight world champion Gennady Golovkin. Golovkin has been on what some might call an unprecedented run for a fighter on the elite level of the sport. A run that this observer has called “A Path Of Destruction” through the Middleweight division.
Golovkin’s path has seen him compile seventeen successful title defense and twenty-three consecutive knockouts. Along the way, Golovkin has unified four of five world championships in the Middleweight division. In his last fight in September of last year, Golovkin scored a fifth round stoppage of previously undefeated IBF Welterweight world champion Kell Brook.
In what could be described as not his most devastating performance, Golovkin was given some difficulty by Brook, who was able to have considerable success in being able to use his hand speed to outwork the champion early in the fight before Golovkin was able to catch up with him in the fifth round and get the victory by Book’s corner throwing in the towel to stop the fight.
In covering that fight, this observer stated that even though the fight was not as dramatic in terms of Gennady Golovkin’s ability to bring the fight to a conclusion, he was still able to get the job done and sometimes that is all you can ask of a fighter. It was clear however, that Kell Book was the first fighter to provide the champion with a significant test. Regardless of what one’s opinion might be with regard to Golokin's performance prior to getting the stoppage win over Brook, he was able to pass that test.
Now Golovkin prepares to defend his WBA/IBO/IBF/WBC crown for the eighteenth time when he takes on current WBA number one contender Daniel Jacobs on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden in New York City, NY in a bout that will headline a pay-per-view card televised by HBO Pay-Per-View in the United States. Jacobs, a veteran of thirty-three professional fights will enter this fight having scored knockouts in twenty-nine of his thirty two career wins registering a career knockout percentage of 88%. Given Golovkin’s current knockout streak and his own career knockout percentage of 92% having scored knockouts in thirty-three of his thirty-six career wins, it suggests that there may be a likelihood of fireworks from the opening bell.
Jacobs, who currently holds interim/regular championship status in the World Boxing Association’s (WBA) Middleweight ratings will be making his second attempt at a world championship. In his first attempt at a world championship in July 2010, Jacobs was stopped in five rounds by Dmitry Pirog in what was at the time a battle for the vacant WBO Middleweight world championship.
Jacobs however, has not lost a fight since the encounter with Pirog. The native of Brooklyn, NY known as “The Miracle Man” also overcame a life-threatening illness in 2012 after being diagnosed with Osteosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer. Given his crowd pleasing style, but more importantly his victory over cancer, Jacobs is likely not to be in awe and/or intimidated by Golovkin.
In his last fight, Jacobs scored a dominating seventh round knockout stoppage in his second encounter with former WBC Jr. Middleweight world champion Sergio Mora on September 9th of last year, one day before Golovkin’s successful title defense against Kell Brook. Jacobs has held interim/regular status in the WBA’s Middleweight ratings for over three years and frankly is more than deserving of this title shot having fought and maintained his number one ranking four times since earning the designation with a knockout win over Jarrod Fletcher in August 2014.
Although statistics would indicate what some might feel is a strong likelihood of a “Shootout” between Golovkin and Jacobs, it would not surprise this observer if a more tactical battle took place at least early in the fight. Both men know what each other can do and that alone can at times lead to a more cautious approach by both fighters.
At the official weigh-in early today in New York City, NY both fighters came in under the 160lb. Middleweight limit. The champion Golovkin came in at 159 1/2lbs. The challenger Jacobs weighed-in at 159 3/4lbs.
For Gennady Golovkin, if he is successful in this fight against Jacobs, it will put him two successful title defenses away from tying the all-time Middleweight record for successful title defenses currently held by Bernard Hopkins. It will be interesting to see if Golovkin feels pressure not only based on his last performance against Kell Brook, but also the fact that he is gradually inching his way toward Middleweight history to perform well in this fight.
For Daniel Jacobs, I feel he must get Gennady Golovkin’s respect from the outset. Golovkin is not only known as a fighter with devastating power, but also as a fighter who relentlessly pressures his opponents and looks to gradually break them down. It will be of equal interest to see if Jacobs perhaps saw something in some of Golovkin’s most recent fights, specifically against Kell Brook that he might be looking to implement into his own fight plan.
This fight has all the ingredients of a fight fan’s kind of fight. Two fighters with exciting action-first styles, each fighter with the ability to end the fight with one punch with either hand. When one throws in what is likely to be an electric crowd at Madison Square Garden, this observer believes all the ingredients are present for what may very well be the next “Garden Classic.” A fight that I have very much been looking forward to. We will see who emerges with his hand raised in victory on Saturday night.
“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”
Golovkin vs. Jacobs takes place tomorrow night (Saturday, March 18th) at Madison Square Garden in New York City, NY. The fight will be broadcast in the United States and Canada on a cable/satellite pay-per-view basis by HBO Pay-Per-View beginning at 9PM ET/6PM PT for $64.95. Contact your cable/satellite provider for ordering information. For more information on HBO Sports and HBO Pay-Per-View please visit: www.hbo.com/boxing. In the United Kingdom and Ireland the bout can be seen on BoxNation beginning at 1AM (Sunday, March 19th, Local UK Time.) For more information about BoxNation please visit: www.boxnation.com. Check your listings internationally.
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