By Ian S Palmer
Undefeated IBF, IBO, WBC and WBA Middleweight Champion Gennady Golovkin of Kazakhstan will be putting his titles on the line at Madison Square Garden in New York this Saturday, March 18th when he takes on regular WBA Champion Daniel Jacobs of Brooklyn. Golovkin is currently the Super World Middleweight Champion according to the WBA. The 12-round bout can be seen in North America on pay-per-view while fans in the UK can catch the action live on BoxNation. Jacobs last fought in September when he stopped Sergio Mora in the seventh round in a rematch while Golovkin’s last outing was a fifth-round TKO over Kell Brook in September.
The 34-year-old Golovkin, known as Triple G, enters the ring with a perfect record of 36-0 along with 33 Kos, including 23 stoppages in a row. He’s gone past 10 rounds just twice during his recent Ko streak. The last time Golovkin has gone the distance in a fight was back in 2008 when Amar Amari went the full eight rounds with him. Golovkin stands just over 5-feet-10-inches tall with a 70-inch reach. He turned pro back in 2006 after a fine amateur career and has fought 160 rounds since then.
His stiffest competition up to now, at least on paper, has been Brook, David Lemieux, Willie Monroe Jr., Marco Antonio Rubio, Martin Murray, Daniel Geale, Curtis Stevens, Matthew Macklin and Gabriel Rosado. Golovkin has defended his title 17 times, but he’s arguably yet to face a truly elite opponent with Brooks and Lemieux being his toughest opponents. It’s hard to blame the champ though since most of the other top pound-for-pound boxers don’t appear to want to have anything to do with the power puncher, until Jacobs that is.
Golovkin simply does his job no matter who he faces and will be attempting to do the same here against Jacobs. Triple G, of course, is known for his knockout power and has stopped 92 per cent of his opponents up to now. In addition, Golovkin has also shown that he has a granite chin to go along with his power and fine boxing skills. He isn’t afraid of getting hit while he unleashes fierce body and head shots, but can also be patient while stalking his prey. Golovkin isn’t getting any younger though and he needs to be on the top of his game to stay undefeated.
The 30-year-old Jacobs climbs into the ring with an impressive record of 32-1 along with 29 Kos. He’s defended his title four times now. He stopped Caleb Truax in the 12th and final round in his first title defence in April of 2015 and then stopped Mora in the second round and later in 2015 before stopping Mora for the second time last September. Jacobs became the WBA titleholder back in August of 2015 when he stopped Jarrod Fletcher in the fifth round for the vacant belt.
Jacobs’ lone defeat came at the hands of Dmitry Pirog in July of 2010 when he was stopped in the fifth round. Like Golovkin, He’s also known for his speed and power, but his chin could be somewhat questionable after being stopped by Pirog. Jacobs has a three-inch height advantage as he’s 6-foot-1 and also has a three-inch reach advantage with a wingspan of 73 inches. He’s got 109 rounds of experience under his belt since turning pro in 2007.
Jacobs also has tremendous power as his knockout ratio is currently 88 percent, so he’s certainly going to be Golovkin’s stiffest test to date. However, Jacobs has arguably faced just one Grade A opponent so far in his career and that was Quillin. But he was very impressive in stopping the former world champion. Jacobs is well known for being a cancer survivor and he’s stopped 12 opponents in a row since losing to Pirog almost seven years ago.
Golovkin has fought a power puncher before in David Lemieux, but Jacobs is a better all-round boxer than Lemieux. However, Golovkin will need to hit and hurt Jacobs early to keep him wary and on his back foot, the same way he did with Lemieux. We shouldn’t really be surprised by any outcome in this bout since it’s up for grabs and there should be a lot of betting action on both fighters. But it’s hard to go against Golovkin at this point of his career so we’ll pick him to retain his titles by win or draw.