This Saturday night, ‘Big Drama Show’ returns in one of the most hotly anticipated middleweight contests in recent memory. New York City will be the backdrop of a fight pitching the two best middleweights in the world against one another, namely feared 160lb ruler Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin and a rejuvenated Danny ‘The Miracle Man’ Jacobs.
This fight has all the makings of a thrilling encounter between the two best middleweights in the world, both of whom are in their respective primes.
Gennady Golovkin has long been regarded as the no. 1 middleweight in the world, overtaking former middleweight king Sergio Martinez in many fans eyes after the latter was dethroned in 2014 by a much smaller Miguel Cotto. Even before then, Golovkin had been like a proverbial wrecking ball throughout the division, and most assumed it was only a matter of time till ‘GGG’ took the undisputed mantle for himself regardless of who stood in his way. While many fighters stepped up to take over the various pieces of the middleweight crown after Martinez’s loss, none did so as forcefully and completely as Golovkin did.
With victories over Grzegorz Proksa, Daniel Geale and Dominic Wade, Gennady Golovkin has staked his claim as being the no. 1 middleweight in the world, obtaining the WBA, WBC & IBF titles in the process. The ease in which Golovkin has acquired all of these belts in his thunderous march through the middleweight division has been simply staggering, and most fighters are already beaten before the first bell sounds. Like a modern day Mike Tyson, Golovkin’s aura of invincibility hangs heavy over any prospective fighter who faces him.
However, Daniel Jacobs is not like other fighters, and is no stranger to overcoming adversity.
Back in 2011, Danny Jacobs career was cut short by some devastating news. Despite a loss to underated middleweight champion Dmitry Pirog, Jacobs star was still clearly on the rise. He was 22-1 with 19 of those wins coming via stoppage. Then tragedy struck. Jacobs was diagnosed with a life-threatening form of bone cancer and doctors told the fighter he would struggle just to walk again, nevermind ever get back in the ring. Jacobs career seemed all but finished, but the Brooklyn native wasn’t to be denied. Barely a year later, and despite the previous medical diagnosis of his career being over, Jacobs returned from cancer treatment with a sensational stoppage of Josh Luteran at the Barclay’s Center, New York and garnered a new psuedonym in the process, the extremely befitting ‘Miracle Man’.
Jacobs has been on a role ever since, stopping all 9 of his opponents inside the distance and solidly staking his claim as one of the best middleweights on the planet. A 1st round stoppage of former champion, and current gym partner, Peter Quillin in December 2015 was a savage testament to this.
In terms of styles, Golovkin brings a veritable arsenal of weapons to this fight. He has legitimate one-punch knockout power in both hands, has great ring coverage, can generate leverage on his punches by shifting weight (a technique rarely seen since the days of the great Roberto Duran) and has fantastic all round fundamentals. Golovkin is about as close to the finished article of a fighter as you are ever likely to find.
Jacobs on the other hand has strengths of his own. He has great footwork for a middleweight and moves around the ring fluidly, utilizing his two fisted attack to overwhelm opponents. He has power also. With 29 KOs in 32 wins, only a few fighters have survived to hear the final bell against him, and none since the resumption of his career over 5 years ago.
While Jacobs has rightfully proven himself a miracle man in coming back to the sport and winning titles after the adversity of beating cancer, it will likely take a completely new miracle to overcome the opponent that faces him on Saturday night. Golovkin is a fighter with few peers, not just currently, but historically also. He can cut off the ring from outside fighters and effectively hunt them down. He can ambush mid-range fighters, coming over the top of their hooks with his straight right hand up top. He can physically overpower inside fighters and punish them up close. He can use superior ring generalship and hard jabs to break down heavy-handed power punchers from the outside-in. In short, Golovkin has the answer for almost every style put against him. From technically savvy boxers, like the crafty Willie Munroe Jr., all the way through to power punching KO artists like David Lemieux, GGG has faced them all, and beaten them all.
Danny Jacobs may be the second best middleweight on the planet, but as the bookmakers odds of Golovkin being anywhere from -1000 to -800 suggest, the sheer gulf between number one and number two in the division right now is monumental. While the ‘Miracle Man’ may be able to overcome the odds yet again, I believe his over-enthusiasm and belief in his own power will likely be his own downfall in this fight. Just like in his previous Sergio Mora fight, Jacobs pressure attack leaves him open for hard counters, and this is something Golovkin will no doubt look to take full advantage of on Saturday night. Take Golovkin in a mid to late rounds stoppage.
Pick: Golovkin by KO/TKO