It’s Saturday night, and boxing fans can’t wait to see tonight’s fight. We are coming off two weeks ago a Ho-Hum Welterweight unification fight with Keith Thurman outpointing Danny Garcia. There was not a moment where one of the fighters was in trouble of being stopped.
I imagine the odds of Gennady Golovkin (GGG) and Daniel Jacobs going the distance are somewhere between hitting a hole-in-one in golf, and the President of the United States not having his travel ban upheld in court (LOL, this is non-partisan humor and not meant to communicate any liberal or conservative bias).
This fight will not be boring. This is going to be exciting drama. Golovkin is 36 wins, 0 losses, with 33 KO’s. He hasn’t gone the distance since 2008, knocking out every opponent who had the guts to fight him.
Jacobs in 32 Wins, 1 loss, with 29 KO’s. The last time a Jacobs fight did not end in a knockout was 2009. There is only one difference in the two’s knockout streaks. While GGG has KO’d his last 23 opponents, Jacobs was a victim of getting knockout in 2010 by Dmitry Pirog, not exactly a household name. Jacobs was only 23 years old.
But time has changed and things are different. Jacobs went into the fight having lost his Grandmother the night before. She had a big influence in his life. No excuses, but he was also twenty three years old, and seven years later he is in a totally different place in his boxing career.
GGG is a warrior. He is continually on the attack. He is a hard, power puncher with a great defense too. Very rarely does GGG back up in a fight. He is also a patient fighter and won’t over expose himself to get an early knockout, because he knows a KO is coming sooner or later. He is a fighter with very little weaknesses.
Jacobs is the largest and strongest fighter GGG has faced. Let’s not underscore this fact. In the weigh-in a week ago, Jacobs weight was 167 to GGG’s 162. Jacobs has also experienced fear far greater than GGG has ever imagined. Jacobs is a cancer suvivor. In 2011 he was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer.
Jacobs Doctor advised him to never fight again. He underwent surgery and 25 rounds of radiation, which took him from the sport he loves for two years. He even lost his ability to walk, so once healthy, the first task was to learn to walk again. So Jacobs went from walking, to jogging, to hitting the heavy bag and eventually fighting.
Jacobs then became the first cancer survivor to win a championship belt in boxing; pretty inspiring. I read through all of ESPN’s predictions, and I did the same in The Ring. Twenty Five so called experts and they all pick GGG, with all but three predicting a knockout.
Teddy Atlas in my mind is the most qualified expert on boxing. My analysis is very much like his, although Atlas still picks GGG by KO. He refers to Jacobs being a step up physically and technically from what Golovkin has faced. He believes Jacobs will hurt Golovkin and outbox him early. Over time Atlas mentions it comes down to chin and GGG can take a punch better than Jacobs, who has been stopped before.
I agree with the entire analysis including normally the better chin is going to prevail in slug-fest. Here is where I differ from Teddy. I don’t think Jacobs is going to eat the hardest of Golovkin punches. He is on a mission larger than GGG.
Jacobs weakness is to get sloppy. He is an excellent boxer-puncher with a solid defense. When he has fighter on the run he can get very sloppy leaving himself open to counter-punching. If he makes the mistake against GGG he will 100% get knocked out.
I am predicting he won’t get sloppy. He has enough respect for GGG that he will need to be patient and never to assume he has Golovkin out. I think this being the greatest moment of Jacobs life, the fact that he is the hometown guy, and that he is in his prime at 30 years old, and GGG at 34 is on the brink of getting out of his prime will swing this fight to Jacobs.
This show is a must watch. As a kicker to why you should buy this event, Roman Chocolatito Gonzalez takes his 46-0 record with 38 KO’s into the show. Choclatito is considered one of the top pound for pound fighter in the world, and many argue he is the best.
Whatever the result, both fighters are champions. I am big fans of both fighters and nobody comes out of this fight a loser. This kind of fight gets the sport back on the radar of other fans, and I hope this fight lives up to its billing. Excitement, for sure. How long it goes will determine the drama and excitement. It is possible we could be looking at the greatest three rounds (reference to Hearns – Hagler) of the 22nd century.