Gennady Golovkin vs. Daniel Jacobs Fight Preview and Prediction to Win
When: Saturday, March 18, 2017
Where: Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York
Weight Class: Middleweights: 12 Rounds
Titles: WBA, WBC, and IBF Middleweight Title
By Loot, Boxing Handicapper, Lootmeister.com
Gennady Golovkin, 36-0 (33 KOs), Kazakhstan/Los Angeles, CA
Daniel Jacobs, 32-1 (29 KOs), Brooklyn, New York
Betting Odds: Gennady Golovkin -900, Daniel Jacobs +600
Gennady Golovkin takes on Daniel Jacobs in a middleweight championship showdown on March 18 at Madison Square Garden. In 68 combined wins, these two have scored 62 knockouts. Neither of these fighters has seen an opponent go the distance since 2009. They are clearly two of the more prodigious punchers in the business and certainly at 160 pounds. Golovkin is considered the top middleweight in the world—on a fearsome run of dominance at 160 pounds and a string of consecutive knockout wins going back now almost nine years. Jacobs, meanwhile, has elevated his stock as a viable threat with a long streak of knockouts. He will be at home with a golden opportunity to join the elite ranks of the sport.
Jacobs has certainly overcome a lot to get here. There was a terrible cancer scare that sidelined him for nearly two years. His ability to beat that the way he did was one of the better stories to come out of the sport in recent years. Jacobs, 29, also had to prove himself in the ring, as there were ample doubts about his standing. In 2010, he was brutally stopped by Dmitri Pirog, the kind of defeat that was an exposing and indicting one where he simply didn't look to have the class to thrive amongst the best. His record had been built on a lot of inferior opposition. When he returned healthy, he slowly rebuilt his stock, but the absence of a quality win plagued his ledger.
The 6-foot Jacobs continued piling up the wins in his comeback. A step up against Sergio Mora came in 2015 and Jacobs scored a stoppage in the second round, with Mora suffering a leg injury. But the light-hitting and undersized Mora was able to floor Jacobs in a wild brawl, creating even more doubt. Personally, we didn't like Jacobs' chances much when he faced accomplished and unbeaten Peter Quillin in December of 2015. Jacobs smoked his undefeated opponent in 85 seconds. It wasn't an artful victory, with Jacobs catching Quillin cold and snake-licking him with dozens of shots until he got the stoppage. But his power surfaced at a high level and he was able to get the quick win in an upset first-round knockout. Jacobs, for all his shortcomings, can hit like a truck. And even at this level, being able to do that well means there is no fight where Jacobs will be without hope—even against "GGG."
By the same token, as we prepare to foster a forecast from a betting angle, it's only right to acknowledge the inherent drawbacks with Jacobs. Fighting a fighter with Golovkin's punching-power, a sound chin would seem to be a key prerequisite. In that regard, the jury is out with Jacobs. Pirog was a heck of a fighter, a likely champion had he not been derailed by injuries. So getting knocked out by a fighter like that while still in the formative stages of his career isn't a total disgrace. That was in 2010 and this is 2017. You can't indict him forever because of that setback. But getting dropped and rocked by Mora does strongly suggest that he isn't operating with the best jaw. Contributing to it is a lack of fluidity. He catches the full brunt of punches. A tough and hard-hitting fighter, Jacobs isn't the most-nuanced of boxers.
Golovkin is nearing 35 years of age. While he has run roughshod over the second-tier of those at and around his weight, he has found getting a top-end opponent into the ring with him. A decorated amateur, Golovkin has now knocked out 23 straight fighters. In his last fight, he brutalized welterweight champion Kell Brook, who ran up the white flag after five rounds. You can't blame the best for avoiding him. And while he has beaten good fighters like Brook, David Lemieux, Martin Murray, Daniel Geale, Curtis Stevens, and Matthew Macklin, his record lacks a real nugget on it. Perhaps no one wants to risk his record and health against the sport's most-dangerous fighter. Maybe they're waiting for him to grow old. Whatever the case, "GGG" has maintained his edge in scoring KO after KO against this level of fighter. Jacobs might not be the best he's faced, but he could be the most dangerous.
Golovkin has a tremendous jab that he uses to catch opponents on their way in. So fighters like Jacobs need to do something other than just rely on their power and go straight-up with GGG. It won't work. And when fighters are inside, Golovkin digs in with shots to the body, mainly with the left hook. But despite being a power-puncher, Golovkin likes to work at range. So a long-range approach is also dangerous, as opponents who think they're out-of-range have found out time and again that they were not in safe waters when facing GGG. When opponents back away, he can really do damage.
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To Jacobs' credit, and he is chinny and perhaps not as seasoned as he should be at this stage of his career, he can work inside with some skill, despite his longer frame. He's not a Tommy Hearns-like long range bomber, despite having the physical tools to do so. He can rumble at close quarters and has shown a nifty hook to the body and head in-close. He can move angularly and get low, while wielding hard shots. For some reason, it seems like an opponent with a good chance of beating Golovkin would be a gifted infighter.
Whereas the extremely extravagant style of Pirog had Jacobs in knots, he might find Golovkin to be more up his alley. Styles make fights. I think Jacobs' set of skills match up fairly well with the feared middleweight champion. Golovkin has dealt with some hard hitters before, like Curtis Stevens, but Jacobs might be better and hit harder and with more volume. In addition, he has an abundance of grit stemming from a tough life and now has started adding names to his resume, giving him more confidence. If forced to make a straight-up prediction, one would naturally go with Golovkin. But at +600, Jacobs offers some compelling underdog appeal and I think he's enough of an interesting X-factor stylistically and power-wise to warrant a look.
Loot's Pick to Win the Fight: I'm betting on Danny Jacobs at +600. Did you know... that you could be wagering on fights at discounted odds? There's a better than good chance that you're laying -110 odds (or more) with your book. Stop overpaying TODAY and bet the Golovkin vs. Jacobs fight by making the switch to 5Dimes Sportsbook! You will be so glad that you did!