The biggest fight of 2017 will take place this Saturday night at Madison Square Garden as WBC, WBA, and IBF middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (36-0, 33 KOs) takes on Daniel “The Miracle Man” Jacobs (32-1, 29 KOs).
The winner will be without a shadow of a doubt the best middleweight in the world, and considering these two men have combined for 62 knockouts, logic says someone is going night-night.
Here are the keys to victory for each man:
Keys For Golovkin
1. Tighten up your defense
In his last fight against welterweight champion Kell Brook, Golovkin was hit with several clean shots. At times he was easy to hit especially with hooks and uppercuts. Golovkin took those shots well but they came from a welterweight, Jacobs is a hard punching middleweight. If Jacobs hits him with those shots, GGG will suffer his first professional loss. He must keep his hands up and move his head to avoid Jacobs’s power shots
2. Back Jacobs into the ropes
The more Golovkin is able to force Jacobs to the ropes and corner, the better his chances are of winning. Golovkin might be the best pressure fighter in the sports whereas Jacobs struggles fighting going backward. In fact, Jacobs knockout loss to Dmitry Pirog in 2010 came when he was on the ropes.
3. Work the body
Jacobs is the quicker of the two fighters, so Golovkin must work Jacobs body to slow him down. Often Golovkin breaks down his opponents with body shots, and if he lands his hooks to the body often on Saturday night he’ll breakdown Jacobs.
Keys for Jacobs
1. Box cautious in the early rounds
It’s rare when Jacob fights that he’s not the hardest puncher in the fight. In fighting Golovkin Jacobs is fighting the hardest puncher of his career. It’s important that he does not get hit with one of GGG monstrous power shots early in the fight. He needs to box smart and use his legs to frustrate Golovkin and to avoid getting in a slugfest. As the fight wears on Golovkin’s power won’t be what it was in the early rounds and then Jacobs can be more aggressive.
2. Throw feints
As we mentioned before, Golovkin is not a hard target to hit. He comes forward and will be there for Jacobs to hit. Jacobs needs to throw feints by feinting with a left hook to open up Golovkin, and then throw a hard straight right to Golovkin’s head. This will keep Golovkin off balance and after a few feints, Jacobs can throw combinations instead of just the straight right.
3. Stay off the ropes
Jacobs must keep the fight in the center of the ring where he can use his speed advantages. He can do this by circling around the ring and doubling up on his jab to keep Golovin off him. If Golovkin gets him to the ropes must grab him and hold.
Golovkin is the harder puncher and has the better chin. In a fight that could be an all-out slugfest, these are the two biggest advantages a fighter can have. Jacobs has heart and will make this Golovkin’s toughest fight to date. But in the end, Golovkin’s power will be too much. Golovkin wins by knockout in the 11th round.