By Jim Dower, first uploaded on Boxing News 24.
Former middleweight champion Danny Jacobs (32-2, 29 KOs) is picking Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (37-0, 33 KOs) to defeat the highly popular Mexican PPV attraction Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (49-1-1, 34 KOs) this Saturday night at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Jacobs says Golovkin’s size, power and his experience in the 160 lb. division will be the telling factors in him beating Canelo.
(Photo Credit: Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions)
This will be Canelo’s first fight at middleweight, Jacobs’s points out, and he’s facing arguably the best fighter in the division. Canelo’s previous fights at middleweight were catch-weight affairs against Miguel Cotto, Alfredo Angulo, Amir Khan, Erislandy Lara and James Kirkland. None of them are true middleweights. Golovkin will be the first legitimate middleweight that Canelo will have faced.
Jacobs, 30, lost a close 12 round unanimous decision to Golovkin on March 18 of this year in a fight that many in the sport of boxing thought should have gone the other way. Jacobs gave Golovkin all he could handle in the fight, but a knockdown in the 4th hurt Jacobs’ chances of getting the win. Without the knockdown, the outcome could have been different. Golovkin didn’t have the same incentive to destroy Jacobs that he has in the Canelo fight. Golovkin has emphasized that point in the last week, saying that he didn’t have the emption to fight Jacobs like he does with Canelo. He really wants to knockout Canelo and put an exclamation point on his career.
Jacobs would like to fight Canelo if he gets past Golovkin. However, it’s not a fight that has been mentioned by Canelo’s promoters at Golden Boy. They’re interested in a rematch against Golovkin depending on if the fight results are close or controversial. Canelo could also wind up fighting David Lemieux, Cotto or Billy Joe Saunders. You would have to assume that Jacobs would be far below those guys due to his size, power and the threat he brings to a fighter like Canelo.
“I say absolutely,” said Jacobs to Sirius Rush when asked if he’d like to fight Canelo if he gets past GGG. “Obviously he’s a very talented fighter and one of the biggest draws in the whole sport of boxing. For me to step in the ring with him, it would be an honor to prove that I’m one of the best and share the ring with the best. It’s an honor for you to say that victory is assured, but this is boxing. Anything can happen. But I really feel like I’m the best middleweight in the world. I’m confident with the mind frame that I have now and the experience, most importantly, I just really see a successful future, the undisputed middleweight champion in the future.”
If Canelo is going to stay at middleweight after the GGG fight, then he’s going to need to fight Jacobs sooner or later. Jacobs is too good for Canelo to bypass him for long without being viewed by the boxing public as ducking him. There were a lot of top fighters at 154 that Canelo never fought when he was fighting in that weight class. He never fought the Charlo brothers, Erickson Lubin, Demetrius Andrade or Jarrett Hurd.
Those guys don’t bring huge fan bases with them, but they are considered the best at 154. Canelo never fought any of them. Canelo agreeing to fight Jacobs after the Golovkin fight would be a really courageous thing for him to do. I don’t think he’ll do it. There’s too much risk involved with fighting Jacobs, and it’s not a big money match-up.
“I say Triple G,” said Jacobs when asked who wins the fight between Golovkin and Canelo. “It’s not because him winning will edify me. I just truly feel he’s the bigger, stronger, better guy. He wasn’t able to do all those things with me inside the ring, but with a guy like Canelo, size matters. This is boxing. It’s a physical sport. Triple G has been in there with true middleweights. This will be Canelo’s first time stepping in there with a guy who is considered arguably one of the strongest guys in the middleweight division. So he’s really taking a leap and a chance,” said Jacobs.
It’s unclear if Jacobs has been keeping up with the latest Canelo-GGG news, but if he had, he’d know that Canelo has bulked up and is looking bigger than Golovkin right now. Golovkin’s trainer Abel Sanchez expects him to be smaller than Canelo during the fight. Jacobs might be unconvinced that added size for Canelo will help him in the power department. Bulking up will help Canelo take shots, but it might not do anything to help him punch with more power. But as long as Canelo isn’t being knocked back from the weight of Golovkin’s punches, then that helps him.
Canelo can’t afford to be seen by the judges getting knocked off balance each time Golovkin hits him with a jarring shot to the head.
“So I just really feel like he can’t take those punches,” said Jacobs about Canelo. “It’s going to be a long night or an early night. Regardless, it’s going to be a really hard fight for Triple G to kind of tame a coming forward, bull, Triple G style. Canelo, the guy I see coming forward, I really don’t see him going backwards like that. So, it’s really going to be interesting to see if he can adjust, but if he can’t, then you’ll know he results,” said Jacobs.
If Golovkin can land his big power shots against Canelo all night long, it’s [probably not going to last long. If Canelo can’t make Golovkin think twice before letting his hands go, it’s going to be a short night like Jacobs say. He knows how hard Golovkin can punch, as he went the full 12 rounds with him last March. Canelo intimidated his last opponent Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. from throwing his punches, and it resulted in an easy 12 round unanimous decision victory on May 6.
If Golovkin isn’t scared off by Canelo’s counter punches, he’ll have a good chance of turning him into knockout win No.34 in his career. It would be the signature career win for GGG that he’s been looking for since he turned pro over 10 years ago. Golovkin couldn’t get guys like Felix Sturm and Miguel Cotto to fight him. It took him almost 3 years to finally get Golden Boy to give him the fight with Canelo. Now Triple G is on the verge of finally taking advantage of it by knocking out Canelo.
It’s going to be a hard fight for both guys unless one of them can get an early knockout. Golovkin isn’t the type of guy to just give up and let Canelo get away with hitting him with counter shots without looking to knock him out. The counter punching from Canelo could lead to him getting knocked out quickly in this fight, as GGG isn’t going to just take shots without pouring it on and looking to hit Canelo as hard as he can with every punch. It’s doubtful that Golovkin will back off and cover up like he was doing frequently during the Jacobs fight. There’s too much on the line, and Golovkin has a lot more to prove in the fight. Golovkin came into the Jacobs fight as a bigger favorite than he is with Canelo. There’s a lot more motivation for Golovkin to prove himself. I think it’s easier for Golovkin to get up for this fight a lot more than in his typical fights, as he’s not walking into the contest seen as a slam dunk favorite. It’s always easier to get up for those type of fights.