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Golovkin vs. Jacobs: Can Daniel win?

Daniel Jacobs Gennady Golovkin

By Jeff Aranow: Daniel Jacobs (32-1, 29 KOs) seems like a good fighter when matched correctly against beatable opposition, but he’s stepping up to the big time against Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (36-0, 33 KOs) on March 18, and it’s going to be a difficult task for the New Yorker to get through this fight without suffering his second career defeat.

Many boxing fans have suddenly jumped ship from the Golovkin bandwagon after the way he was hit a lot in the first three rounds in his last fight against Kell Brook. The fans feel that if Jacobs was able to land the same kinds of shots that Brook landed, it would be all over for Golovkin.

Even Jacobs has said the same thing. What Jacobs isn’t saying is whether he would have been able to handle the big shots that Golovkin was hitting Brook with. The left hook that busted Brook’s right eye socket in the 1st round of the fight might have knocked Jacobs out if he were the one getting hit with the same shot.

There was an equally hard right hand that Golovkin hit Brook with in the 3rd round that would likely give Jacobs a lot of trouble. Golovkin is willing to take some big shots in order to deliver his own. The fact that Golovkin is able to take shots to deliver his own is what makes him tough for someone with a fragile chin like Jacobs to beat him.

Sergio Mora had Brook in serious trouble after knocking him down in the 1st round in their first fight. Mora landed a decent shot while Jacobs was trying to finish him off. Jacobs was so intent on landing one of his own big punches that he left himself wide open for Mora to nail him with a big left hand. You can argue that anyone can be hurt by a shot that they don’t see coming. However, if you’ve shown a history of having a chin problem like Jacobs, then that tells you that he does not take punishment at all.

Jacobs also has problems when he’s pressured. When Jacobs is forced to back up while under power, he loses his punching power and he’s quite vulnerable. Golovkin is going to be forcing Jacobs to punch with him. If Jacobs decides to give ground all night long, then this fight is not going to last long at all.

If the Golovkin-Jacobs fight comes down to which of the two fighters that can better handle each other’s punching power, Golovkin might win by default by him having the better punch resistance. It’s not news to anyone that Jacobs has had problems taking head shots during his career. This has been a career long thing with Jacobs. He didn’t just have a chin problem early in his career. He’s had the problem throughout his career.

Jacobs’ chin hasn’t improved, as we saw with him getting hurt by Mora, who isn’t known for being a puncher. Before Jacobs was hurt by Mora, he had a spell where he hadn’t been hurt by anyone. It’s also true that Jacobs didn’t fight a good opponent after his loss to Dmitry Pirog in 2010 until 2015 when he fought Peter Quillin. Jacobs might have been hurt by Quillin if he hadn’t blitzed him in the 1st round and knocking him out so quickly in their fight in December 2015.

For the boxing fans that are picking Jacobs to beat Golovkin, they’re hoping he can win in this manner:

– Going after Golovkin immediately to knock him out before he lands one of his own big bombs.

– Using a lot of movement.

– Jabbing only. It might be too risky for risky for Jacobs to throw right and left hand power shots, because Golovkin is a pretty fair counter puncher. If Golovkin counters Jacobs with one of his big shots, he could knock him out. As weak as Jacobs’ chin is, even a glancing shot from Golovkin might be enough to stagger him. If Jacobs gets buzzed by one of Golovkin’s shots, his chances of surviving are about zero. Golovkin will not let Jacobs off the hook in the way that Mora did after hurting him. He’ll look to finish him off right away. That’s the difference. Golovkin will not let Jacobs survive.

– Smothering Golovkin’s offense by holding frequently and counting on the referee to do nothing about it.

– Focusing on boxing rather than slugging. For Jacobs to gain an edge over Golovkin, he needs to do something that he would never expect him do to. That’s by choosing to box rather than punch. Jacobs has always been a slugger throughout his career. That’s been his main method of winning. When he lost to Dmitri Pirog, he met a guy that knew how to neutralize his fighting style, and he was hopelessly over-matched in that fight. If Jacobs tries to match his slugging style with Golovkin’s, then he’s going to likely lose, because Golovkin hits harder and he’s got the better chin. Golovkin has the superior amateur pedigree. Golovkin is a 2004 Olympic silver medalist. Jacobs has amateur experience, but he never was an Olympian. He was never that good of a fighter to make it to the Olympics.

For Jacobs to be a real test for Golovkin, he’s going to need to fight in a more advanced way than anyone we’ve seen him fight before. Can Jacobs fight at a higher level than guys like Willie Monroe Jr., Martin Murray, Daniel Geale and Kell Brook? I don’t know if he can. I think Jacobs can look better than those guys in the early going while he’s on offense, but once he gets clipped by one of Golovkin’s shots, things could go downhill rapidly for him. Jacobs can get into a fight where he’s trading shots with Golovkin, because that type of fight favors him.

Jacobs is bringing a lot of unknowns with him when he gets inside the ring with him against Golovkin. Jacobs has had so few meaningful fights during his career. It makes it difficult to project what he’s going to do against a fighter as good as Golovkin.

For all intents and purposes, Jacobs stopped fighting good opposition after his loss to Pirog. That’s why it could be a problem for Jacobs when he gets inside the ring with Golovkin. How do you pick Jacobs to win given the poor opposition he’s faced in the last seven years.

It was probably a good idea for Golovkin and his promoter Tom Loeffler to agree to have the Jacobs fight on PPV. The fight is not likely going to do well in terms of PPV buys. If it fails to bring in a lot of buys, then that could hurt the negotiations for a fight against Saul Canelo Alvarez. If Golovkin-Jacobs bring in only a handful of buys, then Golden Boy can use that as justification for offering Golovkin little money fight for a fight.

You do have to respect Golovkin for choosing to take the fight against Jacobs, because it’s a tough fight. With Canelo fighting guys like Amir Khan, Liam Smith and James Kirkland. It looks good that Golovkin is facing someone that is a threat to him. Canelo is about to fight Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in May on Cinco de Mayo if the two of them can negotiate the fight. Canelo has a big advantage with him fighting Chavez Jr. on HBO PPV, because that fight will bring in a lot of PPV buys.

Golovkin vs. Jacobs might bring in 200,000 buys. If Canelo gets much numbers than Golovkin, then he and Golden Boy don’t have to give him a respectable offer, and they probably won’t. Golovkin didn’t have any choice though. Jacobs and his management wanted the fight on PPV. If Golovkin didn’t agree to that, then he likely would have wound up having his promoter Tom Loeffer losing the purse bid to Jacobs’ team. They in turn would put the fight on Showtime Boxing, and Golovkin might not have been able to fight on that network.

Golovkin vs. Jacobs will be televised on HBO PPV from Madison Square Garden in New York. The venue favors the New Yorker Jacobs, but that might not help him. If Jacobs chooses to fight in a brawling manner like he did against Peter Quillin, he could come out throwing bombs in the 1st round instead of fighting smart behind his jab. If Golovkin nails Jacobs with a big shot in the 1st round, the fight could end right there.

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