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Hunter dares Golovkin to give Jacobs a free shot

By Jeff Aranow: Trainer Virgil Hunter says he wants to see IBF/IBO/WBA/WBC middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (36-0, 33 KOs) get bored in the ring against Danny Jacobs (32-1, 29 KOs) and give him a free shot in their fight on March 18. Hunter is daring Golovkin to let Jacobs hit him like he’s done in the past fights against different opponents when he gets bored or when he doesn’t respect his opponent’s punching power.

That was the case in Golovkin’s last fight against Kell Brook last September. Golovkin was facing a pumped up welterweight in Brook, and he didn’t care if he was hit by him in the fight.

Golovkin walked through Brook’s best shots until he forced a stoppage in the 5th round after busting his right eye socket with a left hook that he’d hit him with earlier in the fight.

Golovkin doesn’t get careless when he’s fighting big punchers with power that can hurt him. In Golovkin’s fights against Curtis Stevens and David Lemieux, he didn’t intentionally take shots or put himself in harm’s way. Golovkin understood that he could not let those big punchers hit him repeatedly with their big shots, so he made it a point of focusing on his boxing skills to avoid getting hit hard.

It would have been bad news if Stevens and Lemieux were able to tee on Golovkin, because they have the kind of power that could knockout anybody in the middleweight division. Jacobs hits no harder than either of those guys. Lemieux might be a little more powerful than Jacobs. Stevens’ left hook is arguably better than anything that Jacobs has in his arsenal.

Jacobs and his trainer Andre Rozier will reportedly be moving their training camp over to Hunter’s gym in Oakland, California in order to train for the Golovkin fight on March 18 at Madison Square Garden. The Golovkin vs. Jacobs fight will be televised on HBO PPV.

Hunter sais this to Dontae’s Boxing Nation about Jacobs’ fight against Golovkin:

“The styles are different,” said Hunter about Jacobs and his fighter Andre Ward. “To try and put his over on Andre, and Andre’s over on his. I want to try and see what he does bring to the table that would be effective in that particular fight [against Golovkin], and to know when to use his weaponry and when not to use it. That’s a mental fight. It’s not as physical. Danny can punch too. So I don’t think Triple G can afford to be careless with Danny and give him a free shot. I’d like to see him do it. As a matter of fact if I was Danny’s trainer, I’d say at the press conference, ‘Please get bored and give us some free shots.’ He believes he can win, and that’s the first ingredient right there. If you can get that part and put together a plan he believes in and also a second plan that he believes in, you’re in the fight. It’s basically narrowed down to ‘he caught me with a lucky punch’ or something of that nature. I don’t see a dominant one-sided fight, particularly with an athlete like Jacobs. I don’t think it’s one-sided now; maybe years ago when he was younger. But I don’t think he can put him in a one-sided fight. I think he’s going to have to really fight to beat him. The best that I could do is fight to his strengths to where any weaknesses that you have, it’ll be hard to unveil them. It’ll be hard to exploit them because of your strengths are so overwhelming that’s what your opponent will have to deal with. He has to deal with your strengths. We found out later that Mike Tyson had a lot of weaknesses, but his strengths were so [good] that they covered up a lot. We’ve seen Triple G get hit. I’m not a person that dislikes Triple G. He has weaknesses that can be exploited,” said Hunter.

Jacobs has good punching power, but he still gets hit a lot, and he’s not the fastest of fighters. He’s not going to be able to beat Golovkin with his hand speed. Jacobs’ best chance of winning he fight with GGG is for him to get in an exchange with him and catch him with a big shot that he can’t handle. That’s how Jacobs has been winning his recent fights against Sergio Mora and Peter Quillin.

Jacobs didn’t bother trying to box either of those guys. He went after them with his power shots. Once he had them hurt, he finished them off quickly. Golovkin has a pretty good jab, and he’s likely going to be able to get the better of Jacobs if the fight is conducted on the outside. Golovkin will stay on the outside, even against a hard puncher like Jacobs. That’s not Golovkin’s style to stay outside. He’s going to be pressuring Jacobs and making him go to war with him.

“He’s a very dangerous guy, and a big test for me,” said Golovkin about Jacobs. “I don’t mind decision fight, short fight or street fight. I’m ready,” said Golovkin.

It’s good news that Golovkin isn’t worried about extending his 23-fight knockout streak instead of him just winning. Golovkin needs to make sure he gets the victory by whatever way possible. If he has to go the full 12 rounds to get a rare decision win, then so be it.

What Golovkin doesn’t need is to be too dialed in to trying to get yet another knockout, because it’ll put himself at risk. Jacobs is one of those fighters that like to take advantage of his opponent’s mistakes when they get sloppy. He’s got heavy hands, and he can hurt you with his left hooks and right hands if you walk forward not covering up.

Speaking about his training camp for the Jacobs fight, Golovkin said, “First month is just for power, and just for speed. The last month is more focused on boxing and for strategy. I learn every day, mistake by mistake, little by little. I love boxing. I love sport,” said Golovkin.

“Danny cannot afford to lose this fight,” said Jacobs’ trainer Andre Rozier. “That’s why Danny won’t lose this fight.”

“The winner of this fight will be on another level,” said Jacobs in talking about his match against Golovkin.

The winner of the Golovkin-Jacobs fight could put themselves in position for a big money fight against Saul Canelo Alvarez later this year in September. It’s not a given that they’ll get that fight though, because Canelo’s promoters at Golden Boy Promotions might choose to continue putting him in easy money fights against guys that they are dead certain that he can beat.

Golovkin and Jacobs are not fighters that Golden Boy could guarantee the outcome. For that reason, they might choose to kick the can down the road further to wait for the winner of the Golovkin vs. Jacobs fight to age some more before they let Canelo fight one of them. Canelo, 26, is three years younger than the 29-year-old Jacobs, and eight years younger than the 34-year-old Golovkin. Golden Boy might decide that Canelo will stand a better chance of winning against the Golovkin-Jacobs winner if they wait until 2018 before making the fight.

“We have someone finally who will go into the ring and give us the entertainment we’re looking for, but after the fight he’s going to be the boy next door,” said Golovkin’s trainer Abel Sanchez. “I’ve had the opportunity to catch some great punchers, and they don’t come close to Golovkin’s power. It’s a different kind of power. It goes right through you, everything he throws hurts you. Martin Murray said it best. ‘Every kind of punch he hit me with hurt.’ Every fight I’ve had with Golovkin, once he touches you with something significant, it can be a jab, it doesn’t matter where, you’ll see the expression on his face change,” said Sanchez.

Golovkin was hitting Kell Brook with plenty of hard shots to the head and body in their fight on September 10, and it didn’t stop him from fighting back and even getting Golovkin to retreat on a couple of occasions. Brook fought to the energy of the crowd, and it helped him compete at high level. If Brook was able to take the big power shots from Golovkin, then there’s a very good chance that Jacobs will as well.

That’s not to say that Jacobs can stand and take a beating from Golovkin for full 12 rounds without getting worn down and stopped. Jacobs will need to not get hit as much as possible for him to have a chance of winning. The hardest shots that Golovkin threw against Brook missed.

If Golovkin had landed the punches that he loaded up on, he probably would have gotten Brook out of there quickly. He wasn’t budging Brook with the ones that he did land. Jacobs will need to be able to take some hard shots for him to be able to get his own power punches in to try and score a knockout. Jacobs isn’t as defensively skillful as Brook, so he’s not going to be able to get out of the way of nearly as many of Golovkin’s punches as Brook did.

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