Gennady 'GGG' Golovkin vs. Daniel Jacobs predictions: Fight card, time, odds, pick

After years of fighting any middleweight who was willing, while stockpiling impressive streaks of knockouts and title defenses in the process, unified champion Gennady Golovkin enters a dangerous challenge against Daniel Jacobs.  

The pair of hard-punching middleweights will headline Saturday’s HBO PPV card (9 p.m. ET) from Madison Square Garden in New York, where Golovkin, a native of Kazakhstan, has built a boisterous following thanks to four knockout victories inside “The World’s Most Famous Arena.” 

Golovkin will look for his 24th consecutive knockout against Jacobs, a secondary titlist from the same Brownsville section of Brooklyn, New York, that has produced so many great fighters. Jacobs, who returned to boxing in 2012 after beating a rare form of bone cancer, is 10-0 with 10 KOs since coming back.  

GGG will also aim for his 18th straight title defense, which would move him two shy of Bernard Hopkins’ middleweight record.

Let’s take a look at how the top two fighters in the 160-pound division match up.

Golovkin vs. Jacobs tale of the tape

Fighter Gennady Golovkin Daniel Jacobs
Nickname

GGG

The Miracle Man
Record 36-0, 33 KOs 32-1, 29 KOs
Titles IBF, WBA, WBC middleweight WBA “Regular” middleweight
Age 34 30
Height 5-foot-10.5 6-foot
Reach (in.) 70 73
Stance

Orthodox 

Orthodox
Hometown

Karaganda, Kazakhstan   

Brooklyn, New York
Best wins

Kell Brook (TKO5, 2016), Martin Murray (TKO11, 2015), Daniel Geale (TKO3, 2014)   

Peter Quillin (TKO1, 2015), Sergio Mora (TKO2, 2015; TKO7/2016), Ishe Smith (UD10, 2009) 

Notable losses None

Dmitry Pirog (TKO5, 2010)   

Golovkin and Jacobs will top a four-fight card on HBO PPV that will also feature the man many believe to be the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world: Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez. He is set to defend his WBC super flyweight title against Srisaket Sor Rungvisai. Here’s how the full fight card breaks down with the latest odds from Bovada. 

Golovkin vs. Jacobs fight card

Favorite

Challenger

Weightclass

Gennady Golovkin (c) -700

Daniel Jacobs +450

Middleweight title

Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez (c) -2500

Srisaket Sor Rungvisai +1000

Junior bantamweight title

Carlos Cuadras -1600

David Carmona +800

Junior bantamweight

Ryan Martin -700

Bryant Cruz +450

Lightweight

What’s at stake?

With Golovkin putting his three middleweight titles on the line against Jacobs’ secondary WBA belt, the fight offers an opportunity for the winner to claim universal praise as the best in the division. For GGG, already a pound-for-pound stalwart, a victory might also give him a chance to call himself the very best in the world.  

Jacobs has run through a string of opponents since coming back from cancer in 2012. But his quality of opposition has largely been panned, giving him a chance on Saturday to silence critics who claim he’s merely a hard puncher with a great back story and a questionablChris Algieri plays a key role in Daniel Jacobs’ camp

A victory for Golovkin could also launch him into the biggest fight of his career this fall should Canelo Alvarez, who has constantly put off the fight for two years, live up to his word. Alvarez-Golovkin is the best fight the sport could make (outside of Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor), but is equally dependent upon Alvarez defeating Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in May.  

Who has the edge?

1. Power: While both are among the best knockout artists in the sport, with a cumulative average of 90 percent between them, Golovkin has shown the kind of power that changes a fighter’s demeanor upon first contact. He not only broke Matthew Macklin’s ribs with a hook to the body, causing a scream from the canvas that most on press row can still hear in their nightmares, he knocked out Daniel Geale on a counter punch while backpedaling and absorbing a clean shot to the face. GGG’s 23 consecutive KOs speak for itself, especially against a higher level of competition. Advantage: Golovkin

2. Speed: Jacobs will likely be the most athletic natural middleweight that Golovkin has faced, with good hand speed and agility. Golovkin isn’t the fastest fighter but uses incredible footwork, technique and the threat of his power to offset that. One of Jacobs’ best traits is that he’s a natural finisher and knows when to pour it on with lightning quick power shots -- as showcased against Peter Quillin in 2015 -- when he has his man hurt. Advantage: Jacobs  

3. Defense: Golovkin’s style of constantly attacking provides natural opportunities for opponents to counter -- a byproduct of having such an aggressive style. But it’s also up to them to have the chin to stand in there and take his best shots in order to land their own, which no fighter has been able to do for a full 12 rounds. Ultimately, the notion that GGG is defensively deficient has been overblown. When he sought out to avoid David Lemieux’s powerful left hook, he worked behind his jab and was largely untouched until the stoppage win. And statistically, according to CompuBox, he was second only to Vasyl Lomachenko among active fighters in plus/minus, which measures your connect percentage against your opponents. Advantage: Even 

4. Technique: With over 350 amateur fights and a silver medal from the 2004 Olympics, Golovkin’s clinical ability to box is ultimately what has separated him from his opponents as a professional. For such a high-volume and destructive puncher, Golovkin doesn’t waste shots and is rarely, if ever, off balance. No one in the sport cuts off the ring as effectively as he does. While Jacobs was a strong amateur himself and offers more balance between boxing and punching than any of Golovkin’s opponents thus far, GGG is where he’s at for a reason. Advantage: Golovkin

5. Intangibles: Jacobs has already defeated an opponent much more dangerous than Golovkin when he beat an aggressive form of cancer that nearly took his life. Because of that, he’s incredibly determined and fearless. But when two power punchers collide, something ultimately has to separate them. In this case, it comes to their chins. Golovkin prides himself on never being knocked down through over 400 combined amateur or professional bouts. He has said multiple times he has still never been hurt or dazed inside a boxing ring. Jacobs, meanwhile, has been knocked out once and was floored during his 2015 victory over light-punching Sergio Mora, which has caused many to question whether he will be able to give and take against GGG. Advantage: Golovkin

Golovkin vs. Jacobs prediction

This is the biggest fight in Jacobs’ career and one he could have easily avoided thanks to boxing’s political divide. Instead, he sought the fight out and one has to expect, unlike other Golovkin opponents who cowered at the first taste of GGG’s power, that Jacobs will be motivated to win at all costs. Ultimately, that will also prove to be his downfall. In order for Jacobs to have success and gain Golovkin’s respect early, he’s going to have to consistently put himself in heavy danger. Unless his strategy is to avoid contact and run during the first half of the fight in hopes of dragging Golovkin into deep waters, Jacobs will need to fight sooner than later. In this case, although he has the power to hurt Golovkin, he’s ultimately outgunned in terms of technique and punch resistance. Look for Golovkin to finish the fight with a clean knockout as a courageous Jacobs is unable to beat the count.  

Prediction: Golovkin wins by knockout in Round 4

CBS Sports Insider

Brian Campbell covers MMA, boxing and WWE. The Connecticut native joined CBS Sports in 2017 and has covered combat sports since 2010. He has written and hosted various podcasts and digital shows for ESPN... Full Bio

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