The first thing I look up for a boxer is the amount of knockouts he holds in his professional career. It's like walking up to a gunslinger in a Clint Eastwood spaghetti western, and seeing what kind of firepower he's carrying. For boxing lovers, it’s the recognition of pure domination inside the ring.
Gennady Golovkin and Daniel Jacobs are true knockout artists.
The number of knockouts is how I measure a fighter's punching chance. It doesn't preclude the fighter from winning the bout, but it makes him a different kind of boxer. Floyd Mayweather won 49 matches in his career, with only 26 by knockout, so he made his legend out of using his opponent's aggression against them.Then there are boxers like Golovkin and Jacobs-the two men will meet in the ring Saturday night at Madison Square Garden. I can promise you one thing: the fight will end in a knockout. Someone is going down, and the judges should be able to take most of the night off.
In 36 professional fights, Golovkin aka G.G.G. has 33 knockouts, and zero defeats. He hasn't lost, and his hands have never heard of defeat. More so, Golovkin is riding a consecutive knockout streak of 26 fights in a row. The last time a professional fight involving Golovkin went to the cards, the date was June 21, 2008 in Denmark and the opponent was Amar Amari. In other words, that was two Presidents ago.
Since then, Golovkin has steam rolled through his opponents like a Soviet freight train. Gabriel Rosado, Matthew Macklin, Curtis Stevens, Marco Rubio, Daniel Gaele, Willie Monroe Jr., David Lemieux, and Kell Brook. Forget about it. Brook started opening up lanes towards Golovkin, but a broken orbital bone and repeated damage stopped the fight in the fifth round. When you step into a ring with Golovkin, your face is a fragile plate hanging off the edge of a cabinet.
Jacobs has already won the fight of a lifetime: a rare form of bone cancer called osteosarcoma brought the Brooklyn native's career to a screeching halt in 2011. Imagine being on top of the world, turning your head, and getting hit by a hammer more than once. Jacobs underwent surgery, and returned to the ring 15 months later in October, 2012. He has won ten fights since, and those triumphs include a brutal beating of his good friend and NY neighbor, Peter Quillen. The only loss Jacobs suffered came against Dmitri Pirog in 2010 via a fifth round knockout. Less than a year later, the cancer hit. You could say Jacobs survived the toughest 1-2 punch of any fighter's career.
Now, he enters the ring against the pound for pound king of boxing. Does Jacobs have a shot against Golovkin? With all due respect to an amazing story in Jacobs, I expect Golovkin to win this fight by technical knockout closer to the eighth round of the fight. Each man has fought men in the ring and knocked out plenty, but I don't think Jacobs has tasted power on his chin like the kind Triple G dispenses regularly.
When you get hit extremely hard, a liquid is produced in your mouth, and you can taste the impact of that liquid mixing with blood and turning into a bruise. After a thorough battle, I expect Golovkin to do what he does best, and finish Jacobs. If Canelo Alvarez dismisses the putrid Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in May, the stage would be set for two of the biggest names in the sport to meet later this year.
Jacobs won't be easy, but he isn't the one to stop Golovkin. As much as experts say Brook opened up the blueprint on how to defeat the Russian, he also left with the ring with a severe eye injury. Brook's trainer was so worried about his fighter taking more damage from Golovkin that he leaped to the side of the ring, and threw the white towel towards the two fighters. He was a lamp shade in front of the sun that night, and it didn't even last five rounds. Jacobs isn't that much better than Brook, who had recently given Shawn Porter his first loss. Jacobs hasn't felt the power that Triple G can bring, and that will be the difference as the fight wages into the latter segment.
Here's what I know about this fight: it should denounce the theory that boxing is boring and dead. In Golovkin and Jacobs, you have two world class fighters with a single loss between them. Last week, Lemieux and Stevens went to war before one of them turned off the other's light. Alvarez is a lightning bolt, and two weeks ago Keith Thurman and Danny Garcia produced a great battle. Roman "Chocolatito" Gonzalez is a beast and Vasyl Lomachenko is one of the most entertaining fighters around right now. There are more, and it all proves one thing; boxing is far from dead.
Saturday night, Gennady Golovkin puts his knockout streak on the line, but also will provide boxing fans with the equivalent of an 1980's Arnold Schwarzenegger action film. There will be explosions in the form of punches thrown, and carnage. Instead of paying 30 dollars for a couple movie tickets and refreshments where actors will portray fighting, spend a little more or call a friend and get a load of Golovkin and Jacobs.
This fight will not reach the twelfth round, which means someone will go down. My bet is Jacobs hits the mat in the eighth round. Nevertheless, at the end of the night, boxing will score the true win.
Thanks for reading. Have a question or thought? Let's have a cup of coffee over social media on Facebook (Dan Buffa) or Twitter @buffa82.