Daniel Jacobs comes into Saturday’s fight against Gennady “GGG” Golovkin the underdog and seemingly without hope. While some boxing fans and sports writers see the Golovkin-Jacobs fight as a toss-up, the reality is much different. Jacobs doesn’t have much of a chance to win unless he fights the perfect fight or if he lands a lucky punch in the first 2 or 3 rounds.
Jacobs’ chances of winning the fight decrease as the rounds go by, however, as Golovkin seems to get stronger as the rounds go by. Once Golovkin figures out his opponents, he quickly puts them away. Golovkin (36-0, 33 KOs) is at his most vulnerable in the first 3 to 4 rounds. If Golovkin’s opponents don’t make their move by the 4th, they tend to get stopped shortly after.
Jacobs will be meeting Golovkin this Saturday night on HBO PPV at Madison Square Garden in New York. The venue works for both fighters. Neither guy has the advantage in terms of crowd, as Jacobs is from Brooklyn, New York, but Golovkin has many boxing fans in the city. Golovkin has won over the New York fans with his past knockouts.
Here are the strategies that Jacobs must use for him to beat Golovkin:
– Jacobs must get Golovkin’s respect right away in the 1st round by hitting him with something big to keep him off. Jacobs has to hit Golovkin with a big enough punch to make him respect him, because otherwise he’s going to pressure him nonstop the same way Dmitri Pirog did in his win over Jacobs in 2010.
– Establish the jab. Jacobs has to control the outside with his jab to prevent Golovkin from attempting to dominate with his own jab the way he did against David Lemieux in their fight in October 2015. Golovkin was able to win an easy fight against Lemieux by staying at the distance and jabbing him repeatedly in the first 7 rounds. If Jacobs can take away Golovkin’s ability to jab by using his longer reach to out-jab him, then that will force Golovkin to slug much earlier than he wants to.
– Using movement is key for Jacobs. He cannot stand in front of Golovkin in the early rounds to let him land his big bombs. Golovkin had problems landing his power shots in his last fight against Kell Brook due to the movement from the British fighter.
– Jacobs has to use head movement to keep Golovkin from landing his power shots. Golovkin’s trainer Abel Sanchez likes to say that he’s a body puncher, but he’s really not. Golovkin is still a head hunter like he was when Sanchez first started training him 7 years ago. If Jacobs can move his head enough to avoid Golovkins big heat seeking punches thrown at his head, he can disarm his offense entirely.
– Strategic holding. Jacobs will need to use a certain amount of holding to keep Golovkin from getting his shots off. If Jacobs can hold Golovkin and fling him to the side during his clinches, he can tire him out in the same way that he was tired out by Russian Gaydarbek Gaydarbekov in the 2004 Olympics. Golovkin was beaten by Gaydarbekov by a 28-18 score.