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Gennady Golovkin vs. Daniel Jacobs staff picks and predictions

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Check out the Bloody Elbow staff’s predictions for the HBO PPV main event between middleweight king Gennady Golovkin and Daniel Jacobs.

You’re not going to believe this, but Bloody Elbow staffers are unanimously picking Gennady Golovkin (36-0, 33 KOs) to dispatch Daniel Jacobs (32-1, 29 KOs) in Saturday’s HBO PPV main event in Madison Square Garden. What may genuinely surprise you just a tad is Fraser Coffeen’s breakdown, as he actually thinks Jacobs has what it takes to snap Golovkin’s 23-fight knockout streak.

Mookie Alexander: I think the Brook fight was uncharacteristically sloppy by Golovkin (in a fight he still easily won anyway), but the matchmaking itself was already bizarre thanks to Chris Eubank Jr. and his father teamed up to royally screw themselves. I’m a little concerned that while Golovkin has never ever been knocked down in 300+ amateur and pro fights combined, he’s 35 years old in a month, and well … shit happens. Jacobs hits hard and is a better technician than Lemieux (who hits harder than Jacobs), but he’s not at GGG’s level. We saw how Golovkin was able to disarm Lemieux with just his jab. There are just too many layers for Jacobs to get past for me to think he’s going to win. He has a puncher’s chance, but not much else more. The questions about his chin are perhaps a little overstated given what a damn good fighter Dmitry Pirog was until injuries ended his career. Getting reckless and dropped by the featherfisted Sergio Mora in 2015 is much more of a concern to me. He’s not that great defensively and I can just envision Golovkin whacking him with that destructive left hook of his and he will not be able to recover. The way GGG moves his hips and generates so much power with that left hook is unreal. How do you neutralize that? Answer: You can’t. How is Jacobs going to effectively get past the head-body combinations GGG loves so much? Enjoy the big drama show. And while we’re on it, let’s bypass Floyd Mayweather and book GGG vs. Conor McGregor so I can make some money of the most deluded McGregor fans. Gennady Golovkin by KO, round 6.

Ram Gilboa: I’m the first to chime in, so I’m going to guess that no one here is going to pick Jacobs, and this is just one reason why. The late Howard Cosell wrote that ‘boxing is drama on its largest scale’, and GGG brings his big drama with frightening power. He can deliver that power too, using the Fitzsimmons Shift and the Soviet school bursting Chelnok attack (out-in-out); beautifully, almost without squaring up to his opponent. That is not to say the Kazakh’s defence is impeccable. His main defence is really the fear of retaliation. Otherwise it is mostly basic, and gutsy folks have shown that while Golovkin’s on the attack he can be picked and hit, especially by straight rights. Sometimes that’s rather elective of him; Gennady Golovkin’s foundations are Soviet, but his style is Mexican, and against the more unchallenging challengers he tends to underuse his boxing to bring some big drama.

Daniel Jacobs should prove to be a real challenge without Golovkin helping him.

The New-Yorker’s an athletic all-rounder that can move, he throws them hard, and he too can really bang. Only the Abel Sanchez Kazakh disciple has never been knocked down, not once in 36 pro fights, or 350 amateur ones. He himself holds the highest KO ratio in middleweight history ever since they started taking count in 1884. Since Jacobs is high up there in that list, too, we might see a more prudent Golovkin early on, or he’ll might want to end things early.

Golovkin has already shown he can beat dancers – cutting the ring on Monroe – and he can beat bruisers – dispatching Stevens and Lemieux. His best punch is probably his long left hook, but he also finished top guys with a switch left overhand, a right straight, a left hook to the body, a left uppercut and a right hook. Daniel Jacobs can be a lot to handle too – he does throws them too wide for comfort against someone like Golovkin, but he also seems more tactical and accurate than ever. He’ll probably give Golovkin and us the Kazakh’s best fight yet, but that’s where it’ll stop. Gennady Golovkin by Canelo repelling KO, round 6.

Fraser Coffeen: You can check out my full fight preview to get more in-depth thoughts on this fight, but here’s the prediction I made there. I’m taking a small gamble, but I’m sticking with it: Given both the power and the technical skill of Jacobs, Golovkin is going to have to come into this fight minding his business carefully. If he fights sloppy like he did against Brook, chances of a Jacobs power shot landing are high – and Jacobs is the kind of fighter where one power shot turns the fight around. But GGG is a smart fighter, and Abel Sanchez is a smart trainer. They didn’t respect the power of the smaller Brook, and as the fight revealed, they didn’t have to. I don’t see him making the same mistake here. I expect to see Golovkin approach this fight much as he did against Lemieux – cautious and technical at first, slowly heating up the pressure as he goes in search of the later stoppage. But Jacobs won’t give him the openings Lemieux did, and when you combine that with Golovkin looking maybe just a tiny bit past his absolute peak… I don’t think that’s enough for a Jacobs win, but I do think it’s enough to snap the KO streak and force Golovkin to deal with the scorecards for the first time in 9 years. Gennady Golovkin, UD

Tim Burke: I see this going pretty similarly to the David Lemieux fight – box the brawler. Not that Jacobs isn’t technical (he’s definitely more than Lemieux), but Triple G knows when he needs to switch gears and fight less Mexican. He stops Jacobs late. Gennady Golovkin by TKO, round 10

Staff picking GGG: Stephie, Ram, Nick, Fraser, Mookie, Tim
Staff picking Jacobs:

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