NEW YORK: Undefeated Gennady Golovkin defends his undisputed world middleweight boxing title against hard-hitting American Daniel Jacobs on Saturday in a showdown of knockout power punchers at Madison Square Garden.
Kazakhstan’s Golovkin, 36-0 with 33 knockouts, risks the World Boxing Council, World Boxing Association and International Boxing Federation crowns against Jacobs, 32-1 with 29 knockouts.
Jacobs is nicknamed “Miracle Man” after his career was almost ended in 2011 because of osteosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer. He made a full recovery but spent 19 months out of the sport while battling and recovering from cancer.
“To beat a guy like Golovkin you have to be mentally tough and what guy could be tougher than me after what I’ve battled?” Jacobs said. “I can’t be broken, especially by fear. I’ll fight the best fight of my life.
“This is a great opportunity for me. This is the biggest. I’m so focused, so ready. I want it.”
Jacobs suffered his only loss to unbeaten Russian Dmitry Pirog in 2010, but has won 12 consecutive fights since then, none of them going the distance.
“I believe in myself and I believe in what I can do,” Jacobs said. “No one is going to take that away from me.”
Golovkin has owned at least one world middleweight title for more than six years and it has been nearly nine years, and 23 fights, since any rival has gone the distance with him.
Golovkin has dominated in prior Madison Square Garden sellout appearances and intends to continue that trend despite facing a hometown hero in Jacobs.
“I know Danny is from Brooklyn, but I feel like New York is my home,” Golovkin said.
And “Triple G” is ready to put on a show worthy of Broadway.
“This is the biggest chance for us to show world boxing class for the fans,” Golovkin said. “We’re going in the ring to put on an amazing show.”
Nicaragua’s unbeaten Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez (46-0 with 38 knockouts) defends his WBC super flyweight title against Thailand’s Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (41-4 with one drawn and 38 knockouts) in the feature undercard fight.
Former WBC champion Srisaket’s only loss since 2010 came three years ago when he fell to Mexico’s Carlos Cuadras. The Thai southpaw has won 40 of his past 41 fights, including 14 in a row, but is 0-4 in bouts outside his homeland.
Gonzalez, in his 16th world title fight, became a world champion in his fourth weight division last September by taking a unanimous decision victory over Cuadras, who also will fight on the undercard and is likely to fight a title rematch with the winner.