By Mark Eisner: Danny Jacobs reasons that because he was able to take Gennady Golovkin’s punching power two years ago, he’ll be able to handle the power of Saul Canelo Alvarez (51-1-2, 35 KOs) this Saturday night on DAZN. Some boxing fans now believe Canelo is harder puncher than GGG, and they feel that he’s going to do to Jacobs (35-2, 29 KOs) what he recently did to Rocky Fielding in knocking him out quickly within three rounds.

Jacobs laughs at those comments, saying that Canelo doesn’t posses the kind of power that GGG possesses. Jacobs, 32, was knocked out in the past by Dmitry Pirog, who doesn’t hit as hard as Golovkin. Pirog hit Jacobs with a nice right hand while he backed against the ropes in the fifth round of their fight in 2010. The rest was history. Jacobs went down hard and laid on his back on the canvas with both eyes closed. The referee stopped the fight immediately. Moments after the referee stopped the fight, Jacobs sprang to his feet and started complaining to the referee that he was fine and wanted to continue fighting. Some fans think Jacobs quit and wanted someone to blame his defeat on. In that case, the referee was the the guy.

“People said GGG hit too hard and I took everything he had and there’s no way that Canelo hits that hard,” Jacobs said to Sky Sports.

Canelo, 5’8″, might not be able to hit as hard as Golovkin, but he hits close enough to do the job in most cases. In some ways, Canelo might be a better knockout puncher than Golovkin at the elite level, because of his hand speed, counter punching ability and the fact that he can punch to the body. Golovkin scores his knockouts on brute strength, and punch placement. Canelo does it with power, speed, timing and throwing to the body. Canelo is a more efficient knockout puncher than Golovkin. Moreover, Canelo scores his knockouts without taking punishment. He doesn’t have to get hit a massive amount of times with brutal shots to get one of his opponents out of there. Golovkin does. Take for example Golovkin’s fight against Vanes Martirosyan last year. Golovkin was hurt by a hard right hand from Martirosyan at the end of the first round when he was trying to get in position to land one of his own big punches. An angry-looking Golovkin came out in the second round and knocked Martirosyan out quickly, but it wasn’t an easy fight despite the fast knockout. Golovkin got hit hard.

Jacobs did a superb job against Golovkin in losing a questionable 12 round unanimous decision in March 2017 in New York. Jacobs sees Canelo as below the level of GGG. Jacobs watched both Canelo-Golovkin fights, and he saw Triple G as the winner of those fights, which coincidentally took place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, the same venue that Saturday’s Canelo vs. Jacobs fight will be taking place.

“He’s a smaller middleweight than me and I may have to adjust to his size and speed in the early going, but even though he holds most of the belts and it’s largely his titles we’re fighting for, I already see myself as the best middleweight out there and the whole world will agree with me after I’ve defeated Canelo,” Jacobs said.

If Jacobs beats Canelo on Saturday, he can make a case that he is the #1 middleweight on the planet. Depending on how decisive Jacobs’ victory is, he could be seen as the top fighter in the 160 lb weight class. Naturally, the boxing public is going to want to see Jacobs further prove he’s the best by beating Canelo in a likely rematch at the T-Mobile in Las Vegas, and then go on and defeat Golovkin, WBO belt holder Demetrius Andrade and then interim WBC middleweight champion Jermall Charlo. To prove that he’s the best fighter at 160, Jacobs will need to five fights in total against Canelo [x 2], Golovkin, Andrade and Charlo to claim the #1 spot. Canelo’s promoters at Golden Boy Promotions are already calling him the #1 middleweight, and saying that Jacobs is #2, but that’s Golden Boy doing their promotional work.

To prove that Canelo is REALLY number 1 at middleweight, he must because Jacobs without controversy, and then defeat GGG decisvely, and move on to defeat Andrade and Charlo in convincing manners without the public saying that he was given gift decisions. Just like any sport, you have to beat the top players and teams to be called the true #1. You don’t get a team calling themselves #1 without working their way to the Super Bowl and earning the right to say that. Jacobs is doing the same thing Golden Boy is doing by calling himself #1. He still has a lot of fights in front of him that he must win for him to claim that honor. It’s possible for Jacobs to do that, but it’s going to require some great performances from him, and it’ll take time. To win all those fights will eat up at least two years, possibly three depending on if Jacobs chooses to fight other guys in between or take rematches with the fighters he beats.

“I went in there with Golovkin, the monster who no one wanted to face, and most would agree that I was the one who boxed better throughout and that my hand should’ve been raised,” Jacobs said. “Golovkin has then gone on to defeat Canelo twice in my opinion, and although the official results say otherwise, I take a lot from my fight with Golovkin, and Golovkin’s fights with Canelo to believe that I’m the best middleweight there is right now. May 4th in Vegas is when you see me make it official,” said Jacobs.

Jacobs fought well for the last six rounds of the Golovkin fight. If he had fought like that in the first six rounds, he would have easily beaten him. It looked like Jacobs fought like he was wary of Golovkin in the early going, and gave him too much respect. If Jacobs can fight the way he did in the second half of the GGG fight against Canelo for the entire 12 rounds, he’ll likely win on Saturday. There’s two different Jacobs that we’ve seen from. There’s the cautious Jacobs that gives away rounds by being passive inside the ring, and there’s the aggressive Jacobs that we saw in the second half of the Golovkin fight. Jacobs needs to go back to his roots of what he was earlier in his career when he was a seek and destroy fighter.

Jacobs’ basic chemistry and that of a knockout artist. When he deviates from being that fighter, he struggles doesn’t look his best. To beat Canelo, Jacobs can’t give him any respect. He’s got to treat him the same way he treated the guys he was beating earlier in his career like Sergio Mora, Jose Luis Cruz, Juan Astorga, and Jose Miguel Rodriguez Berrio. Jacobs reacts differently when his opponents are throwing punches back at him. He doesn’t seem to like it too much when his opponents are trying to win. That could be a problem for Jacobs on Saturday night, because Canelo is going to be trying to win the entire time. If Jacobs has doubts about himself, and fights passively like he did at times in his recent fights against GGG, Maciej Sulecki, Luis Arias and Sergiy Derevyanchenko, he’ll get beaten by Canelo.


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