By Marc Livitz: Whether it falls into one’s memory as "The World’s Most Famous Arena" or "The Mecca of Boxing", there’s no sign of confusion when it comes to the place reserved for Madison Square Garden in boxing history. In its various representations over the ages, "The Garden" has been a home base for some of the sport’s most memorable nights for well over one hundred years. There are simply too many prominent names to list, although such legends as Ali and Frazier cannot go unmentioned. On Saturday, March 18, Gennady "GGG" Golovkin will look to further cement his legacy upon the famous Manhattan landmark when he faces Danny "Miracle Man" Jacobs. So far in his eleven year professional career, unbeaten Golovkin (36-0, 33 KO’s) has amassed an astonishing 91.6% knockout ratio over thirty six contests.
The universally recognized, top middleweight in the world is in the midst of a twenty three consecutive knockout win streak and will make his fifth appearance at the Garden in the last four years. A native of Kazakhstan, Gennady has become more than just a fan favorite and has in many ways become an adopted son of whatever city hosts one of his bouts. From New York to Los Angeles or London to Monaco, "GGG" is a top draw. While much of the boxing world remains inexplicably focused on a possible showdown in the Fall between Golovkin and Mexican superstar, Saul "Canelo" Alvarez, the eyes of Gennady as well as those of his team remain squarely focused on the hard hitting Danny Jacobs (32-1 29 KO’s), who himself hails from nearby Brooklyn.
Gennady Golovkin, trainer Abel Sanchez and Managing Director of K2 Promotions Tom Loeffler joined the media this afternoon for an international call to discuss the upcoming middleweight championship contest.
Selected Highlights Listed Below
Opening Statements, Abel Sanchez: "We’re looking forward to starting the year off right and having a great 2017. Our camp has been great and we’ve had the right help and no issues. Hopefully, everything on both sides has gone as planned and we’ll have a great fight.
Opening Statements, Gennady "GGG" Golovkin: "I feel great and I’m very excited. I’m ready for this one."
Sanchez on the punching power of his fighter: "I’ve never had a fighter who hits as hard as Gennady. Fortunately, he doesn’t hit me as hard as he can in training. In sparring, he doesn’t hit partners at one hundred percent, but in a fight, yes of course, he does. It hurts me sometimes, but it’s part of this business. We’re lucky to have such a great fighter and we’re proud to be part of it."
"GGG"’s Own Thoughts on the same: "It’s important for me for me to work hard everyday. I just practice and practice to bring more power. It’s not just power. It’s also timing."
His Views on Danny Jacobs: "This is boxing. Daniel Jacobs is a very good fighter and he has a lot of power. He’s a great athlete and not just a boxer. I work hard everyday. I’m ready to fight and I want this fight, of course. Jacobs is a great challenge."
Abel Sanchez on Jacobs and his chin: "All of these guys at the elite level need a challenge. Not just a physical one, but a mental one as well. Gennady’s been training very hard for this fight. This should be a great chess match. This is what makes these guys fight at their best."
"Every great fighter in history except for Gennady has gone down and got back up. After what he did to (Peter) Quillin, we saw that he was for real. He has great abilities to move and box."
Golovkin’s Respect for Jacobs: "He’s the most dangerous fighter I’ve faced so far. I respect him and he’s a good man. This is life and Daniel beat cancer. I watched a few of his fights and he looks tough. I think he’s the toughest opponent of my career."
On a Potential Super Bout with Canelo Alvarez: "Right now, my focus is on Daniel Jacobs. I kept being told, "next year, next year" when it came to Canelo.
Tom Loeffler’s Thoughts: "Gennady has to win this month and Canelo has to win in May (vs Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr.). If those two things don’t happen, then that fight doesn’t happen. If Gennady’s not successful, then that fight goes out the window. If he is, then we’re ready to speak to Golden Boy."
Abel Sanchez on Jacob’s size advantage: "Most of those who Gennady has fought have been bigger guys. Danny’s size isn’t our concern, but his power is because he can "crack". We’re trying to emulate in sparring what we’ll see on March 18."
"He trains the same way for every fight and I’m fortunate to have a guy like him in the gym and he makes the other guys in there want to train like him. We don’t train differently based on the opponent. We train hard every time."
Golovkin on why he doesn’t engage in trash talk: "I don’t need that. Boxing is boxing and it’s part of my life. This is my job and that’s it."
Loeffler’s Expectations: "The great matchups in boxing bring the best response from the fans. We are expecting another sellout for this fight. We’ve added more floor seats. These are the two best middleweights in the world and this will be a tremendous night."
"Danny is a native New Yorker and he’ll have huge fan support. I still think the crowd will be leaning towards "GGG" but you never know until the fans show up."
Sanchez on Golovkin’s defense: "Defense is always a priority in our gym. If you go back and look at the stats, then you’ll see that Gennady is one of the lowest in terms of getting hit. It’s always something to work on but if I had a fighter that was so defensive that he bored people to death, then we wouldn’t be here today."
His Expectations for the Bout: "I think he’ll be aggressive and that’s how we’re planning. If he doesn’t, then he’ll have to find another way to get Gennady’s respect. The fact he knocked out Peter Quillin shows that he has power, but I expect him to come out and see what Gennady’s got."