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Golovkin-Jacobs: Previewing middleweight title fight

Gennady Golovkin and Daniel Jacobs rank first and third in consecutive knockouts among active titleholders. AP Photo/Rich Schultz

Gennady Golovkin will defend his WBA, WBC and IBF middleweight titles Saturday night in a 12-round bout at Madison Square Garden against No. 1 contender Daniel Jacobs of Brooklyn.

Stats & Info previews the fight.

Golovkin on top for more than six years

Golovkin, more commonly known as “GGG” or “Triple G,” has made 17 successful middleweight title defenses since he won the WBA title in August 2010. His streak of defenses is the second longest in division history behind Bernard Hopkins’ 20 from 1995 to 2005.

Golovkin, 34, has knocked out 33 of 36 opponents (91.7 percent), the highest career rate among middleweight titlists in history, according to CompuBox. Dating to November 2008, Golovkin has knocked out his past 23 opponents.

Golovkin is 18-0 (all 18 wins by knockout) in world title fights.

In ESPN rankings, Golovkin is the No. 1 middleweight and the No. 2 pound-for-pound fighter.

'Miracle Man' making quick work of opponents

Jacobs, 30, won the WBA’s “regular” middleweight title in August 2014 and is getting his mandatory shot at Golovkin’s titles. Since the only loss of his career, to Dmitry Pirog in July 2010, Jacobs has reeled off 12 consecutive wins, all by knockout. Ten of the 12 knockouts (and 26 of 29 in his career) have come within the first five rounds.

Jacobs earned the nickname “Miracle Man” after he was diagnosed with bone cancer in 2011 and returned to boxing in 2012 cancer-free.

According to ESPN rankings, Jacobs is the No. 2-ranked middleweight.

CompuBox notes

Jacobs throws nearly eight fewer punches per round (47.5) than the middleweight average (55.2) and 20 fewer than Golovkin (67.9).

According to CompuBox, Golovkin ranks in the top three in several categories, including plus/minus (plus-15.1, tied for third), total punches landed per round (27.5, third) and total connect percentage (40.5 percentage, second). Despite being known as a knockout puncher, Golovkin ranks first in jabs landed per round (10.9), according to CompuBox rankings.

Both fighters use their left hand heavily, but Golovkin lands 63 percent of his punches on his opponents with his left hand.

Jacobs is more even with his punch distribution, but both fighters land almost exclusively to their opponents’ heads.

The odds

As of Thursday, the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook had Golovkin as a minus-840 favorite (a winning $840 bet would win $100) and Jacobs a plus-660 underdog ($100 bet would win $660).