By Larry Fine
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Undefeated middleweight slugger Gennady Golovkin will put four world championship belts on the line March 18 against WBA champion Daniel Jacobs, who said on Tuesday that he relished another chance to beat the odds.
Golovkin of Kazakhstan is 36-0 with 33 knockouts but Jacobs, known as “The Miracle Man” after winning his battle with bone cancer, is keen for the Madison Square Garden clash.
“The creator has positioned my life to be an inspiration to so many people throughout the world. So many people are affected by cancer,” Brooklyn’s Jacobs told reporters. “The fact that I can overcome … winning this fight will take everything to the next level.”
While Golovkin, with knockout power in both hands, has been invincible, Jacobs has earned respect for his courage and perseverance as well as for pugilistic skills that have led to a 32-1 record with 29 stoppages.
In May 2011, Jacobs was diagnosed with a form of bone cancer and was left partially paralyzed. After radiation treatments, surgery to remove a tumor wrapped around his spine and arduous rehabilitation, he returned to boxing in late 2012.
Two years later, Jacobs stopped Jarrod Fletcher in five rounds to win the WBA middleweight title, and has finished off his last dozen opponents within the distance.
Jacobs, who combines power with elite boxing skills, may give 34-year-old Golovkin his toughest test.
“I believe Dan is ready for this fight. This is his dream. A dream for everybody,” said Golovkin, who voiced respect for Jacobs. “For us, it will decide who is number one, who is the best. I promise an amazing show.”
Said Golovkin trainer Abel Sanchez: “I would say he is probably the best fighter we’ve fought to date. Great right hand, good boxing knowledge, good boxing IQ.”
Andre Dozier, Jacobs’ trainer, said his fighter would be up to the task. “He has fought the hardest fight he could ever have, in life. Everything after that has been a walk in the park because he fears no man.”
Jacobs said fighting for Golovkin’s WBC, IBF, IBO and WBA super world middleweight belts represented the pinnacle of his career and that his 8-year-old son Nathaniel would again be at ringside.
“Not only to prove to the world, but to prove to my son that when you set your mind to anything that you do, no matter who believes, who thinks you can, as long as you believe in yourself anything is possible,” he said.
(Editing by Frank Pingue)