In Canada, mixed martial arts has overtaken boxing in terms of overall popularity and in betting action at Sports Interaction. That said, there’s still something electric about a huge boxing night. The best card of the year thus far is Saturday night from Madison Square Garden, the “World’s Most Famous Arena.” It’s headlined by Gennady Golovkin putting his WBA, WBC and IBF middleweight belts on the line against Daniel Jacobs. It can be seen on HBO pay-per-view, and Golovkin is a -933 favourite.
Golovkin vs. Jacobs Odds
Since unbeaten Floyd Mayweather Jr. retired – if he stays retired and doesn’t return to fight MMA star Conor McGregor, which many believe will happen sometime in 2017 in the boxing ring – the title of world’s pound-for-pound king has been up for grabs.
Many believe that fighter is Kazakhstan’s Golovkin. The 34-year-old, who now lives in the USA, is 36-0 with 33 knockouts. He has reigned supreme over the middleweight division, which is arguably boxing’s deepest division, this entire decade. GGG claimed the interim WBA middleweight belt in August 2010 with a knockout victory over Milton Nunez in Panama and hasn’t looked back. Golovkin added the WBC interim middleweight title in October 2015 with an eighth-round TKO over Canadian David Lemieux at Madison Square Garden. As an aside, Lemieux hasn’t lost since and beat Curtis Stevens last week to continue his climb back up the middleweight ranks.
Golovkin added the IBF title in April last year with a very impressive second-round knockout of Dominic Wade in California. That bout wasn’t close and it was the 22nd straight knockout for GGG. He returned to the in September and handed British superstar Kell Brook his first career loss with a fifth-round TKO in London. Brook’s corner threw in the towel as Brook was dealing with an eye injury. He was a welterweight champion who moved up two weight classes for the fight but was clearly overmatched. Golovkin retained his title for the 17th consecutive time. The middleweight division record is 20 straight defenses set by the legendary Bernard Hopkins.
ESPN ranks Golovkin as the No. 2 pound-for-pound fighter in the world, while Ring Magazine has him No. 4. That’s criminally low.
The potential biggest fight of 2017 would be if Golovkin were to face Mexican superstar and WBO junior-middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez at a catchweight. The respective camps have been trying to make that a reality for several months. It is being eyed for September.
Jacobs could delay it until 2018 with a big upset as he’s priced at +541 on boxing odds. The 30-year-old American is 32-1 with 29 KOs. His lone loss was in 2010 to Dmitry Pirog by fifth-round TKO for the vacant WBO middleweight title. Jacobs was impressive in his most recent fight on Sept. 9, 2016, when he beat Sergio Mora for a second time to retain the “regular” WBA middleweight belt. Golovkin is the “super” champion.
Gonzalez vs. Rungvisai Boxing Odds
As dominant as Golovkin has been, the pound-for-pound king by both ESPN and Ring Magazine is WBC super flyweight champion Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez, and he puts that belt on the line against Srisaket Sor Rungvisai in the bout preceding Golovkin-Jacobs at Madison Square Garden.
The best record in boxing history is 49-0 by former heavyweight champion Rocky Marciano and Mayweather. Gonzalez, from Nicaragua, is 46-0 with 38 knockouts and is only 29 years old. He was tested last September against Carlos Cuadras, winning by unanimous decision to claim to a 115-pound belt and a title in his fourth weight division (also 105, 108 and 112 pounds). The winner of Saturday’s fight will face Cuadras.
The 30-year-old Sor Rungvisai (41-4-1, 38 KOs) is a southpaw from Thailand who started his pro career with a 1-3 record. He was the WBC super flyweight champion when he lost to Cuadras in May 2014 by technical decision. The fight was stopped because Cuadras had a cut over his eye and couldn’t continue. Because he was ahead on all three scorecards, Cuadras was credited with the victory. Rungvisai has won 14 in a row since but largely against questionable competition.
Gonzalez is -1821 on boxing odds and Rungvisai, whose real name is Wisaksil Wangek, is +719.
Boxing Odds & Predictions
Golovkin is simply a nightmare – he will beat Jacobs by knockout. We will stick with chalk and take Gonzalez to win by decision. Place your boxing bets!