Danny “The Miracle Man” Jacobs walked up the right staircase to the front of the stage inside Madison Square Garden. Then Gennady “GGG” Golovkin headed up the left staircase and extended a hand that Jacobs took and shook at Tuesday’s media event to hype March “Middleweight Madness.”
There were no angry words on this day, just respect.
“I’m a Triple G fan,” Jacobs said.
“He’s a really good guy, a very good fighter,” Golovkin said.
But come March 18, they will put their respectful nature aside and step into the Garden’s boxing ring for what’s expected to be one of the biggest and best fights of the year. It’s a championship fight between two guys with a combined 35 consecutive knockouts.
Golovkin, a 34-year-old Kazakhstan native, is 36-0 with 33 KOs, including 23 straight, and enters as the unified middleweight world champion.
“I have four belts,” Golovkin said of his WBA, WBC, IBF and IBO titles. “This is the dream, the dream for everybody. It’s very important for us who’s number one.”
Jacobs, a Brooklyn native who turns 30 on Feb. 3, is the WBA’s regular middleweight champ, the organization’s secondary titleholder and mandatory challenger, standing at 32-1 with 29 KOs. He said he’s OK “being an 8-1 underdog.”
“I have to prove to the world and I have to shock the world and let them know that I am the best,” Jacobs said.
Golovkin’s trainer, Abel Sanchez, said Jacobs is “probably the best fighter we’ve fought to date.”
The bout will be seen in more than 100 countries. The suggested base price to watch the HBO Pay-Per-View production was set at $54.95. Tickets run from $100 to $1,000.
“There’s no argument that they’re absolutely the two best in their division, and that’s what you don’t see these days,” said Tom Loeffler, the managing director of K2 Promotions, which promotes Golovkin. “The best fighting the best is very rare.”
Jacobs is “The Miracle Man” for a reason. A cancerous tumor was found around his spine in 2011. It paralyzed his legs. He underwent surgery and radiation treatment, relearned walking, returned to fight in October of 2012 and claimed his belt in 2014.
“I just think the Creator has positioned my life to just be an inspiration to so many people throughout the world,” Jacobs said. “So many people are affected by cancer, whether you have it or a family member.
“I have an 8-year-old son that I want to be a role model for. So I try to live my life in sync with that, and I just want to make sure the world sees me for who I am . . . But winning this fight will take everything to the next level.”