Jacobs Sparring Former Soviets to Prep for GGG
Danny Jacobs may be the underdog heading into his March matchup with Gennady Golovkin, but he will not enter the ring already defeating like many past GGG opponents. Jacobs is training hard and smart for the undefeated Kazakh, bringing in similar fighters with roots in the former Soviet Union.
RingTV reports that Jacobs has brought in Avtandil Khurtsidze, Sergiy Derevyanchenko and Ievgen Khytrov as the primary sparring partners for his 10-week training camp. The team believes that these three standout Eastern Europeans will successfully replicate Golovkin’s style:
“We think they can emulate Golovkin’s style better than anybody out there,” the boxers’ adviser Keith Connolly told RingTV.com on Wednesday. “They’re from the (former) Russian system and they’re all top middleweights. Besides Danny and GGG, I don’t think there’s anyone out there even in the Top 10 who can really compete with those guys. The fact that they’re from (the former) Russian amateur program, a lot of these guys have the same type of style and I think just psychologically, it will be good for Danny to be in with them.”
While Golovkin may be one of a kind, Jacobs was wise to bring in such talented sparring partners. Khurtsidze (32-2-2) is the WBO’s top-ranked contender to Billy Joe Saunders’ middleweight belt, though Canelo Alvarez was recently named as the mandatory challenger instead.
Derevyanchenko (9-0, 7 KOs) is a bronze medalist and the #10 middleweight. Khytrov (14-0, 12 KOs) was a gold medalist in the 2011 World Championships and is the #11 ranked middleweight.
“They’re going to be away with Danny for an extended period of time,” Connolly said. “We’re going to ask them to try to emulate GGG’s style, as far as cutting off the ring and throwing that left hook to the body that GGG throws when he has his opponent on the ropes. So I think it will be on a much more intense level.”