Gennady Golovkin, boxing's middleweight king, is set on unifying all the titles in the division and his next fight will bring him one step closer to that goal.
Golovkin will face Daniel Jacobs on March 18 at Madison Square Garden in a WBA unification bout. That fight will headline an HBO pay-per-view. Golovkin confirmed the news on social media.
Both Golovkin and Jacobs had been trying to negotiate a fight for the end of 2016, but snags in negotiations have prevented the fight from happening this year, instead opting to find a 2017 date for the fight. Golovkin is the WBA "super" middleweight champion while Jacobs is the governing body's "regular" champion.
One of the reasons it has taken so long for the fight to be finalized is the purse split between the two fighters. When the WBA "super" and "regular" champions fight against one another, the "super" champion would receive 75% of the purse while the lesser champion gets the remaining 25%. Jacobs wanted 40% of the purse, but the organization kept its ruling of a 75-25 split in favor of Golovkin.
By the time the ruling was made, it was too late to have the fight in 2016. The two were ordered by the WBA to negotiate a fight by December 19, otherwise the fight would be ordered to have a purse bid.
The last time Golovkin was in action, it was against Kell Brook on September 10 when Golovkin battered Brook into a fifth-round TKO victory. That fight was for GGG's WBC, IBO and IBF middleweight titles. The WBA title was not on the line as the WBA did not deem Brook, a welterweight champion who was making his debut at 160 pounds, a worthy challenger for its title.
Jacobs, on the other hand, had just wrapped up a feud with former world champion Sergio Mora. Jacobs retained his WBA title after Mora broke his ankle in the second round of their August 2015 encounter and could not continue. After Jacobs made quick work of Peter Quillin last year, Jacobs defeated Mora a second time this past September with a seventh-round TKO victory.
After a potential mega-fight with light middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez was going to be held off until late 2017, Golovkin set his sights on unifying all the world titles in the 160-pound division. Golovkin holds the WBA "super," WBC, IBO and IBF titles while Jacobs holds the WBA "regular" title and Billy Joe Saunders is the WBO champion.