Mayweather-McGregor talk stealing spotlight from Golovkin-Jacobs bout

Gennady Golovkin lands one against a previous opponentMadison Square Garden will host a highly touted boxing match this weekend, even if it’s not the fight everyone is talking about. Gennady Golovkin and Daniel Jacobs are meeting to unify the middleweight titles boasting a combined record of 68-1, but the growing buzz surrounding a potential fight between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor is distracting from Saturday’s bout.

Golovkin owns every middleweight boxing title except the WBA Regular title. He is undefeated in 36 professional fights, with 33 of those decisions coming by knockout, and is widely considered the best active pound-for-pound boxer in the world. Golovkin vacated the WBA Regular title when he was promoted to WBA Super middleweight champion, allowing Jacobs to win it by defeating Jarrod Fletcher in 2014.

Jacobs overcame a battle with bone cancer that temporarily sidelined his boxing career and nearly cost him his life in 2011. He returned to the ring late in 2012 and won two fights before the year was over, announcing he was back in a big way. Like Golovkin, Jacobs prefers to end his fights with knockouts, and is riding a streak of eight straight TKOs, and his superior speed could cause problems for Golovkin.

Jacobs’ professional career began on the undercard of a Mayweather fight, so perhaps it’s only fitting that the biggest moment in his career thus far again falls under Mayweather’s shadow. Talk of a fight between Mayweather and McGregor is nothing new, but the hype is growing thanks to recent comments by Mayweather and UFC president Dana White.

Earlier in the week, Mayweather announced his intention to un-retire from boxing for the sole purpose of fighting McGregor, calling out the UFC superstar repeatedly in the process. White then changed his mind about the possibility of the bout taking place—which he initially dismissed as a pipe dream—by saying he now believes it will happen.

The public appeal of a Mayweather-McGregor bout is obvious, as both men have massive enough followings to generate interest among casual sports fans who haven’t paid attention to a boxing match since Mayweather defeated Manny Pacquiao. By comparison, a matchup between Golovkin and Jacobs has little to no resonance outside the boxing world. But Golovkin can live with that because he doesn’t consider a Mayweather-McGregor fight to be real boxing.

"I only fight boxers because I'm a boxer. I'm not a showman,” Golovkin told ESPN’s Arash Markazi. “I respect my sport. I'm very serious. If you want to watch a true fight, you're welcome to on Saturday night. It's not a show. It's not a funny show."