John David Jackson, the former junior middleweight and middleweight champ who now trains fan favorite Sergey Kovalev, spoke to NYFightblog about tonight's headline attraction at Madison Square Garden's Theater.
Jackson, who took part in a ceremony before the promotion kicked off at MSG in which Kovalev received a custom ring from promoter Main Events in appreciation of his title win against WBO 175 pound champ Nathan Cleverly in his last scrap, said he thinks Gennady Golovkin will get the better of Curtis Stevens.
"I give Golovkin the edge 'til proven otherwise, but I'm pulling for Stevens," he said.
"If Curtis can let his hands go, he's probably the faster fighter," Jackson added.
"The thing about Golovkin: He hasn't really fought anybody. His trainer, Abel Sanchez, said he's better than Marvin Hagler -- what was he smoking the day he said that?" Jackson said, chuckling.
Jackson recalled a rough night, on Jan. 29, 2010, for Stevens, when he lost a UD12 to Jesse Brinkley and looked uninspired in doing so.
"That fight with Brinkley showed he might not be on the level they say he is ... but 'til you beat Golovkin, you can't say anything bad about him, you can just say he has shortcomings."