NEW YORK -- It was an unusual weigh-in time of 9 a.m. at the Theater at Madison Square Garden on Friday, but Gennady Golovkin's fans showed up in force to chant "Triple G! Triple G!" as he stepped on the scale.
Golovkin weighed in at 159.6 pounds, and Daniel Jacobs, who is from Brooklyn but had nowhere near the fan support of GGG, was 159.8 pounds for their unified middleweight title fight, which will take place inside the main arena at Madison Square Garden on Saturday (HBO PPV, 9 p.m. ET).
"He's my most dangerous opponent, my best opponent," Golovkin said after stepping off the scale. "This is amazing fight for us. I hope it's a big drama show."
The fight matches the two best 160-pound boxers in the world, both of whom have serious firepower in their fists.
Golovkin (36-0, 33 KOs), who has knocked out 23 opponents in a row and will be making his 18th title defense, will defend his three major belts. Jacobs (32-1, 29 KOs), who has knocked out 12 consecutive opponents, is the mandatory challenger and will be making the fifth defense of his secondary title while hoping to collect Golovkin's top belts.
"We gonna show them why we're the best in the world," said an animated Jacobs, who is a significant underdog. "You're gonna see [me do] whatever it takes to win. I believe in myself. I'm not those guys [Golovkin has beaten]. My skill level is different. Nobody needs to believe in me but me."
Typically weigh-ins are held later in the day, but the New York State Athletic Commission elected to hold Friday's much earlier than usual because it is also regulating a card at the Theater at Madison Square Garden on Friday night featuring the professional debut of junior featherweight Michael Conlan, the 2016 Irish Olympic star, against Tim Ibarra. The commission wanted to have enough time to handle the weigh-in while also getting things prepared for Friday night.
On Saturday, pound-for-pound king Roman "Chocolatito" Gonzalez (46-0, 38 KOs), the four-division titleholder from Nicaragua, will defend his junior bantamweight world title in the co-feature against Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (41-4-1, 38 KOs), a former world titleholder from Thailand.
They both were inside the 115-pound weight limit for the fight. Gonzalez was 114.6 pounds for his first defense, and Sor Rungvisai was 114 pounds.
Former junior bantamweight titleholder Carlos Cuadras (35-1-1, 27 KOs), of Mexico, was 115.6 pounds, and countryman David Carmona (20-3-5, 8 KOs) was 115.8 pounds for their 10-round bout. If Gonzalez and Cuadras win their fight, they will meet in a mandatory matchup later this year.
Cuadras, who has a big personality, drew cheers from the crowd when he stepped off the scale and began shadowboxing as he shouted, "I'm very fast, I'm strong, and I'm very handsome!"
The opening fight of the pay-per-view pits lightweight Ryan "Blue Chip" Martin (17-0, 10 KOs) against Bryant "Pee Wee" Cruz (17-1, 8 KOs) in a 10-round match, and they also both made weight. Martin was 134.6 pounds, and Cruz was 135.
In another undercard bout, former middleweight world titleholder Andy Lee (34-3-1, 24 KOs), of Ireland, will fight for the first time since losing his belt by majority decision to England's Billy Joe Saunders in December 2015. Lee weighed right on the division limit of 160 pounds. Opponent KeAndre Leatherwood (19-3-1, 12 KOs) was 159.4 pounds.
Golovkin's guaranteed minimum purse is $2.5 million, while Jacobs will make at least $1.75 million. Both can make more depending on how well the pay-per-view sells.
Gonzalez will make $550,000, Sor Rungvisai $75,000, Cuadras $100,000, Carmona $12,500, Martin $25,000 and Cruz $15,000.