At Madison Square Garden, New York, Gennady Golovkin unified a whole bunch of Middleweight titles against a game, spirited Daniel Jacobs. Viewers may be adjusting their screens, however, as boxing’s most feared fighter was taken the distance before hearing scores of 115-113 (twice) and 114-113. Boxing Base saw it 115-112 for Jacobs, but the official numbers shouldn’t be considered too controversial. This was just another close affair like Gonzalez vs Wangek (see Undercard Report below).
Golovkin now rises to 37 wins, 33 knockouts, while Jacobs picks up his second pro career blemish, reducing to 32 wins, 2 defeats, 29 knockouts. Golovkin leaves with the IBF, WBC and WBA ‘Super’ Middleweight titles. Plus Jacob’s WBA ‘Regular’ title…even though it’s…outranked by the ‘Super’ variety. Or something. Anyway, GGG’s twenty-three-fight KO streak has finally come to an end. But he of course moves on to bigger fights, which may or may not be against slippery Anything-But-Middleweight elite, Canelo Alvarez.
Tonight’s fight didn’t unfold quite as expected. First of all, there was no brutal GGG knockout. Plus, the fight itself wasn’t actually all that ferocious – considering two renowned KO artists were sharing the ring. But this was still an absorbing encounter to watch, with Jacobs following a more cautious hit-and-move game plan while Golovkin played his usual stalk-and-destroy role.
Jacobs’ movement and constant jab stifled much of GGG’s attacks, and, ultimately, almost brought about an almighty upset. Jacobs cracked the champ with some eye-catching shots on occasion, answered well during exchanges, and even managed to survive a 4th round knockdown. So, you know, this heavy underdog deserves some praise.
As for Golovkin, he was the more efficient fighter – if we’re talking about overall technique – never seeming to really waste much of anything, be it a punch or step. Golovkin tried to shrink the ring all night long, utilized a thudding jab of his own, and unleashed the heavier damage. But yeah, Golovkin had to make adjustments against his taller, rangier opponent. Golovkin had to work hard for the victory, and you could see the frustration in his face tonight.
As for a rematch, it may actually be the next best fight at Middleweight – short of Canelo – for GGG. Or certainly one that has a very healthy shot of materializing given their strong fanbases. It feels like a lifetime ago since anyone took GGG the distance, and Jacobs just pulled that off while making good numbers on the cards. So Jacobs is in a very good position.
For the record, this is the first time Golovkin has gone the full twelve. You’d have to go way back to 2008 when he was last taken the distance, with that outing being an 8-round decision over Amar Amari.
Golovkin vs Jacobs: Undercard
- Roman Gonzalez (46-1, 38 KO) had to surrender his WBC Junior Bantamweight title to nightmare spoiler Wisaksil Wangek (42-4-1, 38 KO). The Majority Decision swung in Wangek’s favour courtesy of 114-112 (twice) and 113-113 cards; fair enough numbers given the neck-and-neck, seesaw nature of the bout. Boxing Base saw the action 114-112 on the flipside for Gonzalez. The fight itself was an enthralling, gruelling appetizer to Golovkin vs Jacobs, with Gonzalez’ chin and nerve seriously tested against the willful, naturally stronger Wangek. The challenger made his ambitions crystal clear in the opener, setting the tone with a hard knockdown off a right to the body. The bout quickly caught fire and never cooled, with both guys trading bombs in a technically tasteful yet torrid, violent 12-round battle.
- Carlos Cuadras (36-1-1, 27 KO) squeaked by a very determined, crafty customer in David Carmona (20-4-5, 8 KO). Ringside tallies of 97-93 and 96-94 (twice) produced a Unanimous Decision, but a Draw would have sat just as easily. The bigger picture is that Cuadras, who lost his WBC Junior Bantamweight title to Roman Gonzalez last September, will now be chasing down a sequel. But, considering what just happened (above), fans are asking for an entirely different rematch.
- Ryan Martin (18-0, 11 KO) took care of an outgunned Bryant Cruz (17-2, 8 KO) inside 8 rounds. Martin was the general all night long, pushing forward and unloading with tidy, economical combinations. This 5′ 11″ Lightweight prospect is shaping up to be a solid-looking contender.
- Andy Lee (35-3-1, 24 KO) made his long-awaited return to the ring, here picking up a victory over KeAndrae Leatherwood (19-4-1, 12 KO). Scorecards were Unanimous, coming in at 80-72, 78-74, and 79-73. With a tune-up in the bag, this former Middleweight champ can hope to build back towards another title shot.
Give us your take on Golovkin vs Jacobs and Gonzalez vs Wangek below. How did you score both fights? And how big will the call be for rematches?