The now former WBA Regular Middleweight champion Daniel Jacobs became the first man since 2008 to take Unified WBC/WBA/IBF King Gennady Golovkin the distance in what amounted to be the toughest fight of the Kazakh’s 11-year career before “GGG” prevailed by unanimous decision with scores of 115-112 (twice) and 114-113.
The fight started cautiously with both men working behind a sporadic jab. Jacobs tried to change up tact in the second round whilst switching to a southpaw stance which was abandoned quickly.
Golovkin looking for an opening to thunder home one of his famed shots did so with a pair of right hands which dropped Jacobs for the fourth time in his career with thoughts of another early finish. Golovkin closed in looking to find the stoppage but Jacobs’ defence stood the test defiantly.
“Gennady dropped him, but you could tell Danny wasn’t hurt from the punch,” K2 Managing Director Tom Loeffler said afterwards.
Golovkin looked at this stage to have seized control, landing another right hand to the side of Jacobs head whilst also working well to the body.
“After the knockdown, I told him he’d have to kill me,” Jacobs said. “When I got up, I thought, ‘This is all he has?’ There were many times during the fight I went toe-to-toe because I knew I could. I got back up, and I thought I won the fight.”
The seventh round witnessed both men fire shots which continued after the bell, Jacobs now looking ever confident that he could get the job done, walked with a spring in his step to his corner whilst pumping his arms to his army of fans.
Golovkin had a big round nine in which he wobbled Jacobs with right hands which were mixed with solid uppercuts but ultimately the seconds ticked away from finding the fight ending shot he went in search of.
Jacobs now looked to have some swelling to his face from the punishing shots but he wasn’t going anywhere as he boxed beautifully, landing a right hand of his own which stiffened the legs of “Triple G” in the tenth.
The contest went into the twelfth for the first time in Golovkin’s career with uncertainty of a winner, boxing media claiming Jacobs had done enough to take the Middleweight throne from it’s king but it wasn’t to be, the announcement gave Golovkin his win with controversy the feeling from the fight.
“I respect Daniel Jacobs, and he did a very good job and clean job,” Golovkin said. “Daniel Jacobs is my favourite fighter — quality, very good fighter after I knocked him down. I respect his team.”
“I need the decision,” he said. “I wasn’t thinking that I needed the 12th round to win the fight. This was my first test at 12 rounds. I needed a quality fight — not just the 12 rounds.”
“I think I won the fight, and I think the fans support me,” Jacobs said. “I think I won by two rounds at least. They want the big fight [for Golovkin against Canelo Alvarez], and Daniel Jacobs got X’d out. I won the fight, and I won the decision, and all I can do is be gracious in the decision.”
“Twenty-three knockouts in a row is a pretty great run,” Golovkin promoter Tom Loeffler of K2 Promotions said. “Can’t knock everyone out, and because of Danny’s class and his size and his boxing IQ, he put up a great fight. We knew going in it would be a tough fight. You can never overlook Danny Jacobs, but Gennady welcomed the challenge to show where his skills were at. Maybe because he didn’t knock out Danny, it will give some other top middleweights motivation to get in the ring with him.
“We have to see what happens with Canelo in May, but that would be the priority,” Loeffler said. “Danny fought a terrific fight. They both did.”
As always, Golovkin said he’s ready for Alvarez.
“Of course I want that fight,” he said. “I am like an animal for that fight, but I will give Danny Jacobs a chance for a rematch.”