Gennady Golovkin W12 Daniel Jacobs… There was no story book ending for Daniel Jacobs, at least not tonight. The Brooklyn cancer survivor fought bravely and effectively in New York City’s Madison Square Garden but fell just short as Gennady Golovkin barely retained the world middleweight championship by winning an exciting and very close decision. Golovkin knocked Jacobs down in the fourth round and won a unanimous decision by scores of 115-112 (twice) and 114-113. In an indication of just how close the fight was, both HBO and Boxingtalk had the fight even after eleven rounds. HBO gave the last round to Golovkin but Boxingtalk thought Jacobs did just enough to lift the title. According to Compubox Punchstats, Golovkin outlanded Jacobs 231 punches to 175. It was the first time Golovkin failed to knock out his opponent since 2008. Jacobs, who survived spinal cancer to become one of the very best boxers in the world, thought he should have been awarded the decision, but he was gracious and classy in defeat, proving he is a champion in life, although not in the middleweight division.
As the fight began, fans were chanting “Triple G!” for the Kazakhstan boxer even though Jacobs grew up just a few miles from Madison Square Garden. Some chants of “Let’s go Jacobs!” were soon heard in response but Golovkin was generally the crowd’s favorite.
Golovkin had the slightly better jab to carry the first round. Jacobs’ best chance to win was thought to be an early knockout, and Golovkin seemed to accept the conventional wisdom, fighting cautiously in round two. In the third, Golovkin stalked while Jacobs moved, and Boxingtalk had Jacobs ahead two rounds to one.
Golovkin knocked Jacobs down early in the fourth round with a straight right. There was a lot of time left in the round, and Jacobs looked to be in big trouble, but he maintained his composure and recovered quickly without even doing much holding. Golovkin continued his effective aggression in the fifth round. Jacobs had a strong sixth round, pulling him to within a point (56-57) of Golovkin on Boxingtalk’s unofficial scorecard.
Jacobs started the seventh in a good rhythm and won it on Boxingtalk’s scorecard even though Golovkin landed the single hardest punch of the round. By round eight, Jacobs was becoming the aggressor as Golovkin was trying to time him for a counter punch.
Golovkin hurt Jacobs with two big uppercuts in the ninth, which was Golovkin’s most decisive round since the knockdown in the fourth. The tenth saw Jacobs control the action from a distance with a flicking jab.
The eleventh round was very close, putting the fight up for grabs in the twelfth round. Fighting with a swollen left eye, Jacobs appeared to do just enough to win the twelfth, giving him the edge on Boxingtalk’s scorecard, 114-113. The judges did not see it that way, and to be fair, there were a few very close rounds that could have gone either way. As with the fight that preceded the main event, a rematch would be more than welcome, although Golovkin would much rather face the winner of the Saul “Canelo” Alvarez vs. Julio Cesar Chavez fight scheduled for this spring.