Daniel Jacobs had 144-126 edge in power shots, yet lost the decision. | Stats: CompuBox
With both men on a torrid knockout streak going into arguably the biggest fight of the year thus far in boxing, it was popular slugger Gennady “GGG” Golovkin who had his hand raised against Daniel Jacobs, but it was by far his toughest test yet. The drama was intense inside Madison Square Garden in New York and the middleweight unification battle capped off a terrific HBO Pay-Per-View event.
Jacobs perplexed “GGG” with his movement, defense and sticky jab early and often and even when “Miracle Man” was knocked down in the fourth from a flurry to the head, he kept his cool and stuck to the gameplan. Golovkin, normally a vicious brawler with relentless pressure within a whirlwind of punches, Jacobs kept him at bay, reducing the Kazakhstani’s offense tenfold. Golovkin had a tremendously difficult time getting his punches off and when he did, he rarely landed cleanly.
Jacobs (29-2, 26 KOs) blasted Golovkin with hooks to the body and sizzling lead right hooks to the head from a southpaw stance, but was a bit hesitant at times in sometimes the most critical moments, allowing Golovkin to steal a few of the closest rounds. Jacobs finished strongly as he tore into “GGG” in the 10th and 11th rounds by raking his foe with nasty shots downstairs and up, but he wasn’t able to land anything hard enough to truly hurt Golovkin.
With the fight up for grabs in the final stanza, Jacobs didn’t go for broke and though he made Golovkin (34-0, 29 KOs) miss most of his punches, his lack of offense cost him the fight. The 12th was as close as they come and Golovkin did just enough to sway the judges, who favored him via unanimous decision by the margins of 115-112 (twice) and 114-113, ending his knockout streak at 23. The win allowed Golovkin to retain his WBC and IBF middleweight titles and scoop up Jacob’s WBA strap.
Both men proclaimed that they deserved to win, but the focus quickly shifted to the mega fight later this year between Golovkin and Mexican superstar Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.