NEW YORK, March 19, 2017 – Entering the ring to a roar of applause, Gennady Golovkin took the stage in the biggest bout of his career. For weeks prior to the fight, he had promised a big show, a present for fans.
They got a Big Drama Show, but the plot was different than many people expected.
For the first time in his career, Golovkin fought a full 12-round bout against an aggressive, impressive Daniel Jacobs of Brooklyn. It was nearly a surreal experience waiting for the scorecards in a Golovkin fight, with no assurance he had won.
Judges Don Trella and Steve Weisfeld scored it 115-112; Max DeLuca scored it 114-112. The judges disagreed on several close rounds.
Golovkin (37-0, 33 KOs) ends a 23-knockout streak, but remains the unified middleweight champion. Jacobs (32-2, 29 KOs) didn’t win the belts but he won over a lot of new fans, and his career is energized rather than stalled by taking Golovkin into deep waters when no one else could at this point in his career.
“I’m really proud of myself that I went in there and gave it all that I had, and showed true grit,” Jacobs said after the fight. “The fight didn’t go in my favor, I thought I won and it should have been a draw. They don’t all go your way and I won’t complain. The fans ultimately were the winners, because that wasn’t a dull fight. We did our job 110 percent.
“I know with the performance I had, the future is not over,” Jacobs said. “I definitely think I shocked a lot of people tonight. Going in, I was definitely the underdog and I had no chance. I proved who I am and provide what I can do.”
Golovkin said after the win Jacobs is the best opponent he has ever faced. “Daniel, he’s good fighter and very smart … I told you, I respect this guy. He’s my favorite fighter. I’m not mad, this fight. Very clean, good fight. I needed 12 rounds,” said Golovkin.
Golovkin was asked about his knockout streak ending. “This is life. Of course this is very important for me, my record. Daniel broke my record.”
No surprise when Jacobs won the first couple of rounds, typical in many of Golovkin’s fights as he sizes up his opponents. Jacobs showed his key asset, his tremendous speed. Jacobs’ hands moved as fast as they ever have, allowing him to put good combinations together against Golovkin.
Fighting behind his wicked left jab, Golovkin started to close the distance, and no surprise when he knocked Jacobs down forty seconds in the fourth round with a right to the head. Jacobs popped right up and took the count standing. Later, Jacobs said he thought, “This is all he has? It wasn’t that bad. I got up, I fought back, and I thought I won the fight.” Golovkin did what he could to close the show, but he could not afford to get careless and restrained himself from moving in too close.
Jacobs turned southpaw in round five and employed the switch several times through the remainder of the fight to throw Golovkin off. Jacobs felt it was effective. Golovkin continued to be the aggressor, moving toward Jacobs, working behind his jab. Jacobs did score with several good upper cuts, body work, and the occasional snap to the head. While the punches landed, they didn’t appear to hurt Golovkin in any serious way.
Golovkin stung Jacobs again in the seventh round with a solid right to the head. Still, Jacobs didn’t yield like previous opponents. By the eighth round, the bout was becoming a middleweight firefight. Every round gave Jacobs more confidence, and it showed, with Jacobs using his speed to advantage.
The fans could sense Jacobs rolling up rounds on the scorecards, and when this improbable fight got to the twelfth round, both men knew it might so close they had to go for broke. Jacobs won the tenth and eleven round on all three cards and two of the three cards in the twelve. But it wasn’t enough; the knockdown and the strong rounds that followed through the middle of the fight swung it Triple G’s way.
CompuBox stats showed Golovkin landing 231 of 615 total punches (37.6 percent) to 175 of 541 punches for Jacobs (32.3 percent). Golovkin had a significant edge in jabs, 105 to 31 landed; but Jacobs edged Golovkin in power punches, 144 to 126. Golovkin landed 48.6 percent of his power punches, Jacobs just 38.8 percent. Despite his reputation as a knockout artist, it is increasingly Golovkin’s abnormally strong jab that wins him fights.
Jacobs said he weighed about 175 pounds for the bout. He shrugged off his refusal to participate in the IBF same-day weigh-in not to gain any particular size advantage, but because it was too early in the morning and he also wanted to stay hydrated instead of being restricted to a ten-pound weight gain. Golovkin said he felt it was “disrespectful” but ultimately it was “Jacobs’ problem.”
Trainer Abel Sanchez said of Golovkin’s performance, “This is the same guy, he’s gotten better, the opposition has gotten a lot better. Daniel is a champion, he’s still a champion in my mind. He’s better than anything else out there … That’s the kind of fight we all believed it was going to be. The guy is resilient.
“It’s good for boxing, it’s good for Gennady. I think we gave the fans what they came to see. The Drama Show was a 12 round drama show this time,” added Sanchez.
Golovkin plans to be back in the ring in June, perhaps in Kazakhstan against Billy Joe Saunders of Great Britain. Saunders holds the WBO middleweight title, the only one not in Golovkin’s hands. “Yes, this is my dream fight,” said Golovkin, “100 percent.”
Then in September, will it be the showdown against Canelo Alvarez? Promoter Tom Loeffler said with a smile, “We hope the other fighters and promoters think Gennady isn’t so dangerous now and will sign the contracts.”
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.
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