SAN DIEGO, Calif., April 28, 2018 – Daniel Jacobs entered the ring to the song “Pray for Me” from the blockbuster film “Black Panther,” while Jarrell Miller channeled the fierce look of the superhero in his ring attire. Both played the role of superhero for their Brooklyn fans at the Barclays Center and delivered solid decision wins against their opponents.
Jacobs found himself in a lively matchup with Polish middleweight Maciej Sulecki, who showed he’s an extremely skilled man and earned his undefeated record. But Jacobs is just that much better, landing the cleaner punches often enough to win the majority of the rounds in his unanimous decision win. The judges’ scorecards were 117-110, 116-111, and Steve Weisfeld had it a close 115-112.
Jacobs put Sulecki on the canvas for the first time in his career at the top of the 12th round, a counterpunch after Sulecki landed a big shot. Sulecki got up immediately, and the two delivered a Round of the Year in the effort to end the fight and seal the victory.
“He proved he was a tough customer, he belonged in here tonight,” said Jacobs of Sulecki. “I think we abandoned the jab a little bit, we wanted to give the fans a good show. At the end of the day I thought I did very well to grab the unanimous decision.”
Jacobs said trainer Andre Rozier kept him informed throughout the fight. “I was confident knowing going to the last round, maybe if I pick up the pace I can get a knockout, but definitely get a decision. I caught him in between punches he was throwing his right hand. It’s hard to take those shots.”
Jacobs wants titles, but he’ll take Jermall Charlo
Jacobs (34-2, 30 KOs) now becomes the WBA mandatory challenger, handing Sulecki (26-1 10 KOs) his first loss. Sulecki showed solid skills in the defeat, landing numerous good punches of his own, but without enough power to seriously trouble Jacobs at any point. Sulecki has never been known as a power puncher, and came up in weight to boot in the fight. The ability to stop Jacobs in his tracks simply wasn’t there.
Jacobs knew it. He didn’t have to fight from a defensive posture in the same way he did against unified middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin, who knocked Jacobs down in their bout.
It made for a fun offensive display. Jacobs landed 205 of 631 total punches (32 percent) to 143 of 647 (22 percent) for Sulecki. Jacobs landed 166 power punches to just 109 for Sulecki.
“He was coming up from junior middleweight, he’s a tough durable guy,” said Jacobs. “He belongs in the division. I didn’t necessarily feel his power to where it shook me up, but I felt he belongs at true middleweight. In boxing, you get used to getting hit. At the end of the day he showed he had power and true grit.
“I think there is definitely another level I can reach. At the same time, when you’re in the ring with top 10, top 15 guys. It’s hard to just dominate those guys. I’m happy with my performance,” concluded Jacobs.
Sulecki deserves credit for a stylish performance. He turned out to be a great dance partner for Jacobs. Sulecki’s performance should earn him an opportunity to face other top middleweights in a division loaded with talent.
What’s in store for Jacobs? “Ultimately we want the guys with the belts, we want to go for the guys with the strap. But if we can’t get those guys, we want go down the list of great contenders and competitors. If Brooklyn wants (Jermall) Charlo – Charlo, where you at? Come see me, baby.” It’s an excellent matchup and who wouldn’t love to see it?
Big night for Big Baby Jarrell Miller in decision victory
Brooklyn heavyweight Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller (21-0-1, 18 KOs) made his local fans happy with a lively 12-round decision win over Johann Duhaupas of France (37-5, 24 KOs). It was the first 12 round fight of Miller’s professional career. Scores were 119-109 X 2, and 117-111.
The big man’s official weight on the scale was 304.4 pounds, 60 pounds more than Duhaupas. Who knows how big Miller was on Saturday. But Miller throws punches like a middleweight, averaging 80 punches a round. He threw more than Jacobs, landing 261 of 782 punches (33 percent) to 128 of 538 (24 percent) for Duhaupas, including 185 to 67 power punches.
“I’m just a big boned guy. I like cheeseburgers, what can I say?” laughed Miller after the bout. He acknowledged criticism of his physique. “It was my first time going 12 rounds. I said, you know what? Let me get the rounds, and prove guys that are 300 pounds plus can.” Miller said he can improve. “I think I can get in better shape than this. I felt I was slow in my last fight .. So back to the drawing board.”
Miller has good accuracy and mixes up shots well. The problem? Miller doesn’t have one punch knockout power, something potential opponents Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder possess.
Miller, age 29, hits hard enough, but Duhaupas proved he’s plenty tough. He was rocked several times, but never hit the canvas. He did his best to try and answer Miller’s arsenal, but Duhaupas has a lot of ring mileage on him at age 37, and couldn’t make it happen. Nevertheless, it was a solid effort.
Miller wants his shot at the top names, and he’s especially eager to take on British champion Anthony Joshua. “I know for a fact, I’d run Anthony Joshua out of the ring. Tell G-String, come over here and I’ll toast that English Muffin .. Tell (promoter) Eddie Hearn, like he promised, bring Anthony Joshua to Brooklyn, Tell him, strap up baby!”
It isn’t likely Joshua will come to the U.S. He’s in the driver’s seat and said after his recent win over Joseph Parker he doesn’t have to leave the UK for fights anymore. Miller needs to make sure his passport is current, and he might get his chance this fall.
Katie Taylor collects another women’s lightweight title
Katie Taylor of Ireland (9-0, 4 KOs) took a major step toward becoming the women’s unified lightweight division champion with a solid decision victory over Victoria Bustos of Argentina (18-5, 0 KOs). Scores were (99-91 X 2, and 98-92, virtually a shutout. Taylor adds the IBF belt to her WBA belt.
Taylor was in command from start to finish, displaying her technical command of every punch in the boxing playbook, delivered with accuracy and power. Bustos gets credit for hanging tough against Taylor, but she could not match the champion’s skill. Taylor kept the pressure on and never let Bustos get comfortable, switching her attack almost as if it was a sparring session.
“I’m so happy right now, it’s always been my dream to unify. It was a tough contest, I had to work for every second and I had to be sharp,” said Taylor after the bout.
It’s worth pointing out this was only the ninth professional bout for the accomplished amateur and Olympic gold medalist. Taylor has a lot in common with double Olympic gold medalist and pound for pound top fighter on the men’s side, Vasyl Lomachenko, who was also an accomplish amateur.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a veteran boxing observer 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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