No KO, But Gennady Golovkin Wins Close One Over Daniel Jacobs
Gennady Golovkin will move on toward potential fights with fellow 160-pound titleholder Billy Joe Saunders and lineal middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez.
But he still has unfinished business with Daniel Jacobs.
#TeamEverlast athlete Daniel Jacobs boxed intelligently against Golovkin this past Saturday. His hand speed and power made Golovkin respectful, more cautious in his approach. Jacobs’ movement, as well as changes in stance from orthodox to southpaw and back, also helped keep Golovkin at bay. Jacobs’ size — he packed on pounds after making the middleweight limit on Friday morning — bolstered his chin, which held up to Golovkin’s famed heavy hands, one flash knockdown aside.
Photo Cred // Boxingscene.com
It was a very good performance from Jacobs, and there are many would argue that it was more than enough for him to beat someone who was considered the best middleweight in the world and one of the best fighters in the sport. But the three judges, as well as some other unofficial observers, gave Golovkin the nod.
The scorecards were close. Two judges had it 115-112, awarding Golovkin seven rounds and giving Jacobs five, with one point deducted for the knockdown he suffered in Round 4. The other judge had it 114-113 for Golovkin, giving each fighter six rounds.
The fight started slowly, both men working tentatively, largely from behind the jab, with Jacobs attempting a left hook and a couple of right hands that gave Golovkin a glimpse of his opponent’s hand speed.
The knockdown came early in the fourth. Jacobs had turned southpaw and was near the ropes. Golovkin landed a right hand, then another, and Jacobs dropped down, though he rose quickly and did not appear to be hurt. Nevertheless, Golovkin poured fourth with his offense, including hooks and uppercuts. Jacobs handled it well.
Jacobs continued to box. He was able to land from outside as well as in close, including several body shots. Golovkin took all of them fine and never appeared to be hurt. Golovkin was able to steal the ninth round with a couple of hard right uppercuts. Jacobs wasn’t going away, and the fight seemed to be on the table going into the last round.
On the official scorecards, however, Golovkin was already far enough ahead that he needed only to remain standing in order to get the win. Two judges gave Jacobs the 12th round. It didn’t matter.
Jacobs is now 32-2 with 29 knockouts. He took his first loss since 2010, though it won’t hurt anywhere near as much. Back then, he was a rising prospect who was knocked out in five rounds by Dmitry Pirog. Since then, he’s battled and beaten cancer, and after that he developed into a true contender. In giving Golovkin his toughest fight in a long time, Jacobs has cemented that he is a power player in the 160-pound weight class.
Even if you feel he didn’t deserve the victory on Saturday, Jacobs deserves plenty of respect — and to remain in the spotlight.
Golovkin is now 37-0 with 33 KOs. This was the first time since 2008 that he won by decision, ending a 23-fight knockout streak. He now heads toward a bout with Saunders, attempting to seize the last remaining world title available, and perhaps toward a huge showdown with Canelo, who has been the lineal champ since beating Miguel Cotto in 2015 but has yet to defend against an actual top middleweight.
Perhaps Saunders and Alvarez will be emboldened by what they saw on Saturday night. They can take lessons from it, but they shouldn’t get overconfident. Golovkin is still a very good fighter. It’s just that Jacobs was even better than expected.
Chocolatito Upset, Loses Majority Decision to Srisaket Sor Rungvisai
The best fighter in the world just lost for the first time. That’s not a complete surprise.
Being the best fighter in the world brings great expectations. #TeamEverlast athlete Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez had gone from being one of the top fighters at 105 pounds to being the same at 108, then went on to become the true champion at 112. He then jumped up another division for tougher challenges, moving up last year to 115 and winning a competitive battle with Carlos Cuadras, who at the time was considered one of the top two fighters in the division.
Gonzalez was forced to show just how truly special he is against a very good, naturally bigger man. Many thought that eventually he would bite off more than he could chew. They didn’t necessarily think that would happen this past Saturday.
Photo Cred // Boxingscene.com
Gonzalez took on a gritty former titleholder in Srisaket Sor Rungvisai in an entertaining affair. Sor Rungvisai, like Cuadras, made Gonzalez work hard for it. Gonzalez seemed to have dug down deep enough to pull out the victory. The judges didn’t feel that way.
One judge had it even, 113-113 — giving each fighter six rounds, but docking one point from Gonzalez for the knockdown he suffered in the first round, and one from Sor Rungvisai for the point deduction the referee ordered in the sixth round due to repeated head butts. The other two judges had it 114-112 for Sor Rungvisai, giving him seven rounds and awarding Gonzalez just five.
Sor Rungvisai put Gonzalez down with a right hand to the ribs, just the second time Gonzalez had been down as a pro, and the first time in a decade.
Gonzalez found his rhythm in the second round, putting together combinations in volume, the kind of offense that had often been overwhelming in the past with its placement, speed, power and timing. Sor Rungvisai also was able to absorb Gonzalez’s best, though sometimes he needed some extra time to recover from the onslaught.
Sor Rungvisai’s activity made him a formidable opponent. The head clashes didn’t help Gonzalez either. They truly hurt, opening up a bad cut over Gonzalez’s right eye in the third round. Fortunately the blood was coming down the side of his face and didn’t appear to be obstructing his vision.
They battled in close range in the fourth round, slipping punches and sending shots back in retaliation. Each man was truly forcing his opponent to fight him off. Gonzalez seemed to take over at the end of Round 4 and toward the close of Round 5. Another clash of heads brought another cut on Gonzalez in the sixth, leaving blood spattered all over his face and leaving the referee little choice but to take a point from Sor Rungvisai.
Sor Rungvisai had better rounds in the second half of the fight. Gonzalez, likely sensing that he needed to send a message, treated the 12th round like a sprint in the final stretch of a race, battling through weariness in hopes of pushing himself to victory.
It was enough to win the round, but not the fight.
Gonzalez is now 46-1 with 38 KOs. Now, instead of moving on toward a rematch with Cuadras — who also appeared on the Golovkin-Jacobs undercard, looking mediocre in a decision win over David Carmona — we will likely see Chocolatito try to win his title back from Sor Rungvisai.
Sor Rungvisai is now 42-4-1 with 38 KOs. He won back the title he lost to Cuadras back in 2014, a fight that was sent to the scorecards early due to a bad cut Cuadras had suffered from a head butt.
Sor Rungvisai just topped the best fighter in the world. He’ll try to make the second time more convincing than the first.