Golovkin Grinds Out Controversial Decision Win Over Danny Jacobs
Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin (37-0-0, 33 KO’s) retained his IBO/WBA & WBC World Middleweight titles with a close, controversial 12 round unanimous decision victory over New Yorker Danny Jacobs (32-2-0, 29 KO’s) at Madison Square Garden, New York.
The bout opened up in tense circumstances, with Jacobs – the visibly bigger of the two, having controversially skipped the IBF’s fight day weigh-in – starting behind a sharp left jab, giving the Kazakh power-puncher a glimpse of his hand speed in a tight first round.
Jacobs continued to box in a watchful manner in the second round, avoiding the advances of Golovkin and keeping him on the end of the lead left hand. Golovkin would be caught reaching with the right hand and a swift counter from ‘The Miracle Man’ once again was enough to catch the eye as he appeared to settle into the fight early.
Golovkin found his range more in the third session, with a thudding right hand to the body of Jacobs his first significant shot of the fight. Jacobs, continued to box smartly and utilise his athleticism with good upper body movement, before a crisp left hook landed before the bell to edge the round for the Brooklyn-native.
However, despite Golovkin’s lackadaisical start, he would explode into the fight in the fourth round with a double right hand combination sending Jacobs tumbling to the canvas. Within the blink of an eye, Jacobs impressive start had been erased, with the fight taking an altogether different feel. Golovkin would land another right hand before the end of the bell, rubber stamping the two-point round on the judges cards.
Another heavy right hand followed almost immediately at the beginning of the fifth round, with the initial swagger of Jacobs now seemingly a distant memory – his giant frame shrinking by the second – amidst the latest wave of Kazakh thunder. Jacobs would have some small success out of a newly-adopted southpaw stance, but the round belonged to Golovkin, predator-like in his stalking of his man.
Jacobs would persist with his southpaw approach in the sixth, having more success with some fast right jabs and a sneaky left hand before returning to his orthodox stance and continuing to have success with a hard left hook to the body. The session would come to a close with Jacobs enjoying more success – booking his clearest round of the fight – as the contest took another twist.
The seventh round would see Jacobs again display his speed of hand and foot, landing his jab from the southpaw stance – a surprise weapon in the bout – before a sustained attack to the body drew the applause from the raucous New York crowd. Golovkin continued to apply pressure, closing the distance, but unable to pin the exuberant Jacobs down to enjoy a sustained period of success.
The recovery from the knockdown had been admirable on the part of Jacobs, as he continued to box intelligently in the eighth, feinting Golovkin before landing a smart left hook. Golovkin would enjoy his greatest piece of success before the bell, with a thudding right hand to the chin of Jacobs, bringing a very hard fought, close round to a close.
An intriguing ninth round once again saw Jacobs stick to the gameplan, boxing smartly and keeping Golovkin at range with precise, educated footwork, however, Golovkin would enjoy success of his own, landing a hard right uppercut that caused Jacobs to drop his hands. Despite landing the harder shots of the round, it was the skills and smart boxing of Jacobs that left the last impression.
Going into the tenth, Jacobs continued to box confidently, choosing at times to fight at close quarters, trading body shots with Golovkin before resetting and returning to his outside game. The movement that had caused Golovkin so many problems in previous rounds, continued to do so as the round went on, with the flashy, fast hands of Jacobs once again booking another round. Heading into the penultimate round, Jacobs had – potentially – built up a lead on the judges scorecards.
Golovkin answered the bell for the eleventh round with urgency, applying pressure to Jacobs – with limited success – in a bid to score the knockout that most observers were sure he needed. After pressing the fight for the majority of the round, Jacobs answered with arguably the shot of the session, with a hard left hook sending the sweat flying from Golovkin’s head.
With the fight seemingly heading the way of the challenger, Golovkin began the 12th round with vigour, desperately hunting the elusive Jacobs down and seeking the knockout. Jacobs remained composed, staying tactically aware throughout, making Golovkin miss and responding with his own sharp counters. Both men traded left hooks with seconds to go in the fight as each fighter attempted to leave a lasting impression on the judges cards, with Golovkin’s pressure perhaps shading the session. After the bell sounded for the final time, ‘The Miracle Man’ dropped to his knees in the corner, awaiting the announcement in a fight to – potentially – change the landscape of the Middleweight division, with ‘GGG’ waiting broodingly among his team.
With scorecards of 115-112 (x 2) & 114-113, Michael Buffer took to the microphone to announce that Gennady Golovkin had retained his titles. With the fight competitive throughout – with many close rounds – the close cards were not a surprise. However, Jacobs may count himself unlucky as it was his gameplan that ultimately shaped the fight, with Golovkin unable to impose himself for a considerable period in the fight.
Rob Tebbutt Scorecard: 115-113 (Jacobs)
By Rob Tebbutt. You can follow Rob on Twitter on @RobTebbutt