By Carlos Boogs
This past Saturday night, Gennady "GGG" Golovkin (37-0, 33 KOs) has his hands full - far more than anyone could have expected, in winning a close twelve round unanimous decision over Daniel Jacobs (32-2, 29 KOs) to retain the IBO, WBC, WBA, IBF middleweight titles.
More than 19,000 fans packed Madison Square Garden in New York City to witness Jacobs start well, recover from a fourth round knockdown, and make it a competitive fight until the final bell. The scores were 114-113, 115-112 and 115-112.
Golovkin had stopped his last 23 opponents, a run dating back to 2008, and he'd never gone the twelve round distance in his entire career.
Jacobs was a big underdog. He opened up as a big 8-1 undercard and closed as a 6-1 underdog. Many had given him a puncher's chance to win, but almost nobody had predicted a near decision win in his favor.
The biggest factor was Jacobs' chin. There was serious questions about his whiskers, because he was knocked out in 2010 by Dmitry Pirog, who was a "decent puncher" but not close to being the puncher that Golovkin is. And, what raised even more eyebrows was Jacobs getting dropped in 2015 by the very light hitting Sergio Mora - who only has nine knockouts in 35 fights.
“I think I shocked a lot of people. Going in I was the underdog and I had no chance. But I proved who I am and I proved what I can do," Jacobs said.
“I went in there and gave it all that I had. I showed some moments of true grit. The fight didn’t go in my favor though I felt I won the fight. I definitely think it at least should have been a draw. But I’m happy the fans ultimately were the winners. It definitely wasn’t a dull fight. We traded and boxed and used our skills. I think we did our job.”