By Keith Idec
UNIONDALE, New York – There wasn’t any doubt about whether Daniel Jacobs won this 12-round fight.
Jacobs, in his first fight since his close points loss to unbeaten champion Gennady Golovkin, out-classed Luis Arias to win their 12-round middleweight fight by unanimous decision Saturday night at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Brooklyn’s Jacobs didn’t get the knockout he sought, but beat the previously undefeated Arias easily in a largely uneventful fight.
An abrasive Arias questioned Jacobs’ credentials throughout the buildup toward their HBO “World Championship Boxing” main event, but Jacobs proved his superiority against a largely unknown fighter that took a significant step up in class. The 30-year-old Jacobs (33-2, 29 KOs) won by big margins on the scorecards of judges Larry Hazzard Jr. (118-109), Julie Lederman (120-107) and Steve Weisfeld (119-108).
Milwaukee’s Arias (18-1, 9 KOs) didn’t deliver after talking an unusual amount of trash to the mild-mannered Jacobs throughout the promotion. Arias, 27, mostly tried to survive by holding Jacobs whenever Jacobs connected with power punches and didn’t land many clean punches against the bigger, stronger former WBA middleweight champion.
“I wanted to impress the fans and put on a good show,” Jacobs said. “At the end of the day, [Arias’ trash talk] took me off my game plan. I got a little aggressive. I hurt him early. Then, once I knew I could hurt him, I got a little bit more aggressive.”
According to unofficial CompuBox statistics, Jacobs landed 184 total punches, 96 more than Arias (88), and 140 power punches, 70 more than Arias (70).
A frustrated Jacobs complained many times to referee Michael Griffin, but Griffin didn’t deduct any points from Arias for his questionable tactics.
Jacobs’ win came in the first fight of his new contracts with promoter Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing and HBO.
Griffin scored a knockdown for Jacobs late in the 11th round because he ruled Arias’ right glove touched the canvas after Jacobs landed a punch. Arias appeared to land a right hand and went down as a result of Jacobs’ left arm pushing him down enough to make Arias use his right hand to keep from going down.
An aggressive Jacobs tried to hurt Arias early in the 11th round, when Arias held Jacobs’ left arm to prevent him from doing too much damage. Jacobs seemed to hurt Arias with an array of head and body shots that often left Arias holding during the 10th round.
Arias hit Jacobs with a right hand off a break with 1:37 left in the ninth round. That drew a warning from Griffin.
Jacobs landed a hard right hand with just under two minutes left in the eighth round. At the end of the sixth round, Jacobs yelled across the ring at Arias for continually holding him.
Jacobs switched to a southpaw stance to start the fourth round. He had done that a lot against Golovkin, but didn’t employ that strategy in the first three rounds against Arias.
Jacobs connected with a right hand that affected Arias just after the midway mark of the third round. Arias threw a wild right hand at Jacobs toward the end of the third round, but missed.
Griffin warned Arias for a low blow less than a minute into the second round. Jacobs connected with a right hand that left Arias holding later in the second.
Jacobs hit Arias with a right hand to the side of his head just after the halfway point of the first round and tried hard to follow up. Arias moved backward initially, but eventually tackled Jacobs to the canvas and overcame the difficulty.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.