While the dream Golovkin-Alvarez match-up has yet to materialize, Golovkin vs. Jacobs was announced a few months ago, and it got me intrigued. On one hand, I’m an avid GGG fan and wanted to see him in his best form prior to the Kell Brook fight, wherein he looked sloppy after taking that big shot from Brook. On the other hand, you can never count out Danny Jacobs’ heart; this guy came back to boxing after battling bone cancer and possible paralysis, after all.
Most would think it would be a cakewalk for GGG, but I’ve seen such scenarios before with a favorite being apparently unbeatable only to either look weak or be defeated in an upset. That Kell Brook fight really put a dent on his aura of invincibility, so I had my reservations.
Gennady Golovkin vs. Danny Jacobs
I feel sorry for Danny Jacobs. I thought he could’ve made a miracle happen again in that fight. He held his own against GGG for 12 rounds—a rare feat.
The first two rounds were a feeling-out process for both, then the third round saw GGG land a good right. The fourth round was perhaps GGG’s best round with that knockdown from a really hard right. He then tried to swarm, but Jacobs recovered rather quickly and kept himself in check.
Jacobs’ trainer Virgil Jacobs scolded his charge for straying from the game plan. From then on, Jacobs would start to take over and there wasn’t much other than GGG being too tense and Jacobs keeping his opponent from landing too many shots in succession, even hitting some good combinations himself. He would also go to the body aplenty, which is what made me start rooting for him after the fifth round.
But despite his valiant effort, it won’t be fair to say that Golovkin’s power didn’t faze him. (Wearing sunglasses indoors to cover up the damage doesn’t help.) Perhaps he didn’t get hit as much as it would’ve been deemed necessary, but those jabs connecting to Jacobs’ face and the knockdown most likely won the fight for Golovkin.
I still say it was a draw at best, but that’s only my opinion.
Golovkin vs. Jacobs Undercard
Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez’s 0 has finally gone. He suffered his first defeat against Thai challenger Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, and it might have set the precedent for the main event of the card if it weren’t for the judges in that fight.
But it can be argued that Sor Rungvisai was gifted the majority decision and the referee was doing a bad job for ignoring the headbutts and even calling one a knockdown against Gonzalez. Sor Rungvisai’s main game plan against the clean and technical Gonzalez was to hard-nose his way in, a bit like Maidana did with Mayweather in their first fight. It’s a fighting style I’d expect from a Thai boxer, and it seems like it paid off.
Gonzalez is still one of my favorite boxers in this era due to his economic movement. Touted as the heir to Alexis Arguello, the Nicaraguan earned his pound-for-pound accolades through rhythm, smoothness, and precision, only moving as needed and staying in range with exacting footwork. You can learn more about this through Lee Wylie‘s critically-acclaimed video, The Art of Moving.
His Thai opponent sought to dirty up this clean boxing. He would get his head against Gonzalez’s chest or forehead and throw. It reminded me a bit of retired El Salvadoran champion Carlos “El Famoso” Hernandez. That guy never fought clean and unblemished.
It made for a damn good fight, but a controversial one at that. He scored a knockdown in the first round, which was significant as it may have shook Gonzalez’s confidence early. A clash of heads in the third round then gave Gonzalez a cut outside his right eye, which definitely messed with the judges’ heads. The headbutts came again and again, and Sor Rungvisai was penalized a point in the sixth round.
That deduction was what Gonzalez needed to take back the advantage, but it wasn’t enough to keep judges from scoring it like they did. Gonzalez would do a stellar job from then on and most analysts and pundits had it 7 rounds to 5 in favor of the champion, myself included. It was slight, but it took the -1 to consideration.
I give a nod to Sor Rungvisai for making it competitive, but I certainly think Gonzalez was robbed in this one. Perhaps he can get back up from this defeat and get a rematch if fate permits it, but that 0 is almost everything in boxing these days and his had been stolen from his clutches.
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