It was a weird start to fight day for the undefeated Gennady Golovkin. He was planning on defending his IBF middleweight title against Daniel Jacobs, and all was going to plan at the official weigh-ins on Friday, but, Jacobs declined the same-day weigh-ins, which, per IBF rules, made him ineligible to contend for the middleweight title. Now the announcers have said that Jacob could be weighing more than 180 pounds come fight time, and it seems like being the first to beat GGG is more important that a title for Jacobs.
That means 36-0 GGG and 32-1 Jacobs would be going at it for pure honor, and for GGG, a likely fight against Canelo Alvarez this fall. But would the extra weight for Jacobs matter?
Yes. Absolutely yes. The extra weight helped Jacobs absorb some serious GGG shots, and even though he was knocked down, he was able to out-muscle and walk through GGG’s power unlike any opponent ever.
Here’s how it happened:
To start, both men were cautious. They were both jabbing and finding their distance without unleashing anything of substance.
GGG is still measuring when he can get aggressive against Jacobs, and he’s cutting off the angles as another possible round goes to Jacobs. The scorecards have GGG landing more shots, but barely any. Round 3 features Jacobs landing the cleanest power shot of the fight, but GGG is starting to impose his will with his jab.
Round 4 is seconds old when GGG decided to finally throw a power shot and he knocks down Jacobs (with a bit of a shove in there too). For the next minute, GGG is jabbing Jacobs into oblivion until Jacobs finally recovers and starts hitting back. The pundits have it 2-2.
Golovkin is getting more and more aggressive, landing fierce, stinging body shots in the 5th. Jacobs is landing hard shots in the 6th as it seems like GGG is taking the round slightly off, just working his jab (which should be considered a power shot). Things are getting more intense in the 7th as Jacobs is landing shots like he’s angry at GGG, but Golovkin is consistently pushing Jacobs back in the corners. Jacobs’ coaches are saying, “fight fire with finesse” and he’s doing just that.
Round 9 is all GGG who rocks Jacobs late in the round. It’s still an incredibly close fight, and round 10 is razor thin as well. Jacobs is pouring on the volume, but GGG is hitting Jacobs hard and keeping him where he wants in the ring.
As the championship rounds start, the crowd is chanting “Triple G” and both men are hesitant, but looking for power shots. It looks like it’s tied heading into the final round.
The 12th round is balls to the wall as both men are digging into their stances and throwing hard. The round is incredibly close, and both men are landing hard, while Jacobs is showing the damage with an eye that’s swelling closed. The crowd has now switched chanting “Triple G” to “Jacobs” and both men unleash heavy shots.
After the fight, the judge’s scorecards come and GGG pulls through with an extremely close decision win.
Now the path is clear for a Canelo/GGG fight that Gennady (and the world) wants badly: “I’m like an animal for this fight.” Maybe that will happen this fall, and in the future, Jacobs can get a GGG rematch.