Golovkin edges out Jacobs, Sor Rungvisai outguns Gonzalez

19/03/2017 07:44

WBA/WBC/IBF middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin (37-0, 34 KOs) battled to a hard fought points win over WBA 'regular' titleholder Danny Jacobs (32-2, 29 KOs) on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Golovkin's knockout streak ended at 23 straight opponents as he was forced to go 12 rounds for the first time in his career.

Jacobs, a cancer survivor, rose from a fourth-round knockdown and gave the Kazakh superstar all he could handle before Golovkin won a unanimous decision by scores of 115-112, 115-112 and 114-113 to retain his world middleweight titles.

Golovkin stalked Jacobs from the start but the American did a good job of avoiding Golovkin’s early assaults.

Jacobs was landing jabs and then circling away whenever Golovkin got close.

Neither landed anything meaningful until Golovkin nailed Jacobs with a pair of right hands, sending him to the canvas at the start of the fourth round.

Golovkin continued to land hard shots but Jacobs again took them well and he came back with some solid punches in the sixth.

Jacobs, who was switching from orthodox to southpaw, used good hand speed and footwork to get the better of Golovkin in the following rounds before Golovkin landed two big right uppercuts which rocked Jacobs in the ninth. 

Jacobs’ left eye was swelling but he briefly stunned Golovkin in the 10th with a solid right and they continued to trade blows until the final bell.

Golovkin said: "He was my best opponent.

"I couldn't destroy him. He is a very clean, very good fighter. It is my first test for 12 rounds. This is sport. I am a boxer, I am not a killer. I respect his game."

Jacobs said: "I think I won the fight and I think fans support me on the decision.

"I think I won by two rounds at least. I won the fight and I won the decision and all I can do is be gracious."

Golovkin could return on June 11 in his native Kazakhstan to fight WBO titleholder Billy Joe Saunders.

There is also still the possibility of a long-awaited showdown with Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez, who faces fellow Mexican Julio Cesar Chavez Jr on May 6.

Also on the card, Thailand’s Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (42-4-1, 38 KOs) dethroned previously unbeaten WBC super flyweight champion Roman Gonzalez (46-1, 38 KOs) by a 12 round majority decision.

The two fighters exchanged punches before the challenger knocked Gonzalez down with a right to the body in the first round.

Then a clash of heads left Gonzalez with a deep gash near his right eyebrow in the third.

Gonzalez, who has won world titles in four weight divisions and was widely regarded as the number 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world going into the fight, appeared to land the cleaner shots but many of the rounds were close as both threw non-stop punches throughout the action-packed bout. Sor Rungvisai, even though he  lost a point in the sixth for head butting, was surprisingly awarded scores of 114-113 twice, while the third judge had it 113-113.

"I want to thank the fans in Thailand for sending me encouragement and I was able to do it because of all of their encouragement," said Sor Rungvisai. "At this point, after winning this fight, I believe I can take on anyone, including a rematch with him. I have to admit he is a very good fighter and he would not give up."

Gonzalez said: "I thought I won the fight. I want an immediate rematch. I want to get my title back."