Golovkin scrapes past Jacobs

WBC, WBA and IBF middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin scraped past WBA “regular” middleweight champion Daniel Jacobs on Sunday afternoon (Sydney time) with a razor thin unanimous decision in a bout between the world’s two top middleweights. Golovkin scored a knockdown in the fourth round but found catching the elusive Jacobs golovkin-vs-jacobs-2-960x540difficult and was extended the 12 round distance for the first time in his career, ending his 23 fight knockout streak.

The feeling out process lasted the opening three rounds as Golovkin tried to cut the ring off and find range with his jab while Jacobs switched from orthodox to southpaw and moved both directions to avoid standing in front of GGG. I felt Golovkin had the edge in rounds one while Jacobs took rounds two and three. Round two was the only clear round out of the three, which I scored for Jacobs on the back of a few clean left hands. Jacobs was surprising many early with his ability to shut down the much feared assault of GGG.

In round four things went back to script as Golovkin backed Jacobs towards the ropes and caught him with a pair of right hands that sent Jacobs to the canvas. It was a clean knockdown however Jacobs went on the defensive and while he took some good punches, he never allowed Golovkin to come close to finishing him. Golovkin kept the pressure on Jacobs in the fifth round and landed some punishing shots along the ropes while making the New York native miss many of his counters and seemed to be in control at the end of five.

Jacobs showed that he wasn’t going to go the route of GGG’s previous opponents and had his best round of the fight in round six. A hard overhand right midway through the round and a pair of assaults to the head and body later in the round as well as his slick defence saw Jcobs clearly outpunch (despite what official CompuBox stats show, Jacobs clearly outlanded Golovkin in this round, more on this later) Golovkin and turn the tide. The seventh was more of the same and Golovkin was having trouble, perhaps for the first time in his career, pulling the trigger and while Jacobs confused him with his switching of stances and effective volleys of punches from both stances.

Rounds eight and nine were difficult to score. Jacobs did the better work throughout much of both rounds. I would go as far as to say he won close to five of the six minutes in these rounds however Golovkin landed the better punches in both rounds, a right hand to the chin in the eighth which Jacobs took well and two right uppercuts towards the end of the ninth followed by a series of shots in the final minute that gave GGG the round on my card. Jacobs took control again in the tenth and eleventh with his workrate and his ability to make GGG miss and the fight was anyone’s going into the final round.

gggjacobscardGolovkin went to work early in round 12 and used his jab effectively, nailing Jacobs and setting up a couple of right hands that Jacobs partially deflected. Jacobs came back and made GGG miss and landed a solid right-left-right combination midway through the round. Jacobs let his hands go again scoring to the head and body but ate a clean right hand in return. Jacobs continued to do the better work in the final minute but Golovkin landed the cleaner punches which made the final round difficult to score.

At the end of 12 I had Jacobs up 115-112, however I felt rounds 1, 3, 8, 9 and 12 all could have gone either way and I favoured Jacobs in three of those. The judges cards (115-112 twice and 114-113) were within the acceptable range I felt. I preferred Jacobs’ defence and his workrate but Golovkin was effective with his aggression and he often controlled where the fight took place.

One thing I will bring up is the punchstats. I believe these are incorrect. I have sat down and counted the punches in rounds two and six, both clearly Jacobs rounds but rounds which CompuBox said GGG outlanded Jacobs in one of them (the 2nd) and threw and landed exactly the same amount as Jacobs in the sixth, arguably Jacobs’ best round of the fight. Jacobs threw at least 15 more punches than GGG in round six and significantly outlanded him, including the more eye catching shots and outlanded GGG at almost 2-1 in round two. These are the only two rounds I have sat down and calculated my own punchstats but this wouldn’t be the first time HBO has used incorrect stats. Round four or five of the first Pacquiao fight, if you watch the HBO telecast, has Pacquiao outlanding Bradley at one point during that round despite not even throwing the amount of punches they said he had landed at that time.

There are a lot of arguments that will come out of this fight regarding the scoring and who these two should fight next but I hope this puts a temporary halt to the “GGG is an all-time great middleweight” story line. He still has a long way to go. He is no where near Monzon’s record for defences (I still rate Monzon’s record as he was the lineal champion while Hopkins didn’t unify until towards the end of his career) as he still isn’t the lineal champion. The majority of his titles were of paper titles and Jacobs makes three top five contenders who he has beaten (Geale, Lemieux, who was debatable, and Jacobs). Not to mention this is a very weak middleweight division. Off his performance last night I wouldn’t giove GGG much of a chance against a top contender of the 1950-70’s middleweight divisions like George Benton, let alone have him up there with Carlos Monzon, Gene Fullmer, Emile Griffith, Nino Benvenuti or Dick Tiger.

The one thing this fight does for the division is lightens it up. Golovkin-Canelo is the big fight in boxing right now but Jacobs against either man is big as well. Jacobs-Lemieux or Jacobs-Saunders are both great matchups that could slot in on that undercard. Even Canelo-Lemieux and GGG-Jacobs II makes sense, if it were a double header. The judging of the Gonzalez fight aside, this was a good day for boxing.


Gonzalez loses controversial decision in New York

Listed as a 10-1 underdog, Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (42-4-1 (although he was reportedly 8-3 before his first recorded bout) 38 KO) wasn’t expected to give Gonzalez (46-1, 38 KO) more than a few rounds resistance before he was dispatched by Gonzalez. Gonzalez started fast, scoring clean punches with both hands while making Sor Rungvisai miss, until a right body shot dropped him late in the first round. It seemed more of the force of the blow knocked Gonzalez down than the placement of the body shot, however Gonzalez didn’t rise until the count of nine.

Gonzalez hit back in the second round, clearly outworking Sor Rungvisai although Sor Rungvisai stood in the pocket and threw back heavy leather. The third round seemed to change everything as both men clashed heads and a gash opened on the outside of the left eye of Gonzalez. The wound bled profusely throughout the contest and was re-opened by numerous headbutts. The blood, as well as Sor Rungvisai’s wild swinging style, seeminly influenced the judges decision. Gonzalez thoroughly outworked Sor Rungvisai in rounds 3-6 before Sor Rungvisai, who lost a point in the sixth for a headbutt, had his best round since the opener in the seventh.

Gonzales dominated the 8th and the 12th however rounds 9 and 10 were nip and tuck with both men landing great shots, and Sor Rungvisai won the 11th clearly. Gonzalez battered Sor Rungvisai in the 12th to the point where Sor Rungvisai actually ran away at one point to avoid the blows. The Thai fighter was desperate in the 12th and did well to survive, although his punch and grab tactics had a lot to do with that. The fight, in a nutshell, was Gonzalez scoring with both hands to the head and body while Sor Rungvisai took the shots and fired back with hard punches. Many of these punches were blocked, slipped or rolled with by Gonzalez however the blood made the fight seem more even than it was.

Judge Waleska Roldan’s 113-113 card was overruled by judges Julie Lederman and Glenn Feldmann’s 114-112 cards for Sor Rungvisai. I scored the bout 116-110. I favour clean punching, effective aggression, defence and ring generalship (which are the four criteria of boxing judging), all four of which were in favour of Gonzalez ,over throwing lots of hard punches and missing most of them. I was flabbergasted by the result. People complained about the first Bradley-Pacquiao card, this was much, much worse.

The one thing to take out of this fight is that Gonzalez is too small for 115lbs. He won his first bout at 105lbs and wasn’t a big flyweight. Against Cuadras and Sor Rungvisai he looks like he is a clear one or two divisions below them. Gonzalez will likely rematch both men (although a bout between Naoya Inoue and Sor Rungvisai in Japan would be huge money) but I think he is shortening his career by fighting in this division.

Roman Gonzalez added to GGG-Jacobs card

gonzalez_cuadras_160910_006a20720x527Pound for pound king and current WBC junior bantamweight champion Roman
“Chocolatito” Gonzalez will defend his title against Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (41-4-1, 38 KO) on the undercard of the Gennady Golovkin vs Danny Jacobs undercard. This will be the third time that Golovkin and Gonzalez have co-featured on the same card and the second time in New York with the card set to take place at the Madison Square Garden on March 18th.

Gonzalez’ opponent won’t be a pushover but I doubt he’ll cause the four weight world titlist much trouble. Rungvisai has won 14 straight bouts since his loss to Carlos Cuadras, the man who Gonzalez took the title from in September, but non against any ranked contenders. Rungvisai doesn’t travel well as all four of his losses have occurred on the four times that he has fought outside of his native Thailand.

The card is scheduled to be televised on HBO in the United States, which means that Australian fans should get the fight telecast by Main Event pay per view, although they have not telecast bigger fights than GGG-Jacobs before. The undercard also features Ukraine’s Olympic Gold Medalist Oleksander Usyk, who will make the second defense of his WBO cruiserweight title against an opponent to be announced.