Based on the reaction of the percolating sellout crowd Saturday night at The Garden, Gennady ‘Triple G’ Golovkin and Danny ‘Miracle Man’ Jacobs have to fight again.
And that rematch would have to take place in the World’s Most Famous Arena.
The evening started with the crowd soundly favoring the undefeated Golovkin and it ended with the miraculous Jacobs being cheered by most of the 19,939 fans like he was the winner, or certainly not the loser.
Only in this melting pot of a city can a fighter from Kazakhstan have more vocal fans than a fighter from Brooklyn. And only in the Big Apple can that underdog from Brownsville, who has beaten cancer, sway many of those fans.
An hour after the fight, fans on the downtown No. 1 train were passionately analyzing the decision, a unanimous one for Golovkin, who improved to 37-0 with 33 KOs. Jacobs is 32-3 with 29 KOs.
Jacobs got knocked down in the fourth round by a pair of rights to the upper body and neck, Golovkin’s best moment of the fight. But Jacobs rallied to force Golovkin to fight into the 12th round for the first time in his career.
When the final bell rang, the building buzzed from human-generated electricity.
Would Golovkin add Jacobs’s WBA middleweight title belt to his trove of WBC, IBF and IBO belts, or would he suffer the first loss of his career?
Would Jacobs, who already has won the biggest fight of his life, beating an insidious form of cancer that had wrapped a tumor around his spine in 2011, establish himself as one of the great champions of the day?
Golovkin won a close, but unanimous decision. Judges Don Trella and Steve Weisfeld scored it 115-112. Judge Max DeLuca had it 114-113. MSGNetworks.com had it 114-113 for Jacobs.
“I respect Daniel Jacobs, and he did a very good job and clean job,” Golovkin said. “Daniel Jacobs is my favorite fighter — quality, very good fighter after I knocked him down. I respect his team.”
The fighters were so respectful of each other’s power and skill, that the first two rounds showcased more of a feeling out stage between the two.
By the fourth, Jacobs was on the canvas. But by the seventh, the fighters were still throwing punches after the bell. The 6-foot Jacobs used a two-inch height and a three-inch reach advantage to thwart Golovkin from landing one of his devastating power punches.
In fact, Jacobs landed more power punches (144-126), but never seemed to hurt Golovkin. Golovkin landed more punches overall (231-175).
Golovkin has been eyeing a big bucks fight with Canelo Alvarez and money will always be the undisputed champ in this sport. But if that fight can’t get made, Golovkin-Jacobs II would be welcome.
“I think I won the fight, and I think the fans support me,” Jacobs said. “I think I won by two rounds, at least. They want the big fight and Daniel Jacobs got X’d out. I won the fight and I won the decision, and all I can do is be gracious in the decision.”
The fourth-round knockdown seemed to catch Jacobs more off-guard than hurt him. By the sixth, Jacobs was moving, countering and cautiously attacking. Still, it was obvious he was wary of Golovkin’s power, which he should have been.
Triple G entered the fight having won his last 23 bouts by knockout. This fight was supposed to convince the power-makers to get Golovkin and Alvarez in the ring. Perhaps it will, but not because the boxing world is now clamoring for it more than ever.
Alvarez (48-1-1, 34 KOs), whose only loss was to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2013, saw a beatable Golovkin. Alvarez is scheduled to fight Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (50-2-1, 32 KOs) in May, after which boxing’s dealmaking wheels will turn.
“Of course I want that fight,” Golovkin said. “I am like an animal for that fight, but I will give Danny Jacobs a chance for a rematch.”