Golovkin wins close decision over Jacobs, Rungvisai upsets Gonzalez
By Hector Franco
March 19, 2017
NEW YORK – Madison Square Garden was filled with excitement and controversy on Saturday night. Gennady Golovkin (37-0, 33 KOs) went twelve rounds for the first time in his career as he wins a close unanimous decision over Danny Jacobs (32-2, 29 KOs). The fight itself was close with many swing rounds that could have been scored for either man.
Jacobs utilized a strategy of lateral movement that offset much of Golovkin’s offense. Golovkin’s patented left hook and body attack became a non-factor in the fight. The first three rounds were close rounds that could have all been scored for Jacobs, as Golovkin was slow to get his punches off. In the fourth round, Golovkin scored a knockdown with a right hand that changed the momentum of the match.
Jacobs was able to adjust and turn southpaw keeping the fight close as Golovkin began just to throw one punch at a time rather than throw in combination. In the ninth, it seemed that Golovkin stunned Jacobs with an uppercut. For many, the fight was even going into the 12th and final round. Two of the three judges scored the last three rounds all for Jacobs. The other judge scored the final round for Golovkin. The scores were 115-112 twice and 114-113 all for Golovkin.
Jacobs may have lost the decision, but he gained a level of respect that may have eluded him before the fight. Many fans may have scored the fight for Jacobs, and a rematch with Golovkin in the future is something fans would find acceptable.
As far as Golovkin’s future is concerned, it moves forward with the same plan. The middleweight kingpin will try and face WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders (24-0, 12 KOs) this upcoming June in Kazakhstan. If successful in defeating Saunders, the hope for Golovkin is to meet with Canelo Alvarez (48-1-1, 34 KOs) this next September. Golovkin spoke to HBO’s Max Kellerman in his post-fight interview regarding Alvarez.
In the main supporting undercard bout, Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (42-4-1, 38 KOs) upset Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez (46-1, 38 KOs) and won a majority decision victory to capture the WBC super flyweight championship. Fans and pundits alike had Gonzalez winning a close but clear decision. The arena was filled with Gonzalez fans that cheered at every shot landed by the Nicaraguan.
Rungvisai scored a knockdown in the first round off a body shot that seemed to push Gonzalez down with its force. The fight turned into a bloody war after Gonzalez suffered a cut in the third round. The head butts became an issue in the fight as referee Steve Willis was forced to take a point away from Rungvisai in the sixth round. The 12th round was particularly memorable as Gonzalez attempted to close the show and left everything he had in the ring.
The scores reflected that many of the rounds were close as they were announced at 113-113, and 114-112 twice. This upset has shaken up the boxing world as Gonzalez was regarded as arguably the number one pound-for-pound fighter in the world. Regardless of the outcome, the fight would have called for a rematch even if Gonzalez were declared the winner. The match was exciting enough and exceeded expectations. A rematch may be next for both men.
Former WBC Super Flyweight champion Carlos Cuadras (36-1-1, 27 KOs) won a unanimous decision victory over David Carmona (20-4-5, 8 KOs) with scores of 97-93 twice, and a score of 96-94. Cuadras was unimpressive, and after the decision was announced, fans in attendance booed Cuadras and cheered Carmona. There were many swing rounds in the fight that could have been scored for either fighter.
Carmona is a tough contender in the super flyweight division. Most recently, he went the distance with WBO super flyweight champion, Naoya Inoue (12-0, 10 KOs). Cuadras was looking to have an impressive performance to set up a rematch with Roman Gonzalez. Since Gonzalez lost a decision to Rungvisai, a rematch may be unlikely, but Rungvisai could have his pick as to who he wants to rematch, Cuadras or Gonzalez.
In the first televised undercard bout Cleveland, Ohio’s Ryan Martin (18-0, 11 KOs) put on an impressive and dominating performance over Bryant Cruz (17-2, 8 KOs). Martin showed a spectacular body attack throughout the bout. It seemed that the Ohio native could have stepped on the gas at any time to have the fight stopped but may have wanted to go some extra rounds. The fight was stopped at the 2:15 mark of the eighth round. Martin at 5’11 is one of the biggest lightweights in the division and looks like he will be ready to challenge for a world title shortly.
After a 15-month absence from the ring former WBO middleweight champion Andy Lee (35-3-1, 24 KOs) won a unanimous decision victory over KeAndrae Leatherwood (19-4-1, 12 KOs) in an eight-round middleweight bout. The fight was at a slow pace, as Lee appeared to be rusty from the long layoff. The plan for Lee is to fight lower level opponents until he is ready to get back in the ring with the best the middleweight division has to offer. The scorecards were 80-72, 78-74, and 79-73 all in Lee’s favor.
(Feature Photo: Frank Franklin II/Associated Press)