Round-by-round recap: Golovkin stays undefeated with close decision

Golovkin vs. Jacobs Round 5: Jacobs shows life, but GGG wins close round

Strong rights again to start the round for GGG. Golovkin looks to be taking charge of the fight.

Jacobs seems to be switching to southpaw for some reason. Methodical approach now by GGG landing his right jab.

Jacobs' left and a combo in the last minute is the best he's looked in a couple of rounds. Strong right by Golovkin knocked Jacobs back and a strong flurry at the end gives GGG the round.

L.A. Times Card: Golovkin 10-9 (Golovkin 48-46)

Gennady Golovkin holds off Daniel Jacobs by the thinnest of margins

He is my toughest fighter. I can’t destroy him. He’s a very good fighter. This was my first test for 12 rounds.
 Gennady Golovkin
Gennady Golovkin’s knockout streak succumbed Saturday night to a man who refuses to cave.

Although the judges awarded three-belt middleweight champion Golovkin (37-0) a unanimous-decision victory by scores of 115-112, 115-112, 114-113, the takeaway was the courageous stand by Brooklyn’s Daniel Jacobs in front of 19,939 at Madison Square Garden.

The cancer survivor who was sidelined parts of 2011 and 2012 survived getting knocked down by a fourth-round power punch that was struck square on the jaw, rallying back to end Golovkin’s 23-fight knockout streak and nearly convince the judges he’d won.

“I think I won the fight and I think the fans support me on that,” Jacobs (32-2) said. “All I can do is be gracious in defeat. I told him you’ll have to kill me.

“At times, I stood toe to toe with him to see what everybody was talking about and it wasn’t that bad. I’ve gained a lot of fans with this fight. My style is very good and I can look forward to the future.”

Golovkin won the eighth and ninth rounds on all three scorecards, but Jacobs swept the sixth, seventh, 10th and 11th, surprising a dominating champion who kept alive his hopes to fight Canelo Alvarez in a September superfight by the thinnest of margins.

“There was no dancing in here tonight,” promoter Tom Loeffler said. “It was warriors, fighting their heart out. They both showed a tremendous chin. It was a testament to Danny’s fortitude and courage.”

Golovkin said he was left with respect for Jacobs.

“He is my toughest fighter,” Golovkin said. “I can’t destroy him. He’s a very good fighter. This was my first test for 12 rounds.”

Gennady Golovkin attacks Daniel Jacobs during the fifth round of their middleweight title fight on March 18 at Madison Square Garden. (Frank Franklin II / Associated Press)

Scorecard: Golovkin taken the distance by Jacobs but wins by unanimous decision

NEW YORK -- Daniel Jacobs succeeded on Saturday in taking unified middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin the distance in a 12-round fight for the first time, and he likely won over fans while showcasing his heart and ability to box.

The only thing Jacobs didn’t win was the actual fight.

Golovkin (37-0, 33 KOs) made the 18th defense of his middleweight title but saw his 23-fight consecutive knockout streak come to an end as Jacobs lived up to his billing as the most difficult test of GGG’s career.

In the end, Golovkin hung on to claim a unanimous decision (115-112, 115-112, 114-113) at Madison Square Garden in New York. CBS Sports scored the bout 114-114.

“I think I won the fight, and I think these fans support me on that decision,” Jacobs said. “… I thought I won by two rounds, minimum.  ... I did feel like I was ahead on the cards, and I felt like I needed to win the last round just to kind of seal the deal.”

He continued: “This is boxing. Obviously he’s a bigger draw than me, and they want to make that super matchup with him and Canelo [Alvarez], so Daniel Jacobs probably got X’d out. ... I won this fight.”

Golovkin, 34, outlanded Jacobs 231 to 175, according to CompuBox. But it was Jacobs (32-2, 29 KOs) who landed more power shots, 144 to 126.

“I respect Daniel, and he did a very good job and clean job,” Golovkin said. “Respect to my team and all the people that support me.  Daniel is my favorite fighter -- clean, good, quality, very good fighter.”

Jacobs, 30, the first cancer survivor to win a world title, got up off the canvas in Round 4 after Golovkin landed a pair of clean flush right hands along the ropes.

“After the knockdown, I told him he would have to kill me [to knock me out],” Jacobs said. “When I got up, I thought, ‘This is all he has? I got back up and I thought I won the fight.’”

Not only did Jacobs instantly regain his legs after the knockdown, he constantly varied his attack by switching to southpaw, which at times took away Golovkin’s jab and forced him to think.

Jacobs, whose confidence continued to grow in the middle rounds, fought with a nasty streak at times, including leading with his forearm and hitting both on the break and after the bell. He also earned the respect of Golovkin, arguably the sport’s most feared puncher, by standing and trading at times on the inside.

“There were many times during the fight I went toe-to-toe because I knew I could,” Jacobs said. “I am looking forward to the future. I think I gained a lot of fans.  My style is good, I am a fan-friendly guy, and I thought I won the fight.”

Golovkin was able to weather storms by relying on his jab, which he outlanded Jacobs by a wide margin of 105 to 31. But despite cornering Jacobs at times as the aggressor, he was never again able to put him in trouble with power shots.

“This is boxing. I am a boxer and I respect his team,” Golovkin said. “This is boxing. I need the decision. I wasn’t thinking that I needed the 12th round to win the fight. This was my first test at 12 rounds. I needed a quality fight not just the 12th round.”

Golovkin, who went on to lose the final round on two of the three scorecards, reiterated his intent to face Canelo Alvarez in a superfight in September.

“Of course I am ready to fight Canelo,” Golovkin said. “Of course I want that fight. I am like an animal for that fight. I will [also] give Danny Jacobs a chance for a rematch.”

“We have agreed on a lot of points and a lot of points are still outstanding,” said Golovkin’s promoter, Tom Loeffler of K2, regarding his negotiations with Alvarez’s promoter, Golden Boy.

Loeffler, who had hoped to bring Golovkin to his native Kazakhstan in June for a title unification bout against England’s Billy Joe Saunders, said those plans are still up in the air.

“We have to see how Gennady is feeling next week and we have to see what the outcomes are out there,” Loeffler said.

Golovkin and Jacobs headlined a four-fight main card that also included a stunning upset loss by perhaps the best pound-for-pound fighter in the game, junior bantamweight title holder Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez.

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