Gennady Golovkin vs. Daniel Jacobs

But Daniel Jacobs did something no one else has been able to do on Saturday in losing a close unanimous decision to Golovkin in a middleweight championship bout at Madison Square Garden. "I was in the zone". In my own head, I know I am capable of beating him.

Jacobs (32-2) was arguably a round away from taking it, rallying from an early knockdown to land vicious blows against the seemingly invincible Golovkin, making "GGG" sweat out the scorecards for the first time in his career.

"This is the biggest chance for us to show our world boxing class", Golovkin says. "He didn't panic, didn't lose control".

Golovkin is keen to clean up completely at the 160 pound limit before moving up to super-middleweight and needs to defeat Jacobs, Billy Joe Saunders and Canelo Alvarez in order to do so. Sometimes it's different. Daniel, he's a world champion.

Ultimately, however, a fight that all but screamed "vicious knockout" ended with a tight and disputed decision. "It's life", Golovkin said. "Daniel broke my record".

Judges Don Trelia and Steve Weisfeld scored it 115-112 while Max DeLuca scored it 114-113, all in favor of Golovkin.

Key to Jacobs' success against a man who boasts an unblemished career record of 37-0-0 was his repeated switch of stances, which kept Golovkin off-balance. He outlanded Jacobs 102-65 in the first six rounds and then edged him 129-110 in the last six, withstanding 100 power punches from Jacobs.

"It doesn't make sense to go into the details and negotiate through the media", he said.

Fight fans can only hope it will go down as Golovkin's Mugabi moment, a callback to the 1986 fight between Marvin Hagler and John Mugabi where Hagler was made to labor harder than expected for an 11th-round stoppage.

He won it on two of the three cards, but it wasn't enough, perhaps because he was knocked down in the fourth round, which went to Golovkin 10-8 on all three cards. He forced Golovkin to become a boxer and while he did well, Jacobs by far exemplified being the better of the two. He's not this boogeyman, this KO artist. Even when I got knocked down I was like - lets go.

Golovkin knocked Jacobs down in the fourth with a double dose of rights, but as the fight wore on Jacobs confused the Kazakh by sliding into a southpaw stance, scoring on stinging combinations, holding his own against the risky power of the champion. He credited former WBO light welterweight champion Chris Algieri of Greenlawn with designing a nutrition program that had him in peak condition.

Many felt that the fight was on the line in the 12th round and both men gave it their all in a seesaw stanza that was a fitting finale to the bout. But Golovkin's camp wants him to fight in June in his native Kazakhstan.

"It is my dream fight", said Golovkin, ignoring momentarily the prospect of facing Saul [Canelo] Alvarez in a mega-fight in September. My goal is all the belts in the division.

  • Leroy Wright