Gennady Golovkin came into the Barclays Center the Middleweight champion, but there was plenty of doubt as if he should have left the ring after narrowly outpointing Daniel Jacobs. Over the course of their 12 round clash, Jacobs fought a disciplined fight and kept Golovkin off of his rhythm while dictating the pace of their content though falling short in the end.
Jacobs started off well and employed a strategy of switching between orthodox and southpaw which gave Golovkin pause and reducing his non-stop offense to sputters of activity. Golovkin dropped Jacobs in the third and momentarily stunned him in the ninth, but found himself flummoxed and ineffective outside of landing his heavy jab and occasion hard shots when Jacobs got too complacent.
Golovkin continued to struggle with the movement and combination punching from Jacobs much like he did against Kell Brook in his previous fight, but continued to press the action however way he could and the fight and somehow earned him a highly questionable unanimous decision by scores of 115-112 twice and 114-113.
Perhaps looking more vulnerable against elite caliber foes in Brook and Jacobs may be enough to draw Saul “Canelo” Alvarez in the ring for the Fall, but it is hard to say if the fight is any less marketable now that Golovkin escaped with his title more than he defended it. Either way, Golovkin moves to 37-0 33 KOs, while Jacobs drops to 32-2, 29 KOs.
On the Undercard
Srisaket Sor Rungvisai may not be a household name, but he will forever be remembered as the man who ended Roman Gonzalez’s reign as the pound for pound king of the sport as the Thai bruiser captured the 115-pound title by majority decision in a vicious war of attrition.
Early on, Rungvisai dropped Gonzalez with a thudding body shot and used his superior size to walk Gonzalez down and absorbed a horrifying amount of punishment throughout the proceedings. Gonzalez never stopped coming forward even as Rungvisai’s headbutts bloodied him and his heavier shots slowed him down to a crawl.
Gonzalez connected at an incredibly high rate in the middle rounds, but Sor Rungvisai’s constant forward pressure in addition to the streaming blood on Gonzalez’s face seemed to ultimately work against Gonzalez’s favor when it came down to the judges’ scorecards. A very visibly tired and bloodied Gonzalez had to resist the continuous pressure, big shots and blood loss until he was seemingly out of gas. The fight was a furiously paced bout from beginning to end and was simply too close to call as the bout came to a close.
Sor Rungvisai was announced the winner by majority decision by scores 114-112, 114-112, 113-113 and leaves the boxing world stunned as a result leaving the ring with the WBC title moving to 41-4-1. Gonzalez faces defeat for the first time dropping to 46-1 in a stunning upset.
Carlos Cuadras narrowly avoided disaster himself against a game David Carmona. Getting off to a much faster start than he did against his tight loss to Gonzalez, Cuadras kept a steady flow of pressure on Carmona but was taking a steady amount of punishment for his efforts that began showing its effects later in the fight.
Carmona dominated the fight from the seventh round onwards and was constantly getting the better of Cuadras who had all but slowed to a crawl, but was unable to spring the upset. Gonzalez was awarded the decision by scores of 97-93 twice and 96-94 and moves 36-1-1, 27 KOs while Carmona falls to 20-4-5, 8 KOs.
The opening bout of the broadcast had rising Lightweight contender Ryan Martin doling out a lopsided beating to Bryant Cruz. For eight straight rounds, the taller, faster Martin was relentless in his attack as he strafed a hapless and eventually helpless Cruz with huge shots and constant combinations.
Cruz was unable to reverse the course of the fight and the referee finally stepped in to deliver a mercy stoppage in the eighth. Martin moves to 18-0, 11 KOs as he nears title contention at Lightweight where Cruz falls to 17-2 while showing tremendous chin and heart as he absorbed a tremendous beating.