Gennady Golovkin survived the toughest test of his career to defeat Daniel Jacobs before setting his sights on a blockbuster showdown with Canelo Alvarez.
GGG headed into the fight on a run of 23 straight knockouts but found Jacobs, known as "Miracle Man" since coming back from bone cancer five years ago, in no mood to lie down and the American pushed the undefeated Kazakh all the way to a judges’ decision.
Two judges scored it 115-112, with the third making it 114-113 in favour of Golovkin, who successfully retained his WBC, WBA, IBF and IBO middleweight crowns.
And in the immediate aftermath Golovkin, who also refused to rule out a rematch with the hugely impressive Jacobs, turned his attention towards a long-awaited clash with powerful Mexican Alvarez.
“Of course I am ready to fight Canelo,” he said. “Of course I want that fight. I am like an animal for that fight.”
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 dangerous power of the champion.
After a cautious, feeling out in the first two rounds, the bout blossomed into a fascinating battle with the fighters engaging freely in a thrilling duel to the finish that almost produced another Jacobs' miracle.
Golovkin’s unblemished record now stands at 37-0, while Brooklyn native Jacobs dropped to 32-2.