Gennady Golovkin outlasted Danny Jacobs in an exhausting 12-round defense of his middleweight titles Saturday night.
Both fighters are knockout artists, yet this one went the distance - the first time GGG has not had a KO in 24 fights, and his first time going 12 rounds. The Kazakh won 115-112 on two judges' cards and 114-113 on the other.
The Telegraph had it 114-114.
In the toughest fight of his stellar career, Golovkin often was stymied by Jacobs changing to a left-handed style. But a series of hard rights throughout the bout were enough - barely - to bring his record to 37-0.
"Daniel did a very good job," Golovkin said. "Daniel is my favorite fighter. I can't destroy him."
He didn't, unlike so many other opponents who felt the fury or GGG.
"I thought I won it by at least two rounds minimum," said Jacobs, nicknamed Miracle Man after he overcame bone cancer in 2011-12 to win 10 straight fights. "I did feel like I had to win the 12th round to make sure."
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.
Still, with Madison Square Garden reverberating from chants of "Triple G" or "JACOBS," no one could be sure of the outcome right until the final punch.
Jacobs is 32-2. Golovkin holds on to his belts and took Jacobs' WBA middleweight title.
Golovkin, a world champion since 2010, is 5-0 at the Garden, which he calls a "second home." But Jacobs, from Brooklyn and, oddly, a representative of the competing arena the Barclays Center, tested him more than anyone has.
Golovkin keeps his WBC and WBO crowns - the IBF belt was not at stake because Jacobs skipped that organization's fight-day weigh-in. On the horizon for GGG could be that elusive meeting with Canelo Alvarez if the Mexican wins his fight in May against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
"Of course I am ready to fight Canelo, of course I want that fight," Golovkin said. "I am like an animal for that fight."
But there's another option, GGG admitted.
"I will give Danny Jacobs a chance for a rematch."
Earlier, Thailand's Srisaket Sor Rungvisai stunned previously unbeaten Roman "Chocolatito" Gonzalez, knocking down the Nicaraguan in the first round, bloodying his face with an unintentional head-butt in the third, then winning a majority decision for the WBC super flyweight championship.
Even though Sor Rungvisai was docked a point in the sixth round for another head-butt - there were several in the brutal bout - he never backed off. He relentlessly attacked the cut over the right eye of Gonzalez, who clearly was hampered by the blood streaming down his face. The challenger carried the fight in the eyes' of the judges through the latter rounds.
In only his second fight outside Asia, Sor Rungvisai improved to 42-4-1 with 38 knockouts. Gonzalez, considered one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the sport, is 46-1.
One judge had the fight even at 113-113. The other two gave the Thai the nod 114-112 in the action-packed bout.
A sellout crowd at Madison Square Garden vigorously booed the decision.
The AP had it 115-113 for Gonzalez, who has held some sort of world title since 2008.
Gonzalez went down from a hard right to the body in the opening round, but he then took charge - even after his face turned to a bloody mask in the middle rounds. However, Sor Rungvisai landed enough punches and moved well enough to keep in it.
And then, despite being outpunched decisively, with Gonzalez landing 441 to 284, the Thai got the surprise decision.
That's all folks
We hope you've enjoyed!
Gareth A Davies: I'd like to see it again
Gareth A Davies from MSG:
Looking back over my score, I had it 114-114. Perhaps that's why I'd like to see it again. But I did score the second round a 10-10.
Jacobs thought he "won it by at least two rounds". He was very convincing.
.@DanielJacobsTKO: "I thought I won the fight by at least two rounds! But this is boxing, obviously he's a bigger draw than me"— BoxNation (@boxnationtv) 19 March 2017
So - the official score
The judges score it 115-112, 115-112 and 114-113 for GGG. Still undefeated. Great fight. Some will no doubt disagree with that. Jacobs fought a great fight.
MSG holds its breath
Plenty of divided opinion amongst the viewers tonight! We're seconds away from finding out who won! #GGGJacobs— BoxNation (@boxnationtv) 19 March 2017
Round 12 - who will win this?
Golovkin lands accurately in the first half of the round, but Jacobs fought back at the end, That was such a close round. Golovkin just shades it for me.My God, this fight is close. I haven't been counting the score as we go. But I'd like to see these guys do it all over again. In Las Vegas this time.
(12/12) Golovkin and Jacobs trade blows in the final round in New York in a terrific ending to the fight. The judges are required now!— BoxNation (@boxnationtv) 19 March 2017
Can The Miracle Man who beat osteosarcoma and paralysis now boss the last six minutes of this contest and upset the form book and the odds. He was a huge outsider. Jacobs landing with the left again. They throw down in the centre winging hooks and Jacobs takes the round for me. For the first time in his career he looks tired and frustrated.
Jacobs bossed that round with the right jab from the southpaw stance and Golovkin could simply not get in. Brilliant round for the New Yorker.
Jacobs really making Golovkin work but in the last minute Jacobs caught by two uppercuts and lets his hands down - too brave and foolish, GGG cannot get finishing punch away. Left hook by Jacobs in there too.
Manny Pacquiao called it for GGG
Here we go. I have GGG on this one. Who do you have? #GGGJacobs— Manny Pacquiao (@mannypacquiao) 19 March 2017
Jacobs was busy in that round but the right cross and a series of heavier punches landed by GGG. Jacobs relishing the fight but sense that GGG could end it suddenly.
Manny Pacquiao enjoyed the Choco vs Sor fight
I enjoy watching guys that will stand and trade punches instead of jab and run for 12 rounds. This is boxing! #ChocolatitoRungvisai— Manny Pacquiao (@mannypacquiao) March 19, 2017
Respect to Chocolatito for moving up in weight! True champs take challenges. He will come back even better.— Manny Pacquiao (@mannypacquiao) 19 March 2017
Terrific round. Jacobs back to southpaw showing terrific vim and coming back at Golovkin. He arguably landed a low blow, and a shot to the back of the head. But he bossed that period. Or at least did not allow GGG to dominate. They trade just after the bell. Fight getting very good. Golovkin not stretched but being outpunched at times.
Jacobs rediscovered his self belief in those 3 minutes, switching back to orthodox and throwing combinations to head and a flurry on the body. GGG clearly respects him.
Jacobs still firing back but really losing his shape, GGG looking to load up, big left lands from Jacobs but he's getting wilder and maybe desperate. He looked very controlled at the start. Golovkin, perhaps because of his reputation for iron fists, looks so dangerous. Another big right hand from him.
Jacobs looking confident but then boom, as predicted in the last round, Golovkin gets an in and drops DJ with a right and then almost falls over the challenger.
GGG getting his jab off more now, and Jacobs calling the champion on. Left-right combo from GGG. Then a powerful right from Jacobs lands.
Body shot with the right from Golovkin. Winging punchers thrown by Jacobs, fast, wide, mostly missing.
Golovkin just starting to get his range. They tie up, and Jacobs works well on the inside, getting away with some good shots, roughing GGG.
Two stiff jabs from Triple G. Then a good left hook to GGG face, he recoils.
Jacobs being smart, but when they open up it will get dangerous for him.
Do you agree with the Choco vs Sor result?
Jacobs looks very wary indeed and well he might - GGG is on a 23 fight knockout streak and at 92% KO ratio in stats the most concussive modern world champion. Jacobs moving smartly and getting fast punches off.
Drawn round 10-10
Cagey start GGG stalking flurry from Jacobs midway through the round then left hook and jab to body. Good jab Jacobs GG misses with long right. They chant Triple G.
'Time to make history'
Sor Rungvisai: At this point I can defeat anyone
"Yes, at this point I can defeat anyone" - New WBC Super-Flyweight Champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai is open to a Gonzalez rematch!— BoxNation (@boxnationtv) 19 March 2017
USA Today agreed with Gareth
"My pal Mike Coppinger next to me - USA Today - had it 115-111 for Chocoatito," says Gareth.
WOW: Sor Rungvisai has it
WOW - we have a very unpopular decision as Chocolatito loses his first fight, says Gareth A Davies.
Judges scores 114-112, 114-112, 113-113, Sor takes the world super flyweight title by majority decision. There are catcalls and boos. I had Choco by one, maybe two rounds.
Majority decision: 113-113, 114-112 (twice) - #AndTheNew WBC World Super-Flyweight Champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai! Congratulations ��— BoxNation (@boxnationtv) 19 March 2017
Incredible effort from both Gonzalez and Rungvisai tonight. The Thai becomes the first man to defeat Chocolatito ������ #GGGJacobs— BoxNation (@boxnationtv) 19 March 2017
Gareth has Chocolatito the winner by two rounds over Sor:
Sor leading with his head
Gareth A Davies from New York City:
The fight swings back in the eighth round as Sor lands on Choco but to be fair, he's leading with his head at times, like it is a third fist.... and he's aiming his head at the right side of the Nicaraguan. Choco still winning this, 2/3 rounds up.
As we go into the tenth round Sor, the challenger, needs a really powerful three rounds in my book to take this...
Dramatic entrance earlier by Golovkin...
Dramatic entrance earlier by Golovkin... after all, it is snowing outside:
Nicaragua now bosses Thailand in this global affair
Gareth A Davies has more:
Late in the sixth round now, and the Nicaraguan fighting machine is throwing into his Thai opponent's body with all his might. It looks like it could be over soon.. but Rungvisai is deducted a point fort a headbutt in the closing seconds, perhaps his pony hope as he lies trapped on the ropes. Gonzalez, all 115lbs of him, real is a masterful fighter and boxer... This could be over soon. Nicaragua now bosses Thailand in this global affair...
(6/12) Clinical from Chocolatito as Rungvisai's workrate has dropped. The Thai is docked a point for a headbutt. Quality scrap so far!— BoxNation (@boxnationtv) 19 March 2017
Chocolatito pursuing his Thai foe
Gareth A Davies from MSG:
By late in the fifth round the crowd in here - this old, beautiful iconic building in the heart of Manhattan - are raising the roof because Chocolatito, blood seeping from the corner of his right eye and running in lines down the side of his face, is pursuing his Thai foe.
His punches land with a relentlessness and brutal artistry on the inside, his uppercuts thud into his foe's face, rocking his head backwards. We are into the visceral part of the fight. The Thai challenger is beginning to be worn down, and the fight is now even on points. And Chocolatito is beginning to show his timing and mastery...
(4/12) WAR! Rungvisai maintains a high output of punches but Gonzalez finishes the round landing a number of cracking shots and uppercuts!— BoxNation (@boxnationtv) 19 March 2017
'This is serious'
This is serious - there is a very bad cut over Chocolatito's right eye, says Gareth A Davies.
I believe it was from an accidental head clash. Referee stopped the fight, the doctor had a look and they continued. Gonzalez was cut in the same place against Mexican fighter Cuadras, from memory. Gonzalez and Rungvisai go toe to toe for a few sustained periods. ... ... and Gonzalez has been put down before. Eleven years ago in his 5th fight.
A first for Chocolatito?
We believe that is the first time that Chocolatito has ever been knocked down in his career.
70% of Kazakhstan population watching
It is staggering that 70% of the population of Kazakhstan, 12 million people - including the president Nursultan Nazarbayev - will be up at 7am in that country to watch Gennady Golovkin.
(1/12) GONZALEZ IS KNOCKED DOWN in the first round! The heavy-handed Rungvisai lands a flash body shot after a strong start ��— BoxNation (@boxnationtv) 19 March 2017
But we have drama here in the first round of the chief support fight as Roman 'Chocolatito' Gonzalez, a four-weight world champion, and unbeaten in 46 fights, is put down in the opening round. 10-8 round.
Shock and awe in media row...
Golovkin fight with Billy Joe Saunders in Kazakhstan 'is one option'
Gonzalez and Rungvisai are ready
Gonzalez and Rungvisai are ready in the ring,
Gonzalez and Rungvisai are ready in the ring...— BoxNation (@boxnationtv) 19 March 2017
This is our final fight before the main event #GGGJacobs!
Meanwhile Gennady Golovkin warms up backstage.
Chocolatito: One of the unsung stars of world boxing
As chief support at The Garden, one of the unsung stars of world boxing, Roman 'Chocolatito' Gonzalez, of Nicaragua, faces Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, of Thailand.
'Chocolatito', all 5ft 3ins of him, has risen through four weight divisions as a world champion, unbeaten in 46 contests, from the minimum weight of 7st 7lbs to superflyweight, 8st 2lbs.
A spectacular talent, not to be missed.
With Gennady Golovkin's publicist
Gareth is making friends at Madison Square Garden:
Gareth ready for Chocolatito
Chocolatito warms up
Also tonight, Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez will defend his WBC World Super-Flyweight Title against Srisaket Sor Rungvisai in the co-main event.
Live from MSG
Gareth A Davies settling into his groove at the iconic MSG, in New York.
Gennady Golovkin vs Daniel Jacobs: What we know so far
When is it?
Saturday, March 18.
What time is it?
The bout will start at approximately 3am UK time, with the undercard fights starting from 1am onwards.
What TV channel is it on?
BoxNation are broadcasting the bout live from 1am but fear not if you don't pay for the boxing channel, BT Sport subscribers can also watch it live.
How have the fighters been faring?
Golovkin, or GGG as he's more familiarly known, is arguably the most feared puncher on the planet at the moment.
The Kazakh is unbeaten in all of his 36 fights so far in his career, winning 33 of those by knockout.
'Triple G's' beat Britain's Kell Brook in his last competitive fight, fracturing the Sheffield-born boxer's eye socket in an attritional bout at the O2 Arena in London.
Golovkin won in a fifth-round stoppage after Brook's trainer, Dominic Ingle, threw in the towel to save his fighter from more punishment.
In October 2015 he added the IBF strap to his collection, convincingly beating David Lemieux.
Daniel 'The Miracle Man' Jacobs will be a formidable opponent worthy of Golovkin's fearsome power.
The Brooklyn-born fighter overcame cancer in 2011 and has an impressive knockout record - with 29 of his 32 victories coming by KO.
In December 2015 he demolished Peter Quillin inside a round before he beat former World Champion Sergio Mora in a seventh round KO win.
What have they been saying?
“I’m very excited, everybody on my team is ready, just a couple days before another amazing drama show. I hope Daniel is ready, I hope he’s had his best training camp, I have a great deal of respect for his team,” said Golovkin.
“Thanks to my team, thanks to my Coach Abel Sanchez, he opened my eyes for boxing, for new life. Thanks to HBO Pay-Per-View, this is the biggest chance for me and Daniel to show world class boxing.
“Daniel said he’s come back home, I feel the same way, Madison Square Garden is like my second home, I love fighting here.”
The 34-year-old also gave his take on the potential fight between Floyd Mayweather and UFC's Conor McGregor - insisting the match would not be a 'real fight.'
"Of course everyone wants to watch this fight, Floyd and Conor, because it's a show - like a new movie," said Golovkin.
"[It's] a different situation on my side, everyone wants to watch a true fight, a true boxing fight."
“I was 15 years old when I first came to Madison Square Garden to watch the Golden Gloves, so to have an opportunity like this and fight at the Mecca of Boxing again for the biggest opportunity that I could possibly have—I feel very grateful,” said Jacobs.
“This is a great opportunity for me, I would never have thought five years ago through a whole bunch of craziness that I went through that I would be fighting for the unified middleweight championship.
"I wouldn’t want to have it any other way, the biggest challenge on the biggest stage. I’m so focused, I’m so ready.
“I have the utmost respect for Gennady and his team, we’re two ambassadors for the sport, and I’m honored to share the ring with him.”
What are the betting odds?
Gennady Golovkin 1/8
Daniel Jacobs 5/1