Well that was an amazing night of boxing. Two of the top 5 pound for pound fighters in the world stepped into the ring, and both found themselves against incredibly tough opponents who were not intimidated and came to win.
In the main event, Daniel Jacobs fought the absolute fight of his life against Gennady Golovkin, but in the end, it was not quite enough, as GGG stayed undefeated with a close decision win. Jacobs did however snap the KO streak, forcing Golovkin to the cards for the first time in years. Jacobs got him there through a carefully fought battle, using his size and reach to his full advantage. The deciding factor may have been the one knockdown of the fight which GGG earned in the 4th, showing off the GGG power we all know, though it didn’t land as much as we are used to.
This is the second time in a row we have seen Golovkin not fighting at his absolute peak. Is that enough to entice Canelo Alvarez and Golden Boy into the much-desired Canelo vs. GGG superfight? Perhaps we will get a better sense in a few weeks after Canelo vs. Chavez.
But that’s the future. Tonight, it’s about GGG winning, but Daniel Jacobs giving it his absolute all in an incredible performance. And yet, this wasn’t even the most dramatic fight of the night...
- Roman Gonzalez vs. Srisaket Sor Rungvisai IS boxing. This was just everything amazing about this dramatic and sometimes barbaric sport we love. In round 1, Chocolatito went down to the mat for just the second time in his career - the last time was 10 years ago. He suffered a number of headbutts that caused blood to pour down his face most of the fight. And yet he never stopped. Ever. The two men fought much of the fight in a phone booth, throwing shots inside in a sheer battle of will power. Amazing.
- The result is going to be controversial, but this was a close, hard fought battle, and I have no issue with the outcome. I can’t get behind the idea that it’s a robbery when multiple rounds were close and the outcome was decided by a total of just 2 points between the judges.
- Chocolatito came in here considered the world’s #1 pound for pound fighter by many, but there were also questions about that status. Whether it was the death of his trainer, the move up in weight, the numerous brutal wars, or any other factor, there was good reason to think Gonzalez’s run at the top was winding down. And tonight, it ended. Modern day boxing is not a sport where we see the very best lose often - this was historic.
- One more time, can we all give it up for Srisaket Sor Rungvisai? Unknown to most fans before tonight, and now he has defeated the best fighter in the world.
- Carlos Cuadras came in against David Carmona looking to set up a rematch with Chocolatito, though that’s up in the air given the results of the Gonzalez fight. While Cuadras controlled more of the fight and earned a correct decision win, he looked a bit off and not as crisp all fight, controlling a somewhat ho-hum affair most of the way. In round 7, Carmona landed some good body shots that hurt Cuadras, and managed to land some good blows in the final stretch. But it was too little too late, as Cuadras used his early advantage to take the win.
- The PPV opener turned out to be a pretty lopsided affair, with Bryant Cruz having little to offer against Ryan Martin. This was set up as a showcase for rising Lightweight prospect Martin, and in the sense, it delivered. Martin controlled the action from the start and never let off, using his size advantage to outland Cruz throughout and forcing the referee to finally step in and wave things off in the 8th. He’s now 18-0 with 11 KOs and probably ready for a step up.
- In a non-televised fight, former Middlweight champion Andy Lee took a wide decision win over KeAndrae Leatherwood with scores of 78-74, 79-73, and 80-72. Lee missed the entirety of 2016, and while this wasn’t a win that will set the world on fire, it was a needed return for him and should put him in line for bigger opportunities next time out.