The two reengaged for the final few seconds before the bell tolled, signaling the round’s end. The Brooklyn-born Jacobs pounded his solid black Everlast boxing gloves with white lettering together, as the crowd of 19,939 hollered in unison.
This was a recurring theme throughout the night on March 18, when Golovkin, (37-0-0, 33 KO’s) put his WBA Super, WBC and IBO middleweight titles on the line against Jacobs’ (32-2-0, 29 KO’s) WBA Regular championship – the ultimate unification bout.
None of us have ever seen this before.
At least not Golovkin, whose assembled a historical path of destruction. The man known simply as GGG (“Triple G”) had knocked out every opponent he’s had since November 22, 2008 – all 23 of them, seven of whom survived passed round five, and only two who made it to round 10.
Jacobs’ confidence grew as he brought GGG to uncharted waters, exposing chinks in the armor, and nearly pulled off the shocking upset.
“I do really feel like I won that fight, it at least could’ve been a draw.” said Jacobs at the post-fight press conference about 90 minutes after losing on the judges’ scorecards with two 115-112’s and a 114-113. “I’m happy that the fans ultimately were the winners.
“That definitely wasn’t a dull fight,” he added. “We traded, we boxed, we used our skills and we entertained everyone. That was our job and I felt like we did our job 110 percent.”
GGG’s popularity, which continues to rise with endorsements from Jordan, Hublot and Chivas, was on display at the World’s Most Famous Arena on Saturday night.
While walking over from Tower B to Tower D to greet a friend, it hit me, GGG was about to get way more fan love than the local product Jacobs, who’s a multi-time world champion, former Golden Gloves winner, and defeated osteosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer which almost ended his career in 2011.
Hats, shirts, hoodies, jackets – all read “GGG.”
Beating cancer earned Jacobs the alias “Miracle Man,” which he virtually became in the ring on Sarurday night, stealing the thunder of the storm coming his way.
Jacobs was even greeted with some boos prior to the fight held a train’s ride away from where he grew up, which were drowned out by rounds of applause.
By the end of the night, the love from the audience was as unanimous as the decision GGG received in victory, which was ceremoniously jeered by the bulk of nearly 20,000 fans, resembling the thoughts of many fans worldwide post-fight: Jacobs won.
He won the hearts, and to most he won the fight.
“I know that with the performance I had now, it’s not over for me, the future is that much brighter,” Jacobs said to the gathered media at the presser. “I definitely think I shocked a lot of people tonight, because going in I was definitely the underdog. I proved who I am.”
Andre Rozier, Jacobs’ trainer since age 14 (16 years now), was seated to Jacobs’ right after the fight and offered some moving post-bout commentary, giving us a glimpse into their close bond.
“We came into this affair with very little chance of winning by your standards,” Rozier said, pointing to the press as Jacobs nodded his head in approval. “Team Jacobs knew from the point that we started training camp until we actually entered that ring, that we were ready to win.
“Danny showed tonight why he’s not just an elite middleweight, but a champion middleweight,” he continued. “I don’t think there’s anyone here as proud of Danny as I am. They often say that great trainers are only great by the athletes that they work with. Tonight, my son made me great.”
With two hands of gold and a twinkle in his eye, the Miracle Man nearly got it done. But he did cement himself as a top-two middleweight in the world, with the prospect of maybe one day overtaking the top spot in a career that wasn’t supposed to last this long to begin with.