Gennady Golovkin eked out a win over Daniel Jacobs

Daniel Jacobs went toe-to-toe with Gennady Golovkin at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night in a middleweight title fight in front of 19,939 screaming fans where the WBC and WBA belts were on the line. Jacobs was dropped in round 4, which ended up being very costly and lead to a majority decision victory for Golovkin.

Judges Don Trella and Steve Weisfeld both scored the fight 115-112 for Golovkin, while Max DeLuca had it 114-113.

The UD win put an end to the 23 consecutive knockout streak Golovkin has held since 2008. Golovkin (37-0, 33 KOs) scored a knockdown in round 4 and immediately tried to apply pressure but Jacobs, who switched to southpaw several times throughout the fight, wasn’t seriously hurt and made it back to his corner with little trouble.

“After the knockdown, I told him he’d have to kill me,” Jacobs said. “When I got up, I thought, ‘This is all he has?'”

Once Jacobs (32-2, 29 KOs) came out of his corner following the knockdown, he fought with a newfound sense of urgency and started to connect with combinations to the body and head. The athleticism and ring IQ of Jacobs challenged Golovkin in a way he had never been before.

“I respect Daniel Jacobs, and he did a very good job and clean job. Daniel Jacobs is my favorite fighter . . . I respect his team,” Golovkin said.

Golovkin landed 231 of 615 punches and Jacobs landed 175 of 541 punches, according to CompuBox.

“I think I won the fight, and I think the fans support me,” Jacobs said to Max Kellerman during the post-fight interview. “I think I won by two rounds at least.”

If anything, Golovkin’s performance made him look vulnerable and other middleweights who have avoided him may be more inclined to accept a bout now that Jacobs blueprinted a strategy. Canelo is Golovkin’s “dream fight” but his Mexican adversary has to get past Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. on Cinco de Mayo weekend.

“Of course I want that fight,” he said. “I am like an animal for that fight, but I will give Danny Jacobs a chance for a rematch.”

Jacobs won the hearts of fans by pushing Golovkin for 12 hard rounds and shouldn’t have any trouble landing another big fight. Unfortunately for him, Golovkin owns all of the belts except the WBO, which Billy Joe Saunders lifted from Andy Lee in 2015. Saunders has promised to be Golovkin’s next opponent in June.