By Vladimir Lik | March 18, 2017

The impressive streak of knockouts came to an end tonight at New York's Madison Square Garden in front of a capacity crowd of just over 19,000 fans, but undisputed world middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin (37-0, 33 KOs) still remained unbeaten by edging out Daniel Jacobs (32-2, 29 KOs) by unanimous decision. At ringside judge Max DeLuca had it the closest at 114-13 while judges Don Trella and Steve Weisfeld each scored it 115-112.

In what was undoubtedly the toughest fight of his career, Golovkin did just enough according to the judges to sway the decision in his favor. With the victory fighter from Kazakhstan, who now resides in California, retained his IBF, WBC, WBA and IBO titles and keeps the potential showdown with Mexican superstar Canelo Alvarez alive.

Both men came into the bout with 35 consecutive knockout victories and the respect of each other's power was evident in the opening few rounds. Jacobs started the bout on his back foot while Golovkin was pressing forward with the jab. Jacobs tried to jab back, but would end up against the ropes having to use superb head movement to avoid getting hit with anything big.

The second round continued in more of a technical pace as both fighters were cautious of the other's power. Golovkin tried unsuccessfully to land anything of meaning while Jacobs was still trying to establish the jab.

It seemed both men decided to start the action connecting of the punches in the third stanza as Jacobs began to press more and Golovkin landed hard hitting jabs snapping Jacobs' head back. Jacobs however landed the best punch of the round connecting with a flush right hand which woke Golovkin up.

Golovkin came out firing his patented missiles in round four backing Jacobs up into the ropes. Golovkin landed two monster right hands knocking Jacobs down in the corner for the first and only knockdown of the bout. As the sold out crowd rose to its' feet Jacobs got back up in plenty of time to beat the count from referee Charlie Fitch. Jacobs played it safe and was defensive the rest of the round.

Jacobs began switching to southpaw in the fifth and quickly found success with the lead right jab. Jacobs was also able to move a lot better as a southpaw and had Golovkin swinging and missing wildly. Golovkin still controlled much of the action and was still looking for a big shot to end the bout.

Jacobs' southpaw stance continued to serve him well in the sixth as he started landing to Golovkin's body and started controlling the action. Jacobs moved extremely well in the round. All three judges gave the six to Jacobs.

Golovkin had his moments seventh and eighth clearly trying to hurt Jacobs and put him down again. Jacobs fought off the ropes well and as the bout progressed took Golovkin's shots better. Both men started trading in the middle of the ring as the ninth round was winding down. Jacobs had a strong tenth round again winning the round on each judge's scorecard.

With the bout seemingly hanging in the balance both men traded in the middle of the ring in the twelve round hoping to do what was needed to win round and come away with the victory. It appeared that Golovkin started to fade into the later rounds while Jacobs was getting stronger. Jacobs won rounds eleven and twelve on two of the three cards but it would be too late to capture the decision and the belts.

According to CompuBox statistics Golovkin landed more overall punches at 231 of 615 thrown. Jacobs outlanded Golovkin in the power shot department 144 to Golovkin's 126. The key stat difference in the bout was the large disparity in jabs landed. Golovkin landed 105 jab to Jacobs landing only 31.  

The loss for Jacobs is only the second of his career. The 30-year-old Jacobs was knocked out by Dmitry Pirog in 2010 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. 

For the 34-year-old Golovkin who reportedly earned $2.5 million for the bout he seemed at peace following the victory for not coming away with the knockout.

"This is boxing," Golovkin said repeatedly. "I needed to go 12 rounds for once and I did tonight."

The last time an opponent of Golovkin's took him to the final bell was Amar Amari in June of 2008 when Golovkin won an eight round decision.

Also on the card, previously undefeated champion Roman "Chocolatito" Gonzalez was upset by Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, losing his WBC super flyweight title via majority decision with scores of 114-112, 114-112, and 113-113.

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