12 Rounds With ... Daniel Jacobs

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Former middleweight world champion discusses his tough loss to Gennady Golovkin and breaks down his Nov. 11 bout against Luis Arias.

Daniel Jacobs

Former middleweight champion Daniel Jacobs prepares for a November 11, 2017 bout against Luis Arias at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York. (Andy Samuelson/Premier Boxing Champions)

Daniel Jacobs lost a narrow decision to Gennady Golovkin in March. It was a fight that opened the eyes of many in the boxing world to just how skillful Jacobs is. Golovkin dropped Jacobs in the fourth round, but GGG’s vaunted power never fully materialized as Jacobs kept him off balance by switching between southpaw and orthodox stances.

Even though he lost the decision and his middleweight title, Jacobs gained tons of respect from boxing fans and pundits for the way that he fought Golovkin, who entered the bout on a 23-fight stoppage streak that spanned nine years.

Jacobs (32-2, 29 KOs) returns to action this Saturday night when he faces Luis Arias (18-0, 9 KOs) at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York. Though he isn’t looking ahead, Jacobs says he is eyeing a rematch with Golovkin, who fought to a draw with Canelo Alvarez in September.

Jacobs known as the “Miracle Man” for his much-publicized battle and victory over

osteosarcoma, a rare and aggressive form of bone cancer, took some time away from training to talk GGG and his upcoming bout.

How did you neutralize Golovkin’s power?

We used my full arsenal, limiting Golovkin’s effectiveness to a jab. We controlled an offensive onslaught guy, neutralizing him into using that single punch.  

My speed, distance, athleticism and power countered a one-dimensional Triple-G, and we’re really not used to seeing him reduced to one tool.

What happened on the knockdown, and how hurt were you?

When Triple-G knocked guys down in previous fights, they’d weaken, showing they were hurt and wanting to avoid further punishment at all costs. But I was definitely not hurt.

There was contact, but I wasn’t hurt. I was in transition, switching from orthodox to southpaw or vice versa when the punch landed. My left foot swung around, my heel hit the ground and that forced me backward.

After rising for the eight-count, I went directly at Triple-G, egging him on to fight. That’s not the body language of someone who is hurt or [legitimately] knocked down. It happened, and I understand why it happened. I made a mistake.

So your “suspect chin” survived, and you feel you won in addition to ending Golovkin’s run of 23-consecutive knockouts?

[Laughs] That was the bigger question. Golovkin had been knocking everyone out for the last [nine] years, right? I’m the underdog going in with a suspect chin who’s going to get knocked out. If I had a suspect chin, wouldn’t I have been exposed?

But I took all those punches from the boogey man. My mentality after the knockdown, knowing it was going to be a 10-8 round, was to skip the game plan.

I stopped preserving my energy by continuing to box, move and finesse as I had been.

My nature is, instinctively, to bang, toe-to-toe. When he engaged, I wanted to bang, figuring I’d land a shot. That wasn’t initially the game plan due to the risk involved, but I was trying to hurt him, letting him know I could do that.

Golovkin was projected to be pound-for-pound one of the best knockout artists, if not fighters, so what I did against him in that fourth round and on that night speaks volumes.

At worst, it should have been a draw. It’s sad when you put your heart and soul into a fight and realize you’re being judged from a completely different standpoint than you thought. That was a 50-50 fight, and I win the rematch, 100 percent. Former Middleweight World Champion Daniel Jacobs on loss to GGG

What did you see in Golovkin’s eyes after the fight, and what happens in a rematch?

Looking into Triple-G’s eyes afterward, I saw a defeated man. In his mind, body, heart and soul was a lack of confidence, doubting which way the decision would go, not knowing what the outcome would be. I was confident in my accomplishment.

As he went back to the corner [after the 11th,] his trainer, Abel Sanchez, was saying, “You gave that round away,” or, “You slipped in that last round and you’ve gotta do better the next round.”

Even with the knockdown, I thought I’d won until right before the decision was announced. The fact that they made excuses, saying I weighed as much as a light heavyweight, is a huge pat on my back and a compliment.

What do you feel the judges missed and what adjustments would you make in a rematch?

I really feel that I executed the game plan and gave myself a two-round edge in the scoring, but it comes down to how the judges scored the rounds. Golovkin was known as the power-puncher, and they like aggressive fighters.

That opposes the actual essence of boxing, which I try to do, and that’s to hit and not get hit. But it says a lot that I out-landed him [144-126] in power shots. I came in as the better boxer, but I take my hat off to Golovkin for landing more jabs [105-to-31.]

At worst, it should have been a draw. It’s sad when you put your heart and soul into a fight and realize you’re being judged from a completely different standpoint than you thought. That was a 50-50 fight, and I win the rematch, 100 percent.

I know how to fight this guy, now, with no hesitancy because I’ve already experienced his best, and I’m still learning at 30 years old. But he’s an older guy, and it’s tough to teach an old dog new tricks.

It’s hard to knock out Triple-G, but we already know I have the speed advantage. I need to be more aggressive from the start. If I apply a little more aggression, stand my ground and keep his jab accuracy to a minimum, I win a decision.

How did you score Golovkin-Alvarez?

I had Triple-G winning by three rounds, and I think Triple-G wins the rematch more convincingly. But I could care less how the second fight goes. I just want the winner.

In the meantime, I’d fight any top middleweight who would accept the fight. But they know I’m a threat, perhaps too much risk versus the reward.

I’m not waiting around needing these guys to define me. I have to move, creating my legacy. Inevitably, opportunities will come.

How do you feel about facing Arias in Uniondale rather than at Barclays in Brooklyn, his trash talking, and what’s your prediction?

It’s not far from Brooklyn. I fully expect my friends, family and fans to come to see me. I’ve been in Arias’ position before. I have a level of confidence being the prey for Arias whereas before, I was the hunter.

I possess a skill-set, physique and mentality Arias never has experienced, but with him trash talking, in my mind, as I train, I wanna really hurt this guy. He talks a good game, but what he says about me is fake news. I’ve been in with the best.

I’ll win in convincing fashion, likely by a late knockout. But my motivation is from having a second opportunity at life, stepping into the ring again. My following’s grown. Fans love good guys with a good story that connects.

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