Big Surprises At The Garden: Gonzalez Stunned, GGG Sneaks By With Decision Win
By: Sean Crose
The crowd at Madison Square Garden erupted Saturday evening when Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez, the already legendary, 46-0, four time titlist, entered the ring to defend his WBC super flyweight strap against Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, 44-4-1. Needless to say that very crowd was shocked when, late in the first round, Gonzalez was sent to the mat with a patented Rungvisai body blow. Cholcolatito survived the round, but the second proved to be a brutal affair at times, with both men banging away at each other. A serious looking cut stopped the action a bit in the third, but Gonzalez came back and went to war with Rungvisai in the middle of the ring.
By the fourth, Gonzalez started firing with deadly accuracy. At times it looked like he was using his opponent’s head as target practice. The fifth round saw the action seesaw, as Rungvisai became aggressive, but then Gonzalez started banging away with uppercuts and his brutal straight overhand right. Indeed, it looked for a moment like the fight might be stopped. Rungvisai kept fighting, though. It was an absolute war. A head butt stopped the action a bit in the sixth, but the two men soon returned to swinging away at each other. The end of the round saw Gonzalez grinding away to the body and head. Yet a head butt put things on pause again in the final seconds.
By the seventh and eight things went apace as the bout was now a war of attrition. Things were so brutal that the doctors took a look at Gonzalez in the beginning of the ninth. Rungvisai went on to largely dominate the round…or, rather, get the better of it, as Gonzalez, his face butchered, was still nailing his man with clean, hard, shots. Chocolatito may well have taken the tenth, and by the eleventh, both fighters will still swinging away. The final round saw things ending as they had been waged from the early going – bloody and in a flurry of fists.
In a shocking upset, the decision went to Rungvisai.
A few minutes later it was time for the main event. Suffice to say, Gennady Golovkin’s entrance was unblievably loud and thrilling, as the 36-0 WBA, WBC and IBF world middleweight champ made his way to the ring. His opponent, the 32-1 Daniel Jacobs, looked ready to do battle himself, however. In under forty minutes, the better man would be known.
Jacobs did good offensive work by keeping clear of the man called GGGs power in the first. Would the trend continue, though? Well, it continued through the second, and perhaps even the third. Then, in the fourth, Jacobs went down. The Brooklyn native got up and held his man off, but Golovkin was patient. He also now knew he could get to his man. And get to his man Golovkin did in the fifth, though with nothing as damaging as he had thrown in the fourth. Jacobs certainly had his moments, but it was GGGs round. Jacobs looked good in the sixth, though Golovkin’s shots had more pop.
Jacobs went on, in the opinion of this author, to win the seventh. The eighth was an extremely close affair, with Jacobs getting the combinations in, but Golovkin landing stronger. It was becoming a hard fight to call. Golovkin, however, clearly landed hard and often enough to take the ninth. The tenth was extremely close and could, frankly, have gone either way. The eleventh, also, was razor thin. Golovkin hit harder. Jacobs proved to be the more skilled and active. Pick your poison. For the final round I thought Jacobs squeaked through.
No matter. GGG won a unanimous – though far from wide – decision.