Former Middleweight World Champion Daniel Jacobs (34-2 29KO), won a hard fought battle against tough as nails challenger Maciej Sulecki (26-1 10KO) this weekend. The bout was quite competitive for a stint with Sulecki using elusive movement and a frequent jab while Jacobs landed counter punches that were effective, but not quite on the button. The bout seemed fairly close until the final round, when Jacobs set himself apart with a telling blow, causing Sulecki to touch the canvas for the first time in his career. He beat the count, but lost the fight on all score cards. What should have been a welcome victory for Jacobs, seems to have turned into a world of criticism, speculating that Jacobs is isn’t the fighter he was a year or two ago. Let’s take a more in depth look at these accusations.
1) Jacobs hasn’t been the same since Golovkin, he can’t score knockouts. This just doesn’t hold any weight. Jacobs has had two fights since the Golovkin fight, both against undefeated (Albeit untested) boxers in Luis Arias (18-1 9KO) and Sulecki. Note that untested doesn’t mean “poor quality”. Jacobs scoring decision wins over these two seems to suggest that Arias and Sulecki are high quality fighters (or at least fighters with solid chins), more than Jacobs is a low quality one.
2) Jacobs’ defense is leaky now, he can’t survive against a puncher. This feels like another unfair assumption to make. Jacobs went 12 rounds with perhaps the biggest puncher in the division (Golovkin), took some solid punches, only fell once and managed to rally back to almost make it a draw. It’s hard to imagine that after that fight, Jacobs chin disappeared and his defense fell apart. It’s more likely that he allowed a few more (less powerful) punches to come through in his last two fights against less devastating punchers to create an opening to score.
3) Jacobs is fighting journeymen, trying to get a payday. Come on, really? Golovkin is fighting a junior middleweight coming off of a loss and a two year layoff. Jermall Charlo’s last opponent was defeated by Sulecki (Jacobs’ last opponent) just over a year ago. You tell me who’s taking soft opposition looking for a payday.
Daniel Jacobs showed a solid performance from my point of view. Sulecki is not a soft touch, and in fact I’d wager he beats many of the current middleweight top-10. Jacobs is the number 2 or 3 in the division, and I can’t see anybody other than Golovkin, Charlo or Canelo (I’m hesitant to mention a suspended fighter) giving him too many problems. The important question is, what do you think? Let me know via email at PugilistsParadise@columnist.com, in the comments below or on Twitter @TheGreatToddman.