Daniel Jacobs failed to show up for his fight Friday in Hollywood, Fla.
Oh, he was in the ring with Gabriel Rosado. He just did next to nothing in there, thus making what was expected to be a relatively easy fight into a chess match that he could have lost on the cards.
Jacobs ended up having his hand raised as the winner of a split decision in a 12-round super middleweight bout but it was one of his worst nights as an elite fighter.
The former middleweight titleholder who gave Canelo Alvarez and Gennadiy Golovkin all they could handle in close losses could barely outbox an easy-to-hit veteran opponent known for his toughness, not his boxing skills.
The first was round was a feel-out round, which is understandable. However, so was the second. And the third. And the fourth. And, while there were a few moments when the intensity picked up, the pace of the fight never really changed.
It’s was boring as hell.
And the fight was difficult score. When the participants throw only a handful of punches per round – neither of them worked up much of a sweat – and land precious few power shots, it’s not easy to separate them.
All three judges scored the fight 115-113 (seven rounds to five), two for Jacobs and one for Rosado, which allowed Jacobs to barely avoid disaster. He had to win the bout to set up lucrative fights in the coming year.
Boxing Junkie scored it a 114-114 draw, which would’ve been more just given Rosado’s solid effort.
Did Jacobs (37-3, 30 KOs) simply have a bad night? Was he not motivated because of Rosado’s second-tier stature? Did the lack of spectators at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino throw him, which he suggested? Was Rosado (25-13-1, 14 KOs) simply better than he had anticipated?
Maybe it was little bit of everything.
“I guess I have to go back to the tape, go back to the drawing board and apply a better effort next time around,” Jacobs said. “… I guess I treated it more like a sparring match than an actual fight. That’s my bad.
“I apologize to all the fans who expected a more [entertaining] fight. There’s always next time. I’m looking for bigger and better names.”
The announcement of the winner was painful for Rosado, both because of a mistake by the ring announcer and the result itself.
Jeremiah Gallegos was about to announce the deciding 115-113 score for Jacobs when he said, “From Philadelphia …” That’s Rosado’s hometown, not Jacobs’, so Rosado thought momentarily that he had won. Then he heard Jacobs’ name like the rest of us.
Rosado thought he should’ve been given the decision, which would’ve been the biggest victory of his career and set him up for another big payday.
“I thought I won the fight,” he said. “I mean, I surprised him. I outboxed him, I outjabbed him, I countered him, I made him miss big shots. … That man did nothing to me. He put more hands on Canelo and Triple-G than he did me
“… It’s a shame. I don’t know why I’m not given decisions like that.”
Jacobs probably remains an ideal candidate to face any of the top super middleweights, including titleholders Caleb Plant and Billy Joe Saunders. And he covets a rematch with Golovkin, who narrowly outpointed him in 2017.
He certainly didn’t look good on Friday but he won, which is the ultimately objective.
“That fight was only a stepping stone,” he said. “It allowed me to see a lot more that I have to apply inside the ring. I still feel there is more to me than has been seen. This just wasn’t a valiant effort from myself.”
This article was originally published on boxingjunkie.usatoday.com