Former middleweight champion Daniel Jacobs is one step closer to earning a chance to reclaim some of his lost glory.
Jacobs (34-2, 29 KO's) defeated Maciej Sulecki (26-1, 10 KO's) in a WBA world middleweight title eliminator via unanimous decision Saturday at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, to earn a mandatory shot at unified middleweight world titleholder Gennady Golovkin.
"Well, ultimately we want the guys with the belts," Jacobs said.
Golovkin beat Jacobs in March 2017 by unanimous decision, though some believed he had done enough to win the fight. However, the rematch may take a while to materialize.
Golovkin (37-0-1, 33 KO's), 36, a Kazakh native based in Los Angeles, is fighting former 154-pound world title contender Vanes Martirosyan on May 5 at StubHub Center in Carson, California. However, he is also due to face his IBF mandatory Sergiy Derevyanchenko, as long as the sanctioning body does not strip him of the belt for facing Martirosyan.
Jacobs-Sulecki had great back and forth action throughout in a very close affair. But it was Jacobs who sealed the deal in the 12th round with a wonderfully timed straight right hand that sent Sulecki to the canvas.
According to Compubox Punch Statistics, Jacobs landed on 205 of 631 total punches (32 percent), while Sulecki landed 143 out of 657 blows (22 percent).
The judges scored the bout 117-110, 116-111, and 115-112. FightNights.com had it 116-111 for Jacobs.
If Jacobs cannot face Golovkin, WBO titlist Billy Joe Saunders (26-0, 12 KO's) is an option, but he could settle for former junior middleweight world champion Jermall Charlo (27-0, 21 KO's).
"On to the next ... @GGGBoxing / @FutureOfBoxing?! #TeamJacobs," Jacobs said on Twitter after the fight, calling out Golovkin and Charlo.
But that would be a tremendous risk. Charlo is coming off a second-round KO of Hugo Centeno Jr. last week, and he can end the bout at any moment.
On the other hand, Jacobs will likely need a big win to get back in the world title conversation. He may need Charlo, and it will be a very tall task if that is the case.
On the co-main event Jarrell "Big Baby" Miller (21-0-1, 18 KO's) defeated Johann Duhaupas by unanimous decision in a WBA world heavyweight title eliminator to earn a mandatory shot at unified heavyweight world titleholder Anthony Joshua.