Sherdog.com reports from Madison Square Garden in Manhattan, N.Y., with live HBO Boxing play-by-play as Daniel “The Real Deal” Geale collides with Gennady “GGG” Golovkin.
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Undercard FightsCruiserweight contender Ola Afolabi improved to 21-3-4 with his ninth pro knockout with an early stoppage of Anthony Caputo Smith. Afolabi scored two knockdowns in the third and referee Steve Smoger eventually stopped it between rounds three and four. Smith fell to 15-4 with 10 KOs.
Welterweight Dusty Harrison remained unbeaten as a pro with a unanimous eight-round decision over Wilfredo Acuna. All three ringside judges had it 80-72, allowing Harrison to rise to 23-0 with 12 KOs. Acuna dipped to 14-15 with 11 KOs.
Julian Rodriguez opened eyes with a thrilling first round knockout of Yankton Southern courtesy of a left hook to the body. Once it landed, Southern collapsed to the canvas and never came close to beating the count. The official time of the KO was 43 seconds into the fight, improving Rodriguez to 5-0 with 3 KOs; Southern now stands at 4-6 with 4 KOs.
In what was an important heavyweight showdown between unbeaten contenders, Philadelphia’s Bryant Jennings snuck past Mike Perez by the skin of his teeth to win a split decision. Although Jennings did just enough to win on the scorecards of two of the three judges, he did so with the help of referee Harvey Dock who deducted a point from Perez in the twelfth.
The fight was a back-and-forth affair with neither taking full control of the action, though it wasn’t the sort of barn-burner that many were hoping for. Perez and Jennings swatted at each other throughout the contest and aside from a few scattered moments where one of the two seemed a little buzzed by a punch, neither man was ever in danger of being knocked down or out.
With that said, Perez continuously dropped his hands throughout the second half of the fight, which allowed the American to steal the closer rounds with pesky counter right hands and sharp uppercuts. Perez, who was born in Cuba but defected to Ireland, continuously pressed the action but he rarely threw furious combos while coming in, which cost him some of the later rounds.
With the fight hanging in the balance entering the final round, the two heavyweight tore into each other for about 30 seconds, but once the storm subsided Jennings stopped throwing leather. But the most dramatic element of the duel came a minute into the twelfth when Perez forced Jennings into the ropes -- he seemed to use his head more than anything -- and then cracked his foe with a left hand after Dock told them to break. The infraction immediately cost “Rebel” a point and it cost him the fight.
While ringside judge Tom Schreck scored the fight 114-113 for Perez, his score was offset by Glen Feldman and Joe Pasquale, who had it 114-113 and 115-112, respectively, for Jennings, now 19-0 with 10 KOs. Had Dock not taken the controversial point, the fight would have been a majority draw. Perez dropped to 20-1-1 with 12 KOs.
Gennady “GGG” Golovkin vs. Daniel “The Real Deal” Geale
Round 1Geale comes right out and throws a right and a left, though both shots miss. Golovkin is very relaxed. Golovkin throws a hard left hook, but the Aussie blocks it. They trade hard jabs in the middle of the ring. Geale throws a left jab and follows it with a right to the body. Nice right uppercut on the inside for Geale. Golovkin is starting to warm up and throw his left jab routinely. Geale is moving side-to-side to disrupt the jab of “GGG.” Golovkin fires a punishing right to the body late in the round. Geale slips away from Golovkin in the corner, but he stumbles down onto the seat of his trunks; his foot became ensnared in the cords of the ringside cameraman. Golovkin patiently stalks his foe when the fight resumes and lands a left jab. Hard left to the face/right to the body by Geale. The round seems to have gone on longer than usual. Confirmation is that the round lasted exactly four minutes.
Mike Sloan scores the round: 10-9 Geale.
Gary Randall scores the round: 10-10.
Round 2Between rounds, a cut is revealed above Geale’s right eye. They come out firing hard bombs immediately into the round. Nothing clean has landed. A loopy right hand lands clean and Geale is down. He seems okay and climbs back up to his feet. Geale is fighting hard and it seems like he is willing to goad Golovkin into a war, which could backfire. Golovkin backs away and regroups, calmly pressing forward. Geale lands an overhand right to the top of GGG’s head. Nice left hook by Geale, but Golovkin shrugs it off. Huge right hand just misses its target from Golovkin. Gennady lands a stiff left jab and then a hard left hook. Geale took it well and then eats another jab.
Mike Sloan scores the round: 10-8 Golovkin.
Gary Randall scores the round: 10-8 Golovkin.