Daniel Jacobs put on a boxing clinic in front of his hometown fans at the Barclays Center. Jacobs outwitted, outpaced and out-boxed Maciej Sulecki to give him his first professional loss.
Jacobs’ win didn’t come easy. Sulecki, who had moved up from junior middleweight, had some good moments and was competitive throughout the bout. A 12th-round knockdown helped Jacobs win a unanimous decision Saturday night. Jacobs started the 12th with a clean right to the chin, and then dropped Sulecki with another thunderous right hand. Sulecki tried to battle back, as Jacobs poured on the pressure until the final bell.
The judges scored the fight 116-111, 117-110 and 115-112.
“He was a tough customer,” Jacobs said. “I was prepared for everything. We abandoned the jab trying to go for the knockout. But at the end of the day, I thought I did well and earned a unanimous decision.”
Jacobs improved to 34-2 with 29 knockouts, and becomes the mandatory challenger for the WBA middleweight title. The popular Brooklyn fighter and cancer survivor hopes of a chance to avenge his unanimous decision loss to Gennady Golovkin from last year. “Ultimately we want the guys with the belts,” Jacobs said.
Jacobs also mentioned a fight with Jermall Charlo, who became the WBC’s interim middleweight champ with a second-round knockout of Hugo Centeno Jr. ironically, in the same ring last week. “My plan is to fight any of the champions with the belts, any of the top guys at middleweight,” Jacobs said. “If Brooklyn wants Charlo, then Charlo it will be.”
Earlier in the night, Jarrell Miller remained unbeaten and made his case for a potential shot at heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua by winning a unanimous decision against Johann Duhaupas. The 304-pound “Big Baby” won 119-109 on two judges’ cards and 117-111 on the other. Also a Brooklyn native, he improved to 21-0-1 in just his fourth fight that didn’t end in a stoppage.
Miller showed he can go the distance with a veteran boxer and stamina wouldn’t be an issue. “My conditioning was good, but my legs were a little bit slow,” Miller said.
Miller is now a mandatory challenger for three-belt heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua. And with a deal between Joshua and fellow heavyweight champ Deontay Wilder yet to be made, Miller could be up next for Joshua instead. “I’m ready for Anthony Joshua,” Miller said. “Let’s bring him to Brooklyn and show him how we do it.”
Overall, it was a successful night for the two Brooklyn fighters both looking for championship gold, in the very near future.