Daniel Jacobs wins IBF middleweight title with points win over Sergiy Derevyanchenko
Daniel Jacobs became a two-time world middleweight champion with a split decision win over Sergiy Derevyanchenko.
The ‘Miracle Man’ claimed the vacant IBF title in a cracking clash at Madison Square Garden, New York, coming out on top on the surprisingly close scorecards.
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Jacobs had stablemate Derevyanchenko down in the first round and the flash knockdown proved crucial when the judges gave it 113-114, 115-112, 115-112 in his favour.
The Brownsville star was full of compliments for his friend and temporary foe afterwards but immediately called out Saul Alvarez, should he move back down to middleweight after fighting Rocky Fielding, in December, live on Sky Sports.
“We absolutely want ‘Canelo’, I think that’s a fight the fans want, especially those who are in agreement when I say I beat ‘Triple G’,” Jacobs told HBO.
“This would be a great fight for the fans and now I’ve got this strap, there’s more in the pudding for everyone.
“Let’s make this fight. ‘Triple G’ is no longer a champion and I want to go for the champions, then I’ll give him the rematch.”
Jacobs lost his WBA belt to Gennady Golovkin in a 2017 unification, yet Derevyanchenko was the No 1 ranked challenger for the IBF belt the Kazakhstan star had given up to secure the controversial rematch with Alvarez.
Jacobs looked certain to redress the balance and claim his second title inside the first round, his clubbing overhand-right catching Derevyanchenko high on the temple and sending him to his knees.
The Ukrainian made the count and showed his class in the second and third, his own right causing The ‘Miracle Man’ problems as the tempo and tenacity went up a notch in response.
Jacobs smooth skill has never been in question and having shared multiple sparring sessions with Derevyanchenko, the 31-year-old knew he had to come up with something different.
He switched to southpaw several times and his counter right came into play in the middle rounds, as the pair met head-on and swapped hard shots and telling jabs.
Derevyanchenko seemed to get frustrated in rounds eight and nine as Jacobs gained control but a strong 10th suggested it was anything but a shut-out.
But the penultimate round saw Jacobs right catch him at least three times and with the MSG crowd up on their feet an explosive 12th saw them both finish in sensational style.
Derevyanchenko’s body language suggested he knew he had come up short in only his 13th professional fight, while his gym-mate was back in the top tier of a young and hungry middleweight division.
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