HBO results: Daniel Jacobs and Jarrell Miller secure wins in Brooklyn
Daniel “The Miracle Man” Jacobs secured a unanimous decision over a game opponent in Maciej Sulecki, Saturday night, in a homecoming of sorts in Brooklyn, New York. The middleweight contest, which was a WBA eliminator, was the main event of a Matchroom Boxing card televised on HBO, from the Barclays Center.
“(Sulecki) was a tough customer. Sometimes everything don’t go the way inside the ring and he was able to prove that. He was a tough customer and he belonged in here tonight,” Jacobs said in the post-fight interview with HBO’s Max Kellerman. “I came in prepared for everything that he had. I think we abandoned the jab a little bit but, other than that, tried to go for the knockout because I knew the fans wanted a good show. At the end of the day, I thought I did very well to grab the unanimous decision.”
Scores of 117-110, 116-111 and 115-112 were a true testament to the challenge Sulecki presented to him over the course of 12 rounds but, in the final stanza, Jacobs wrapped a bow on his performance with the only knockdown of the fight. It came early in the 12th and Jacobs caught Sulecki on the chin with a right that crumbled him to the canvas. It was the only moment in which the Polish challenger showed any sign of being hurt; however, Sulecki bit down and finished it by pressing forward, just like he had over the course of 12 rounds.
“I didn’t necessarily feel the power to where he shook me up but I definitely felt that he belonged as true middleweight,” Jacobs said.
Sulecki, 26-1 (10), a career middleweight coming back up in weight after a brief stay at 154-pounds, had a jab that gave Jacobs fits to start the fight and it warranted the consensus’ top middleweight contender to step his game up. Starting in the third, Jacobs began switching his stances in order to try and break Sulecki out of his rhythm, and after eating a big left hook to end the fourth, it was clear that the 10-1 underdog wasn’t going to go away easily. Jacobs didn’t have much of a jab on the contrary, but started to find a groove of his own with a classic cross-armed defense that brought opportunity to score counter shots. Jacobs showed a meanness whenever pressing the gas off one of those counters, and although it brought about some intense exchanges throughout the fight, the 31-year old would get wild at times and it certainly effected his offense let alone be an uncharacteristic trait on this night.
Jacobs, 34-2 (29), exploited the body far better than his counterpart but, with it being a subtle tactic, those scoring the fight were often left in debate, at the end of many rounds. Not so subtley, Sulecki, 28, landed numerous flush right hands to the head, while on the inside, and, although they weren’t visibly buzzing Jacobs, they were constant reminders that he wasn’t just going to go away, after Jacobs seemingly took control in the middle-to-late rounds. In the penultimate round, Sulecki picked his pace back up to outwork Jacobs but any momentum he carried going into the twelfth was quickly thwarted. The final tally of total punches favored Jacobs 205-143, according to CompuBox.
“I think there is definitely another level I can reach but, at the same time, when you’re in there with Top 10 guys, it’s hard to just dominate those guys,” admitted Jacobs. “But, at the same time, I’m happy with my performance and we’ll go back to the drawing board to see what we can do different next time out.
“Ultimately we want the guys with the belts. If we can’t get those guys, we’ll go down the list of great contenders and challengers. If Brooklyn wants (undefeated contender Jermall) Charlo – Charlo where you at, boy? – Come see me. I’m the king of Brooklyn, baby.”
In the opening bout of the HBO telecast, Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller went 12 rounds for the first time in his career and earned a wide unanimous decision (119-109 twice, 117-111) over Johann Duhaupas to remain undefeated. The contest was a WBA heavyweight eliminator.
“I was trying to get (Duhaupas) out of there but my corner told me he was a tough guy, and if we cant get him out of there by six or seven, just keep the pressure on and go back to my jab,” explained Miller afterward. “I never went 12 rounds, so that was my first time and I said, ‘Let me get the rounds in,’ and prove that guys 300-plus pounds – not fat guys – but a big guy, can do it.”
Miller, 21-0-1 (18), weighed in at a whopping 304.4-pounds but maintained his athletic ability and a knack for crafting some effective combinations. The 29-year-old pretty much threw every punch there is in the book and, while many of them bopped his French opponent around the ring, Miller was unable to seriously hurt his foe. Duhaupas, 37-5 (24), had limited skills but the 37-year old certainly earned his paycheck by showcasing his best trait: an ability to take a punch. Had his chin correlated to the power in his hands, Miller may’ve taken the right hands more seriously but they were never any real threat.
“I think I definitely can get in better shape than this,” said Miller, who is also from Brooklyn. “Like I said, I thought I was small in my last fight, so I put on the size as quick as I could. Now we’re gonna maintain it and keep working, eat clean and come down to a natural weight where I feel comfortable.
“I know for a fact that I would run (IBF/WBA/WBO beltholder) Anthony Joshua out the ring. Tell ‘G-String’ come over here and I’m gonna toast that English muffin. I’m from Brooklyn – I aint running from nobody. Tell Eddie Hearn – like he promised – bring Anthony G-String Joshua to Brooklyn, and we’re gonna run him out the ring. Like Casanova says, ‘Strap up baby!'”