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Daniel Jacobs vs. Maciej Sulecki averaged 811,000 viewers on HBO

Image: Daniel Jacobs vs. Maciej Sulecki averaged 811,000 viewers on HBO

By Jim Dower: Last Saturday’s middleweight fight between Daniel Jacobs and Maciej Sulecki brought in good ratings on HBO from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Jacobs-Sulecki averaged 811,000 viewers with a peak of 874,000 viewers on HBO, according to Dan Rafael.

The huge ratings for the Jacobs vs. Sulecki fight put it at No.2 highest watched boxing broadcast in 2018 behind only the March 3 fight between WBC heavyweight champion Deontay ‘Bronze Bomber’ Wilder vs. Luis ‘King Kong’ Ortiz, which averaged 1.055 million viewers with a peak of 1.181 million viewers on Showtime Boxing.

The Jacobs-Sulecki card had some help from heavyweight contender Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller fighting on the undercard last Saturday night against former heavyweight world title challenger Johann ‘The Reptile’ Duhaupas. Their fight averaged 706K viewers with a peak of 834K. ‘Big Baby’ Miller’s stock dropped despite getting the ‘W’ against Duhaupas. Deontay Wilder and Alexander Povetkin were much more dominating in their victories over Duhaupas. Miller’s performance suggests that he has a long ways to go before he can measure up to what Wilder and Povetkin did. That doesn’t mean that Miller still won’t get a title shot against IBF/WBA heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua. He probably will because Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn is very interested in matching AJ against Miller, as he believes it will help increase Joshua’s popularity in the United States. I’m not sure if it will. If Miller keeps having performances like he had against Duhaupas, the U.S boxing public won’t are about Joshua fighting him.

Jacobs (34-2, 29 KOs) beat Sulecki (26-1, 10 KOs) by a 12 round unanimous decision in a competitive fight from start to finish. There was some disagreement from the boxing fans with the wide scores by two of the judges, who scored the fight 116-111, 117-110 and 115-112. Jacobs, 31, did just barely enough to win the fight. The knockdown Jacobs scored in round 12 was what decided the outcome in the eyes of many of the viewers. By no means did the fans see it at 9 rounds to 3 victory or an 8 rounds to 4 win for Jacobs.

Poland’s Sulecki made a name for himself with the performance, as he came with a whisper of beating Jacobs. If Sulecki had a little more punching power, and if he’d fought better in the last four rounds from round 8 to 12, he would have won the fight. I’m not sure if he would have won with this set of judges that worked the fight, but he would have won the fight in the eyes of the boxing fans.

With the high viewing numbers on HBO, Jacobs and his promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing can make a case that they should get a fight against IBF/IBO/WBA/WBC middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin in 2018. That’s not going to happen unfortunately. No matter how hard Jacobs and Hearn push for the GGG rematch, they’re not going to get that fight this year. Golovkin has a title defense against Vanes Martirosyan this Saturday night, and if he wins that match, he could be defending against his IBF mandatory challenger Sergey Derevyanchenko in July, and then Saul Canelo Alvarez in September. Jacobs is Golovkin’s WBA middleweight mandatory challenger after his win over Sulecki. That means if Golovkin is still the WBA champion by next year, then he’ll likely face Jacobs at that time.

Jacobs will probably face Jermall Charlo next on HBO. That’s a fight that Jacobs and his promoter Hearn both want. Jacobs lost to Golovkin by a 12 round unanimous decision last year in March, so he’s going to have to do something special to earn a second fight with him. Jacobs is too old at 31 to keep taking soft fights. He needs to face the best opposition possible, especially with him and Hearn both saying he’s the best middleweight in the division today.

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