In the opening bout of Saturday night’s “Cotto vs. Trout” broadcast, Daniel Jacobs (24-1, 21 knockouts) took on Chris Fitzpatrick (15-3, 6 knockouts) in a one-sided, yet entertaining middleweight clash. Going into this fight, many viewed Fitzpatrick as a stepping stone for the surging Jacobs who was coming off of a 72-second KO win against Josh Luteran in October. To some extent, that’s is all this match really was, although one must give credit to Fitzpatrick for delaying what many seemed was inevitable.
At the opening bell, both fighters came out aggressive as they met in the center of the ring. Where Fitzpatrick embraced the role of aggressor Jacobs did most of his damage as a counter-puncher. Early on, Fitzpatrick wasn’t quite committing to punches as he seemingly pawed at Jacobs with his jab. Jacobs would go on to capitalize on Fitzpatrick’s slow start and he would go on to set up a series of combinations behind a wicked quick jab.
This quickly became the story of the night as it became obvious that Jacobs was the much more comfortable fighter in the ring. It wouldn’t be a complete for Fitzpatrick though. Fitzpatrick would go on to find success landing a few thudding hooks that visibly shook Jacobs, but instead of following up on his initial assault, Fitzpatrick would allow Jacobs to recuperate and steal back rounds.
The most significant event of the fight however occurred in the third round after the two fighters clashed heads. Once Jacobs saw the cut develop the Fitzpatrick’s head, Jacobs was set of ending the night early. Jacobs went on to bully Fitzpatrick around the ring for the remainder of the round, leading some to question whether the fight would be stopped after seeing the flurries that Fitzpatrick would take. Luckily, Fitzpatrick would find himself saved by the bell, but at this point he already knew that he was losing the fight.
With a fire lit under him, Fitzpatrick came out aggressive against the slick counter-punching of Jacobs. To Fitzpatrick’s credit, he was the much busier fighter in that fourth round. Unfortunately, throwing flurries of punches are meaningless if they don’ t manage to land, and Fitzpatrick knew this by the end of the fight. With Jacobs blocking most of the incoming shots, he would capitalize on the fact that Fitzpatrick would leave himself open for a right hook and body shots.
This was what would go on to do Fitzpatrick in, as Jacobs came out aggressive and never let up, determined to end this fight in the fifth round. Jacobs continued stalking Fitzpatrick around the ring, and would eventually catch him along the ropes. In the final 30 seconds of the round, Jacobs would unleash a vicious flurry of blows that would have Fitzpatrick offering no kind of offense, aside from the occasional clinch attempt. Surprisingly, the fight wasn’t stopped, but Fitzpatrick decided that enough was enough as he told the ref to stop the fight.
Jacobs looked as impressive as always, but with his intentions of challenging for a major title, he’ll have to take one more fight to really prove his worth to the middleweight division.