Saturday night's middleweight unification clash at New York's Madison Square Garden didn't turn out to be the epic barnburner that many were expecting when Gennady Golovkin and Danny Jacobs touched gloves but it did solidify Golovkin's position as the top man at 160 pounds.
Jacobs, 32-2 (29), turned southpaw and mounted a late surge to make the bout competitive, but the New Yorker couldn't overcome the effect that a fourth round knockdown and Golovkin's greater activity and accuracy had on the scorecards.
Golovkin, 37-0 (33), overcame a bigger, stronger, quicker and younger man but this is perhaps the first time that the 34 year old Kazakh could not control the fight against an opponent. Jacobs displayed great courage and skill against the most feared boxer on the planet but Golovkin must also be credited with resiliency and a great chin as he took big power shots at times.
Both Jacobs and Golovkin come out of their pairing with a career boost but don't look for a rematch unless Jacobs can become a mandatory challenger, so a look at the middleweight division should start from that point.
Golovkin, who now holds the WBC, WBA and IBF belts is reported to be facing the only other major titleholder in the division, WBO champ Billy Joe Saunders, this summer in Golovkin's native Kazahkstan.
Saunders, 24-0 (12), is a tricky southpaw who has held the WBO crown since 2015 but would be taking a massive step up in meeting "GGG" in the ring, with Andy Lee and Chris Eubank Jr representing the top men on Saunders' resume.
Should Golovkin fight and then defeat Saunders, the long-awaited showdown between "GGG" and Canelo Alvarez would then presumably be next. That contest would probably do record financial numbers in Las Vegas, thereby ensuring that it will happen in late 2017.
The remaining top players at middleweight, Jacobs, Lee, 35-3-1 (24), David Lemieux, 37-3 (33), and Hassan N'Dam N'Jikam, 35-2 (21) are all in the mix to get themselves in position for a another title shot.
Lee and Lemieux both fought and won on the same card in New York on Friday night with Lemieux knocking out Curtis Stevens and Lee decisioning KeAndrae Leatherwood.
A contest between Lee and Lemieux would be very competitive as both can punch but the win would probably go to the boxer that could take the better punch.
N'Jikam is reported to be facing undefeated Japanese prospect Ryota Murata, 12-0 (9), in Japan for the vacant "regular" WBA title, with the winner probably guaranteed a shot at Golovkin.