Gennady Golovkin and Roman Gonzalez endure tough nights at Madison Square Garden

Gennady Golovkin, left, and Roman Gonzalez are two of the Top 25 pound-for-pound fighters of the last 25 years. Getty Images, AP Photo

Prior to Saturday night's glitzy card at Madison Square Garden, Gennady Golovkin and Roman Gonzalez were widely considered to be vying for the imaginary title of the No. 1 pound-for-pound boxer on the planet.

As the dust settles, the stock of fighters such as Vasyl Lomachenko, Andre Ward and Gonzalez's divisional rival Naoya Inoue may have risen without them having to step in the ring, such were the surprises sprung on Golovkin and Gonzalez in New York.

Golovkin, at least, emerged from his showdown with WBA 'regular' champion Daniel Jacobs with his unbeaten record and world middleweight titles. While he was extended the full 12 rounds for the first time in his professional career and the notion his brutality is irresistible is gone, he remains the king at 160lbs.

Gonzalez was not so successful. Some scored the enthralling battle with Srisaket Sor Rungvisai in the Nicaraguan's favour but the only three assessments that mattered went against him 114-112, 114-112 and 113-113.

There were gasps around the Garden in the very first round when Gonzalez was sent tumbling to the canvas by a Sor Rungvisai counter to the body. Another 11 rounds later, a bloodied little giant of boxing had been finally, if controversially, tamed in his 47th career fight by a man who, remarkably, was stopped in his first two professional contests.

So, what does all this mean for the future? In truth, it may transpire that only Gonzalez's plans are altered.

As he approaches his 35th birthday, Golovkin is making no secret of his desire to add the final piece to the jigsaw of middleweight domination -- the WBO world title in the possession of Billy Joe Saunders. Golovkin wants it in Kazakhstan and he wants it next.

The irony of last night is that Golovkin's relatively subdued performance may have brought him closer to his goal. As we've seen with the likes of Saunders, Saul Alvarez and Chris Eubank Jr in the past year, calling Golovkin's name and fighting him are two activities not particularly closely linked.

The criticism levelled at Alvarez's alleged 'pursuit' of the Kazakh has been particularly fierce. Some claim the Mexican and his promoters are running scared of a match-up that would make both camps millions. Whether 'Canelo' is playing a waiting game to maximise revenue is unclear, but Jacobs' exploits provide encouragement to him, Saunders and just about all of Golovkin's potential suitors.

Naturally, with some adamant the judges should have handed Jacobs a shock victory on Saturday, there's talk of an immediate rematch. The manner in which the American regrouped from a fourth-round knockdown -- proving that Golovkin's ruthless onslaughts can be survived and even counteracted -- raised eyebrows in most quarters.

Not since an eight-round bout in 2008 has a Golovkin opponent heard the final bell. Jacobs did far more than cover up and endure, though, and he seemed to frustrate the champion on several occasions with his willingness to spring into action once on the inside. Engaging Golovkin at such close quarters has been the undoing of so many that came before but Jacobs stated in his post-fight interview that his foe's famed power "wasn't that bad."

Jacobs may well merit another shot. The truth is, unfortunately for him, boxing is no meritocracy.

By contrast to Golovkin's narrow victory, Gonzalez's narrow defeat makes rematches more likely; both with his conqueror and with former WBC world champion Carlos Cuadras, who secured a unanimous decision over David Carmona earlier on in the evening.

Before Sor Rungvisai shattered Gonzalez's air of invincibility, 'Chocolatito' seemed on course for a rendezvous with Japan's rising star, Inoue. Dreams of unifying at 115lbs will now have to wait.

In short, Golovkin and Gonzalez remain marquee figures in the top 10 of the world's boxers; it's just they now appear more human. Gonzalez, in particular, is on the back foot for the first time in his career and his position as divisional No. 1 -- let alone pound-for-pound No. 1 -- is in major doubt.