Barclays Center, Brooklyn - In the SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING opening bout, Daniel “The Miracle Man” Jacobs (28-1, 25 KOs) completed the next step in his inspirational journey by winning a world championship in his hometown of Brooklyn, N.Y., only three years after battling cancer. With his fifth-round knockout victory over Australian Jarrod Fletcher (18-2, 10 KOs), Jacobs earned the vacant WBA Middleweight World Championship and the 25th knockout win of his career.
Jacobs came out of the corner at the bell with suffocating offense and knocked Fletcher down halfway through the first round. He continued to batter Fletcher against the ropes with combinations and the Aussie barely survived round one.
Fletcher recovered from the first round but had no answer to Jacob’s determined attack. Jacobs finally scored the knockout in the fifth with only two seconds left in the round.
Jim Gray asked Jacobs if he even thought about boxing when he was on his deathbed. “My son, my baby boy, was my first priority. But getting back into the ring was my second motivation. Boxing taught me to have the mental strength to overcome anything. And that's what I did.”
“My advice [to others fighting cancer] is to be strong. But even if you can't beat it, be happy. Be grateful that we even have this life.
“I wanted to pace myself. I didn't want to punch myself out. I respected him. But I didn't see any way that he could defeat me. I was sitting down on my punches and throwing in bunches. He was a tough customer. I hope he's okay.
“I want to fight Peter Quillin in Brooklyn right here at the Barclays Center. The Brooklyn fans deserve it and it’s going to happen soon hopefully.
After the bout, Fletcher told Gray, “I’m good. I got caught with the shot. That’s boxing. I’m going to go back to the drawing board. He’s a good fighter. I’m disappointed in my performance. It is what it is.”