by David P. Greisman
It was perhaps as emphatic a win as could be. Daniel Jacobs stepped in with one of the other top middleweights, Peter Quillin, hurt him early in the first round with a right hand and then finished him before the round even hit its halfway point.
And with that, Jacobs feels he will finally get the respect he deserved but which some hadn’t yet given him.
“I’m just glad I was able to prove the doubters wrong,” Jacobs said afterward. “There was a lot of negativity going into this fight. So many people were trash talking me, saying I wasn’t of the elite, I wasn’t that caliber of fighter, and I knew deep down inside I was. I knew the skill is there. But boxing is always about proving yourself. I think with tonight’s victory, that’s what we did.”
Jacobs had once been a rising middleweight prospect who got a chance to fight for a vacant world title in 2010. That fight ended with a crushing defeat, as Jacobs was put down and out by Dmitry Pirog. Soon afterward came a battle with cancer that led him fearing for his life, never mind his career. Jacobs returned in 2012 and fought five times before getting a shot at another vacant belt — albeit the secondary version of the World Boxing Association’s world title, given that Gennady Golovkin was the sanctioning body’s main titleholder.
Jacobs won the belt and had defended it twice since, stopping Caleb Truax this past April and then beating Sergio Mora in two rounds in August. Mora dropped Jacobs in that fight, and some wondered whether Jacobs’ chin would be cracked again by Quillin.
That’s not what happened. Jacobs struck first, and emphatically — he says he’s “coming into my man strength now.”
He’s not without flaws, though he wouldn’t detail what those flaws are. Nor is he without motivation. Jacobs wasn’t willing to say that he’s yet one of the best at 160.
“I still have a lot to prove,” he said. “I’m a new champion. I’m the new kid on the block.”
Pick up a copy of David’s book, “Fighting Words: The Heart and Heartbreak of Boxing,” at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsamazon or internationally at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsworldwide. Send questions/comments via email at [email protected]