Miracle man Daniel Jacobs stands on the verge of completing a remarkable story of recovery as the American challenges for the WBA middleweight title on his own patch next month.
The 27 year-old New Yorker will face Jarrod Fletcher of Australia in his second bid to win the championship at 160lbs, and is handed the privilege of fighting close to home at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on August 9.
Four years ago, Jacobs took on unknown quantity Dmitry Pirog at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas as a clear favourite, having put together a 20-0 record with 17 stoppages in bulldozing his way through the rankings. Jacobs was shocked by Pirog in a disappointing ending to his maiden title shot though as the Russian took the WBO strap home via a fifth round stoppage despite being behind on all three cards.
Since then, and after making a successful comeback with two knockout victories – Jacobs was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma, an aggresive form of cancer, but managed to stave off the disease after a serious operation on his back and was amazingly fighting again after just a 19-month absence.
‘The Golden Child’ now gets the chance to rectify his only career wrong against all the odds and knows just how lucky his to still be breathing, let alone taking part in another world title fight.
“I remember being on my death bed, and I found our in the newspaper that the Barclays Center was opening and that they were going to have fights here,” explained Jacobs.
“Me not knowing if I would ever be able to box again, let alone perform there…to be saying that I’m fighting for the WBA championship of the world is awesome!”
Promoter Oscar De La Hoya has manoeuvred his fighter once again to the brink of boxing’s top table and the down-to-earth Jacobs is thankful to those who have stood by him through the dark times in his life.
“I want to say that I represent more than just the sport of boxing,” he said. “I’m a true gentleman of the sport, and it takes guys like myself, Oscar and other guys who represent the sport well to continue to take this sport to another level.
“I just want to say thank you guys for all of your support that you’ve given me. It will definitely be the start of something epic. I appreciate you guys and God bless you all.
“This means the world to me, to have the opportunity to fight for a world championship and to win it in my backyard with my fans and my family here. It’s an opportunity of a lifetime.
“I’m training like a champion and come August 9th I will be a champion,” added Jacobs.
Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay for tweets of upcoming news on WBN