Daniel Jacobs (28-1, 25 KOs) scored a fifth-round TKO victory over Jarrod Fletcher (18-2, 10 KOs) to win the vacant WBA World Middleweight title at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
The scheduled 12-round fight, which was for a version of the Middleweight crown that is held by Gennady Golovkin, was the first televised bout of a triple-header presented by Golden Boy Promotions and Showtime Sports.
Jacobs seemed to be on his way to a first-round knockout after a short counter left hook dropped the much smaller and less talented Fletcher.
Jacobs’ power was too much for the 30-year-old Australian, who spent the rest of the round avoiding a knockout.
Jacobs then stepped his foot off the gas for the following rounds, demonstarting that when he wanted to step up the pressure, he could control the fight he easily.
In the fifth round, after Fletcher landed the best combination he would land tonight, Jacobs landed a short right hand followed by a fight-finishing flurry.
Jacobs, 27, who is from Brownsville, New York, has come a long way after being diagnosed with cancer in May of 2011.
According to a 2011 NYDailyNews.com article, “Jacobs was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, an aggressive cancer that manifested itself in a quarter-sized tumor, wrapped around his spine, which damaged his nerves and caused partial paralysis in his legs.”
Jacobs managed to survive his life-threatening ailment, returning to the ring in 2012 against Josh Luteran.
Since then, Jacobs has come a long way.
In his post-fight interview with Showtime’s Jim Gray, Jacobs stated that “coming back to the ring was one of my second biggest motivations, it pushed me through. I looked at cancer and I looked at being paralyzed as just another opponent.”
For Jacobs, it seems, his family and his boxing career were indispensable in his recovery.
Jacobs concluded by calling out WBO Middlweight champion Peter Quillin, the most likely of opponents due to boxing’s current political disputes.
Header photo by Ed Mulholland/Getty Images