The Pugilist

Cancer survivor makes boxing history with world title win

The Pugilist

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Just over three years ago Brooklyn’s Danny Jacobs was left fighting for his life following the diagnosis of an aggressive form of cancer called ostersarcoma.

Last night however, he was fighting an opponent of a different nature and for an entirely different reason: Australia’s Jarrod Fletcher for the vacant WBA middleweight title.

'Miracle man' Jacobs’ illness meant that he had partial paralysis in his legs, but the New Yorker’s persistence to continue his boxing career saw him rewarded with a chance to claim the vacant belt. And it was a chance that he grabbed with both hands.

In front of a 7,000-strong crowd inside the Barclays Center, Jacobs put on a masterclass, displaying power, precision and speed to pummel his 30-year-old opponent.

Flooring Fletcher in the opening round, Jacobs dominated each stanza thereafter before eventually taking the vacant title with a stoppage in the fifth to become the first cancer survivor to win a world championship belt.

“I’m still emotional. It hasn’t hit me yet. We trained hard for this fight (to make sure we did) all the things we didn’t do in my first (attempt at a) title,” he said.

“I thought he was holding himself back in those rounds. I thought he was a little bit more seasoned than that. I gave him a little more credit than I should have.

“I should have kept up my game plan but as a smart fighter you want to pace myself a little bit more, not load up on punches which was hard because once I had him hurt I wanted to get him out of there.”

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