Danny Jacobs wants to add winning a world championship in his hometown to his already fairytale-like return to boxing.
The Brownsville native resurrected his career after battling back from bone cancer, and has won seven-straight fights since returning to he ring in 2012, earning a chance to compete for the vacant World Boxing Association middleweight title at the Barclays Center on August 9.
Jacobs faces Australia’s Jarrod Fletcher on the undercard of a welterweight title fight between Danny Garcia and Rod Salka. Jacobs is ecstatic about getting this chance.
“It’s just mind blowing, the opportunity of a lifetime, and I look forward to taking full advantage of the opportunity,” he said at a recent press conference.
The long road to get there wasn’t lost on the 27-year-old Jacobs. He remembers being on what felt like his deathbed when he read about the opening of the Barclays Center. Even walking was hard for him at that time, but Jacobs (27–1, 24 knockouts) dreamed of fighting in front of his hometown fans at the new area. This will be his third fight at the Barclays Center — and the most important of his career.
“Me not knowing if I would ever be able to box again, let alone perform here … to be standing here in front of you guys and saying that I’m fighting for the WBA Championship of the world is awesome.” Jacobs said.
Added Golden Boy President Oscar De La Hoya: “For Daniel Jacobs this fight will have significance few could ever dream of.”
Jacob’s opponent also has his sights of making dreams come true. The 30-year-old Fletcher is getting his first crack at a world title. He is a two-time Olympic boxer for Australia, coming in off six-straight wins and is 18–1 with 10 knockouts in his career.
Jacobs thanked Fletcher for agreeing to fight him in Brooklyn. Fletcher’s manager Greg Cohen said his client are pleased to be competing on such big a stage.
“He could not be happier about this opportunity to fight in New York in Daniel Jacobs’ hometown, but that’s what you have to do if you want to be a champion,” Cohen said.
Canarsie welterweight Sadam Ali will also compete on the undercard August 9, against an opponent to be determined.
Despite the pleasantries, Jacobs plans on making sure it is his hand they raise in the end — and his waist the belt ends up around.
“I’m training like a champion — and come August 9, I will be a champion,” Jacobs said.