Everything happened so fast. A matter of seconds, actually, all of 73 for Danny Jacobs to experience a rebirth, and both a professional and personal catharsis. Never mind the thrill the Brooklyn born and bred middleweight contender provide his hometown fans at Barclays center with a vicious left hook-right uppercut combination that sent Josh Luteran into orbit. For Jacobs, the moment went by so fast he still didn't fully come to grips that he was actually inside a boxing ring, 18 months after he was in the fight for his life.
Jacobs' fantastic professional boxing victory was a flash. His win over cancer was a test of endurance that will be discussed for a longer amount of time.
"The journey was a long one," Jacobs said. "It seemed like forever to me."
Last April, Jacobs, former NABF and NABO middleweight champion who once fought for the vacant WBO title, was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a life threatening form of spinal cancer that threatened to terminate his career at the age of 24. But during the nightmare of living in paralysis, not being able to walk, take a shower or feed himself, among other things, Jacobs was hatching big plans. Plans to prosper when everyone told him, forget it, kid, your career is over.
This wasn't going to be just another inspirational comeback, oh no. Jacobs was going to execute his internal orders with substance and style. He did it by knocking Luteran cold for nearly four minutes. The kid from Brooklyn was back and proved everyone wrong. At 25 years old, Jacobs was reborn and poised to terrorize the rest of the middleweights.
"This is the greatest victory I ever had," Jacobs said. "This is one of the greatest moments of my life I've ever experienced - ever. Everything I've been through, this was a goal for me to open Barclays. When I was laying in that hospital bed, this is what motivated me because I knew that this moment was a possibility, even though they told me it wasn't. I had a chance to say, ‘We're going to do it. And we're going to do it big.' And we did it."
Both fighters came out aggressive with Jacobs landing the body shots that set his opponent up for disaster in mere moments. Conceivably, he could have put Luteran away earlier, but he fought for his life for nearly a year-and-a-half, so Jacobs was content with waiting for the precise opening.
"I hit him with a left hook and I remember shaking him in the first half of the fight," Jacobs said. "I said, ‘OK I'm taking my time.' He threw a punch and I remember catching him with a left and a right and that was it."
Jacobs moved to 23-1 with 20 knockouts, his second consecutive kayo in the first round. When asked who's next, "The Golden Child" provided the stationary answer of "Whomever they put in front of me." His return to action may have been nothing but a flash, but the cold-cocking of Luteran was more than a victory. It was a symbol of hope, established when Jacobs knocked cancer out of his life.
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