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One More Miracle

Danny Jacobs is one step from superstardom 

By John Zemel

 

“Did you hear about the rose that grew from a crack in the concrete?

Proving nature's law is wrong it learned to walk with out having feet.

Funny it seems, but by keeping its dreams, it learned to breathe fresh air.

Long live the rose that grew from concrete when no one else ever cared.”

Tupac Shakur

 

The Brownsville neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York is as notorious for murder, crime, and poverty as any other neighborhood in America. It has consistently, since at least the early 1960’s, been considered the “murder capital of New York City.” It contains the most densely concentrated area of public housing in the United States and suffers from the highest infant mortality rate in NYC, more than doubling the overall city rate. In a 2009 safety report, Brownsville’s 73rd Precinct ranked 69th safest out of 69 precincts in New York City. Its notable natives include famous gangster Mickey Cohen, the rapper RZA, and Mike Tyson. This is the neighborhood that produced IBF Middleweight Champion Danny Jacobs.

When Danny Jacobs first turned pro, he was considered a blue-chip prospect, destined for superstardom. After beating the odds and climbing out of Brownsville with his city on his back, he signed with Golden Boy Promotions, set to be their next Pay Per View star. Fate, however, had a very different plan for the fighter they call “The Miracle Man”, and after suffering his first loss by KO to Dmitry Pirog he was forced to return to the drawing board. He was replaced on Golden Boy’s roster by their new “golden boy” Canelo Alvarez, boxing’s latest and most exciting Mexican import. He fought a pair of fights against low level competition, staying patient and ever ready for his next chance at greatness.

It was then, in May 2011, that Jacobs received the news that he had been diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a form of bone cancer. This was news that not only threatened his legacy and livelihood, but also his life. He had a tumor wrapped completely around his spine, threatening his ability to find treatment and potentially his ability to ever walk again. However, to know Danny Jacobs is to understand the true meaning of perseverance. He received surgery and was back in the ring only 19 short months later, defeating Josh Lutheran by TKO in the first round.

Jacobs began to re-climb the ranks, fighting tougher competition along the way until he got another chance at greatness. Middleweight star Gennady Golovkin agreed to fight him in a unification bout in March 2017. After a hard fought, back and forth battle that saw Jacobs dropped in the fourth round, he battled back as he often does to go the distance and end Golovkin’s 23 fight knockout streak. However, despite the objections of many fans who claimed robbery, the fight ended with Golovkin’s hand raised. Yet another setback for Danny Jacobs, but if you think he was about to give up, you haven’t been paying attention. 

This Saturday night, Danny “The Miracle Man” Jacobs is set to fight Canelo Alvarez to unify three of boxing’s biggest belts. Since replacing Jacobs at the top of Golden Boy’s pecking order, Canelo Alvarez has gone on to become not only boxing’s biggest star, but also the highest paid athlete in the world. It has a been a long, arduous road that led to this and at age 32, it might be the last chance at true greatness and superstardom that the boxing world has for Jacobs. Will he seize this opportunity and come out victorious, or will this be yet another setback? All he needs is one more miracle.