Daniel Jacobs is a professional boxer who was born in New York City’s most populous borough, Brooklyn, on February 3, 1987. He spent his entire childhood in the Brownsville neighborhood of Brooklyn living in a house with his mom, aunts and grandma. He always had a love for the sport of boxing, and eventually started a prolific amateur career while attending Erasmus Hall High School.
Jacobs had an extremely busy amateur boxing career that saw him win a total of 137 of his 144 fights. He won the AAU Junior Olympics national championship at the age of 16. One year later, he became the welterweight champion in the National Golden Gloves tournament. After hitting a growth spurt and gaining weight, he had to fight in the middleweight division at the 2005 National Golden Gloves competition. The heavier competition did not stop Jacobs from winning another championship.
The extremely successful amateur career allowed Daniel to get national exposure during his first professional fight. This match took place at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas on December 8, 2007. While the fight was schedule to go four rounds, it only took 29 seconds for Daniel to secure a technical knockout victory over his opponent, Jose Jesus Hurtado. Early knockout victories became a trend in the early portion of the New Yorker’s career. Using early knockouts helped build a long undefeated streak that lasted a total of 20 professional fights. All but three of these 20 victories were won by knockout, and only one of the knockouts came after the fourth round.
Jacobs finally lost the first professional fight of his career when he faced Russia’s Dmitry Pirog for the vacant WBO middleweight championship at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas on July 31, 2010. Pirog also entered the fight with a perfect record, and he quickly took control of the entire match. Pirog won the title fight with a technical knockout in the fifth round.
Daniel’s promising boxing career looked like it would be cut short way too early after he was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in May 2011. Osteosarcoma is an extremely rare and deadly form of bone cancer. It took approximately 19 months to fully recover from the chemotherapy treatments, but Daniel Jacobs has been cancer-free since 2012.
Daniel did not let the serious illness derail his impressive boxing career. He returned from the lengthy layoff with five straight knockout victories. All five wins also came no later than the fifth round. This impressive streak allowed him to get the second major title fight of his career. A bout against Australia’s Jarrod Fletcher at Barclays Center in New York on August 9, 2014, was for the WBA middleweight title. Daniel fed off of his home crowd throughout the fight to secure a technical knockout victory over the Australian in the fifth round. He went on to successfully defend the WBA middleweight title against Caleb Truax, Sergio Mora and Peter Quillin. All of these title defenses were won by knockout.