MA in Sports Journalism at St Mary's University

Sports Gazette

by sports journalism students at St Mary's University, London

‘The Miracle Man’ – Daniel Jacobs

Daniel Jacobs takes on the undefeated Luis Arias this Saturday in New York what is set to be one of the fights of the year. 

In the lead up to this fight however, a lot of attention has been brought not just to the fight itself, but the miracle that is Daniel Jacobs. 
 
His story is filled with adversity, struggle and highlights how sometimes life can force us to fight outside of the ring.

Jacobs’ first major struggle as a professional came at the cost of his Grandmother, who lost her life to breast cancer.

This affected him both mentally and physically and as a result, he lost his following fight to Dmitry Pirog. The loss of such a figure in his upbringing hit him badly.  

Just shortly afterwards, Jacobs was on a tour of Iraq visiting troops when he was hit hard once again. He was diagnosed with Osteosycoma, a rare type of bone cancer, and was told if he survived he would not get the feeling back in his legs 100%. Doctors had found a tumour on his spine and surgery had to be done for him to live. 

Against the odds Jacobs survived, but 25 gruelling rounds of chemotherapy were to follow. Learning to walk again was considered a medical victory, and continuing his career was deemed out of the question.

However, Jacobs recovered slowly and he was back in the gym soon enough in a body brace and building up enough strength to train full time once more. 

Jacobs remarkably returned to action in the space of 12 months with a surprising first round knockout victory over Josh Lutheran, and before he knew it, he was back competing at elite level, moving to 26-1 and title contention. 

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Indeed, he faced the undefeated Gennady Golovkin for the IBF, IBO, WBA and WBC world middleweight titles. Although Jacobs was cautious and got dropped early on, he came into his own as the fight went on, taking the fight to Golovkin. 

Jacobs controversially lost by split decision, but had a moral victory having gone the distance with arguably best pound-for-pound fighter on the planet.

Before the fight, Golovkin was the clear favourite to win, but Jacobs proved his worth with many people believing the decision could have gone his way.

November 11 sees Jacobs embark on yet another title charge in the middleweight division when he takes on Luis Arias of the United States. This challenge is set to be another great obstacle in the life of Daniel Jacobs but only a fool would bet against him. 

Jacobs’ story is one of the great sporting tales – it could be argued that what he has achieved so far is nothing short of a miracle. Indeed, he is understandably known as ‘miracle man’. His story teaches us we should never give up hope and if you believe in yourself and keep going, who knows what you can achieve.

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