WBA champion Danny Jacobs has had to endure his fair share of battles both in and outside the ring.
Jacobs, whose goes by ‘Miracle Man,’ has already beat cancer, something he says has prepared him for his next big fight this Saturday against his Gennady Golovkin at Madison Square Garden for HBO’s pay-per-view fight.
“I definitely think I am a more mentally strong fighter and I’m better all around,” Jacobs told the Associated Press. “He’s not cancer, not a life-threatening situation. This is a man coming to inflict pain on you.”
His battle began six years ago when he was on a USO visit to troops in Iraq and began feeling pain in his legs.
At first, he was misdiagnosed, according to the news outlet, but was then given the devastating news: He had bone cancer with a tumor in his spine.
Despite Jacobs’ legs being paralyzed for six weeks and having to endure radiation treatments, he says the experience made him a better fighter and got him to where he is today.
“Had the cancer not happened, I’d have been fighting all these guys,” he says. “I took three years climbing up that ladder, so my situation is different. It doesn’t take away what I bring to the table.”
His competition is also impressed with how far he’s come.
Golovkin says he brings a healthy admiration for Jacobs and what he has been through heading into Saturday night’s HBO pay-per-view fight.
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“Daniel was sick, but right now he is a great boxer,” Golovkin told the AP. “I have watched a couple of his fights and he looks good. He looks strong and he looks very focused. I think he is the best that I have been up against in my career.”
He added: “I respect him, too, he is a very good man.”
Jacobs knows he’s the underdog in this fight, but he’s ready to take on the challenge.
“I understand my position in the game, in this fight,” he says of his underdog status. “He’s had a longer career, more belts, he’s the champion. People haven’t seen the best of Danny Jacobs yet. I’m looking forward to display my true skills against the best.
“I’m excited. I’m a fan of the sport and I like to see the best in the ring together. For me to be a part of it, I want to have a great legacy. This is not only a lifelong dream for me, but so many people out there doubted me. I have one night to show them all. This is that fight.”