BROOKLYN -- They said he might not ever be able to walk again. They told him boxing was over. A five-inch scar runs down Danny Jacobs’ back from the six-hour surgery on May 18, 2011, to remove a cancerous tumor. He’s able to run his hands behind his back and touch it. He played with the idea of getting a tattoo placed over the barely visible gash, but thought otherwise. It’s his battle scar. His badge for the world to see he never quit.
There were a few lonely nights when Jacobs laid in a hospital bed scared about his future, wondering if this cancer inside would break him. He wasn’t going to express that to anyone. It’s the little things he began remembering. It was the thought of getting back in the ring that inspired him.
For times like Saturday night.
Jacobs (31-1, 28 KOs) stunned a packed Barclays Center and the Showtime Championship Boxing audience watching on TV by dismantling Peter Quillin (32-1-1, 23 KOs) in 85 seconds to retain the WBA’s version of the “world” middleweight title (Gennady Golovkin has the WBA “super” middleweight belt).
Jacobs jumped Quillin, landing a pulverizing right to Quillin’s cheek, forcing “Kid Chocolate” to go reeling backwards. Jacobs set up the right beautifully with a pawing left that caused Quillin to close his eyes and turn his head, leaving himself wide open. Jacobs stunned him and then gave him little chance to recover, raining shots on Quillin, who tried covering up. Referee Harvey Dock broke them up, and Jacobs plowed Quillin with another thudding right, which forced Quillin to jump back and try to regain his footing on spaghetti legs. But Dock knew enough to jump right in and wave it over at 1:25 of the first round.
“I went to throw the jab and pulled it, and he pulled his hands down and I was able to catch him with the right hand," said Jacobs, who recorded his 14th first-round knockout. "I saw his eyes and it looked like his equilibrium was off, so I was corralling him and throwing big shots. He was obviously hurt. I know he prepared 100-percent, and so did I. All I can is prayer for him for the future and I hope (Quillin) is OK; speed kills talent and skill.
“I was patient. But when he came with an uppercut, I knew I hurt him and that’s when I went in for the kill. I told Peter I loved him. Peter and I go back to the Golden Glove days. I respect him to death and I knew this would be my night. There’s no lucky shots in boxing. I obviously caught him with a shot. Once I knew I hurt him, I kept going. The best man won tonight. I definitely would give him the opportunity (for a rematch). He gave me the opportunity after me calling him out for so long.”
Quillin, who threw just 16 punches and landed 2 (12%), to Jacobs’ 27 of 53 total punches (51%), was classy in defeat.
“This is what a fight is all about, (Jacobs) is fighting for something that I can’t understand,” said Quillin, who landed one power shot (11%), to Jacobs’ 25 of 41 power blows (61%). “(Jacobs' punch) was right on the temple. In the moment, you never know what it's like until you get to see it in the replay. It was a good shot. I’m fighting someone with such a great story. I aim to inspire people win or lose. I think I have a lot of options, but I can’t think of anyone better to lose to than Danny Jacobs. Danny is a cancer survivor, he has a good story. He's inspiring a lot of people. Who better can you lose to than a person that's fighting for a different and bigger reason than I can ever imagine.”
On the undercard, Chris Algieri (21-2, 8 KOs) fought Erick Bone (16-3, 8 KOs) in a welterweight bout. Algieri was coming off a two-fight losing streak, granted those two fights were against Manny Pacquiao and Amir Khan. Bone was supposed to be an easier touch, though he also was coming a loss to a major player, having been stopped by Shawn Porter in the fifth round back in March.
This fight had a loser-go-home feel. They were at a comparable level. By the fourth round, Bone had a bloody nose, but that was quickly staunched and it didn’t seem to bother the 26-year old from Ecuador. The two battled inside, chopping away at each high and low. Bone worked angles very well. And Algieri proved he could fight inside.
After six, neither fighter seemed to have the advantage. But Algieri began to establish himself in the latter portion of the fight. He was the one stalking Bone from the middle of the ring, trying to work behind his jab. Algieri’s stamina never wavered. Bone’s work rate began to diminish, possibly because of Algieri’s body attack and because Bone was slowing down.
Algieri finally cashed in with a right to the body in the last 10 seconds of the eighth for the first knockdown of the fight. By the ninth, Bone, though still aggressive, had no legs. He couldn’t put anything on his punches, and Algieri sensed it. He sawed away at Bone’s body again in the ninth.
Algieri took a unanimous decision, however, it was a precipitous drop from how he looked in his split-decision upset over Ruslan Provodnikov, back in June 2014. Perhaps the grind of going through Provodnikov, Pacquiao and Khan had worn on his body. Judge Julie Lederman had it close, giving it to Algieri, 95-94, while judges Ron McNair and Steve Weisfeld each had it 97-92 for Algieri.
Algieri landed 247 of 645 total punches (38%) to Bone’s 185 of 694 (27%). Power punching proved to be the difference. Algieri connected on 206 of 422 power shots (49%), while Bone was 158 of 498 (32%).
“I did everything my corner told me not to do,” Algieri said. “I got too excited. I knew I had to break him down. But Bone is a hell of a fighter. I probably fought on the inside a little too much, because I got caught with a lot of head butts and elbows. But I’m back in the win column, which feels fantastic.”
In another undercard fight, Yuri Foreman (33-2, 9 KOs) made a return to the ring after a two-year hiatus by scoring an eight-round junior middleweight decision over Lenwood Dozier (9-10-1, 4 KO). Foreman won 77-75 on all three scorecards, but looked every bit like someone who hadn’t fought in some time trying to catch some old magic.
Joseph Santoliquito is the president of the Boxing Writer's Association of America and a frequent contributor to Sherdog.com's mixed martial arts and boxing coverage. His archive can be found here.
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