The truth is, expectations have always been high for Daniel "The Golden Child" Jacobs. From the first moment he set foot in a gym through an amateur career that saw him win 137 fights, including two national golden gloves championships, to his blossoming professional career, Jacobs has always been boxing's next Olympic hopeful, next can't miss prospect or next world champion. When you're born and raised in the same section of Brownsville, Brooklyn, New York that produced former world champions Mike Tyson, Riddick Bowe and Zab Judah, among others, world titles aren't what dreams are made of, they're as expected as the next day's mail.
So far, Jacobs has done nothing to disappoint. In fact, he's flourishing under the spotlight of the professional boxing ranks. Currently 14-0 with 13 wins coming by knockout, Jacobs is taking care of business the old fashioned way, by fighting frequently and violently. He fought 12 times in 2008 alone, and 9 of his 13 knockouts have come in the first round. He brings a dizzying array of speed, saavy and crowd pleasing power to the ring. And while critics are quick to point out he's yet to be tested in his professional career, let's remind everyone, he is still only 22 years old.
Outside of the ring, Jacobs has a refreshing sense of humor and charismatic nature that reminds some of a young Sugar Ray Leonard. At the weigh-in for his December 2008 fight against Victor Lares, Jacobs was pictured putting bunny ears on his opponent, ears he proceeded to box off of Lares the next day before the fight was mercifully ended late in the second round. Despite his initial success, Jacobs remains grounded, a characteristic he credits to his mother, Yvette and grandmother, Cordelia, who together raised Jacobs. This quality could be exactly what Jacobs needs to achieve the long term success that has avoided some of his flashier Brownsville predecessors.
His next test occurs this Friday, April 24th against tough Nicaraguan Jose Varela. The fight will be broadcast live on ESPN Friday Night Fights from the UIC Pavilion in Chicago, Illinois. Jacobs will co-headline a card featuring Antonio Escalante-Gary Stark and US Olympic Bronze medalist Deontay Wilder.
Being on television is nothing new to Jacobs. He's appeared on Telefutura, ESPN and has opened several recent pay-per-view events, including the recent Oscar De La Hoya-Manny Pacquiao "Dream Match". He also recently signed a licensing agreement with Cleveland, Ohio based Pound 4 Pound Apparel (http://www.pound4poundapparel.com/). Together, the two will produce a line of boxing t-shirts, clothing and apparel for Jacobs and his fans, including the signature series t-shirt Jacobs will wear to the ring on April 24th.
The fight against Varela will go a long way towards proving whether or not Jacobs can continue his quick march towards the top of the crowded super middleweight division. Count Jacobs' management team, his promoter, the folks at Pound 4 Pound Apparel and his fans nationwide among those who are hoping the results will be golden.