Tonight was supposed to be a stiffer test for Danny Jacobs, who earned his "Miracle Man" nickname by beating cancer and coming back to professional boxing, but he powered through Giovanni Lorenzo just like he did a series of club fighters starting late last year, knocking out the tough veteran in the third round.
Jacobs (26-1, 23 KO) was once a highly-regarded prospect who slipped up in 2010 against Dmitry Pirog, and then went through a bout with cancer that at one point left him unable to walk. Returning to the ring last year, Jacobs was given soft touches to see how he was physically feeling in active competition, and tonight was matched with Lorenzo (32-6, 24 KO), a durable fighter who had never been stopped, and had come up short only against quality fighters.
But where Raul Marquez, Sebastian Sylvester, Felix Sturm, Hassan N'dam, and Sam Soliman all went a 12-round distance, Jacobs finished the job early. After two tight rounds that seemed to slightly favor Jacobs, the fighters both opened up in the third, when Jacobs ducked under a hook, caught Lorenzo with his own left hook, and finished the job on a thudding right hand off Lorenzo's skull.
The Dominican fighter was already rocked pretty bad on the hook, and the right hand just added extra damage, almost on the way down. Lorenzo was face down on the canvas, a bewildered look in his eyes, and though he tried to get up, he just couldn't. It was a terrific knockout to end a decent first show for Golden Boy and FOX Sports 1.
"I felt like I made a good statement tonight," Jacobs told Paulie Malignaggi after the fight. He continued, "I knew I definitely had the skills over him, but I knew he had experience. He was trying to get inside my head. I didn't let it get to me. I knew he was strong. Once he hit me with a good left hook, I said let's go."
Asked about reacting to a cut under his left eye possibly spurring him on to go for the knockout, Jacobs said, "I think maybe a couple years ago with the inexperience, I probably got a little panicky. I calmed down. I said, take your time. I knew he was gonna come after me, and when he came, I had something for him. And I gave him something good."