For those of you who are like me and sort of wondered where Daniel Jacobs had gone since his loss to Dmitry Pirog in 2010, and a tune-up rebound win over Robert Kliewer earlier this year, the New York Daily News has your answer: He's been fighting cancer for the last seven months.
In May, Jacobs was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, an aggressive cancer that manifested itself in a quarter-sized tumor, wrapped around his spine, which damaged his nerves and caused partial paralysis in his legs. Rumors swirled that Jacobs was dying.
... An MRI revealed a tumor, pinching his spinal nerves, resulting in bilateral paralysis below his naval. A subsequent biopsy revealed that the tumor was cancerous, and growing.
"It was a shocker," Jacobs said. "I’ve seen a lot in my life and nothing really shocked me, just being where I’m from. But this was unexpected. It just hit me, like, I have cancer? Me?"
The story has come as a surprise to everyone, and the fact that he's recovering and has recently started sparring again is pretty remarkable. Jacobs says he's at about 90% now, and recently worked with Sadam Ali and Shemuel Pagan. He also says he put on about 45 pounds after surgery, but has dropped 15 of those already.
He has been advised to stop boxing, and without meaning to be negative here, reality is that a successful comeback would be absolutely amazing, nearing a miracle. But fighters are a strange breed, and I don't want to count him out. He says he'll be back in the ring soon. Best of luck to him.