Brooklyn Brawler Faces Biggest In-Ring Challenge against Golovkin
By John Torenli, Sports Editor
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Danny “The Miracle Man” Jacobs has already won the biggest fight of his life outside of the squared circle.
But the Brooklyn born-and-bred WBA middleweight champion, who emerged victorious against a rare form of bone cancer known as osteosarcoma five years ago, believes he’s primed and ready to pull off another improbable win Saturday night at Madison Square Garden against Gennady Gennadyevich Golovkin, aka “GGG.”
"[Golovkin’s] not cancer, not a life-threatening situation,” insisted Jacobs, who is a heavy underdog against the unbeaten Russian with a frightening 33 knockouts in his first 36 pro bouts.
“This is a man coming to inflict pain on you.”
Pain is something Jacobs had to deal with throughout his struggle against a tumor discovered on his spine six years ago, a 19-month ordeal that cost him more than a year and a half of his promising career.
Unbeaten himself in in all but one of his 33 fights, the 30-year-old Brownsville native has gone a perfect 10-0 since beating cancer, including five knockout wins at Downtown’s Barclays Center.
Despite both pugilists’ gaudy resumes, it’s Golovkin who has emerged as one of boxing’s biggest stars in the middleweight division over the past several years, and has already been hyped as the sport’s newest version of Mike Tyson.
A knockout machine who hasn’t gone the distance with an opponent since scoring a unanimous decision victory over Amar Amari in Copenhagen, Denmark back on June 21, 2008, Golovkin has already been mentioned as a prime candidate for a future super bout with Mexican superstar Canelo Alvarez.
Yet the 34-year-old self-dubbed “God of War” doesn’t view his fight with Jacobs as a mere stepping stone to bigger and better things.
"Daniel was sick, but right now he is a great boxer," Golovkin said. "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.
"I respect him, too. He is a very good man."
Jacobs boasts 29 knockout wins as well, but he knows that taking the four middleweight belts Golovkin currently holds (WBA Super, WBC, IBF and IBO) is not something anyone who shows up at “The World’s Most Famous Arena” on Saturday night is expecting.
"I understand my position in the game, in this fight," he told the Associated Press this week of his underdog status.
"He's had a longer career, more belts, he's the champion,” Jacobs admitted. “People haven't seen the best of Danny Jacobs yet. I'm looking forward to display my true skills against the best.”
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In local college sports news, the LIU Brooklyn Athletic Department announced this week that it was bringing one of its own home to run the Blackbirds’ women’s soccer program.
Eleri Earnshaw, an LIU alum and former assistant coach at the Downtown Brooklyn school, will become just the fourth head coach in Blackbirds’ history.
"We are happy to welcome Eleri back to LIU Brooklyn. She is a great fit for our student-athletes and campus community," Deputy Director of Athletics Margaret Alaimo said.
“We are confident that she will bring stability and enthusiasm back to our women's soccer program, and have us competing for the Northeast Conference championships every year."
Earnshaw returns to Downtown after a three-season stint at Yale University (2014-16), serving as a volunteer assistant for two seasons before spending her final campaign as a full assistant.
Earnshaw's responsibilities with the Bulldogs were primarily focused on training, development and program management.
Prior to Yale, Earnshaw worked three seasons as a volunteer at Central Connecticut State (2011-14) and two years as a graduate assistant at LIU (2008-’10).
"I would like to thank Director of Athletics Brad Cohen and Deputy Director of Athletics Margaret Alaimo for bringing me back to Brooklyn," Earnshaw said.
"It is such a privilege to return to LIU and lead a program with such a rich tradition of success. I am humbled by the opportunity and I am excited about the potential of this program."
Earnshaw's collegiate playing career began at Iona, where she was a three-time All-MAAC selection before she joined the Blackbirds and earned All-NEC honors in her senior season of 2007.
A native of Rhyl, Wales, Earnshaw also has extensive experience playing at the club and international levels.
She has played with the New York Magic of the W-League and for her native Welsh National Team.
From 2001-’04, Earnshaw played with the highly successful Arsenal Ladies Football Club in England where she helped the squad win both the FA Women's Premier League and FA Women's cup in 2003-’04.
Earnshaw has also represented Wales from the Under-14 and up to Under-19 levels, and now looks to provide opportunities for other young players through her work with SoccerPlus CT, girlsCAN Football and the Connecticut Football Club.
In addition, she also promotes healthy living as a certified personal trainer and strength and conditioning coach.
Joining Earnshaw's staff is assistant coach Kristin Cannon, who arrives here following coaching stints at Cincinnati, Johnson State College, Springfield College and her alma mater, Assumption College.