Brooklyn native Danny “The Golden Child” Jacobs, now 28-1 (25 KO), stopped Queensland, Australia’s Jarrod Fletcher in the opening bout of the oft-dismissed Danny Garcia vs. Rod Salka card on Showtime.
In a one-sided fight, Fletcher, 18-2 (10 KO), attempted to shift the momentum his way after finding himself falling behind, but couldn’t overcome a few different disadvantages that made his night a tough one.
Though Fletcher began the bout surprisingly aggressive, Jacobs settled in and began using his timing, reach and speed advantage to clip the Australian with the cleaner blows. A left hook had Fletcher stumbling to the canvas toward the end of round 1, and he was shaken once more by Jacobs’ combinations late. Fletcher maintained his pressure, however, and landed a respectable right hand in round 2, but only after being mostly contained.
In the 3rd round, Jacobs appeared to slow noticeably, which allowed Fletcher to actually assemble his offense and string punches together. But in round 4, another left hand rocked Fletcher, who could only cover up and look to avoid the incoming fire. Jacobs’ onslaught fell short, though, he was less explosive than earlier in the bout and Fletcher’s stop-clock never ran out.
Halfway through round 5, Fletcher’s jab actually plowed the road for a few right hands and smacking combinations on a mysteriously hesitant Jacobs. A counter right hand from a momentarily southpaw Jacobs unsteadied Fletcher’s legs, and a follow-up sent Fletcher to the canvas, where the bout was stopped.
Much was made of Jacobs’ journey, as both a Brooklyn-born fighter winning a belt, in Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, and as the first cancer survivor to win a belt. On one hand, his courage and grit in battling a disease that claims many lives is commendable — highly admirable, even. It’s just that the belt Jacobs won was a Cracker Jack prize. The belt’s lack of legitimacy shouldn’t take anything away from Jacobs’ journey, which is remarkable. The journey just shouldn’t alter the truth.
Going forward, Jacobs needs to demonstrate the same tenacity and caustic punching power against a better level of opposition, because his defense is missing some chunks. Though clearly slower, Fletcher managed to sustain his offense a few times, and Jacobs didn’t appear to fancy the contact. As it has before, Jacobs’ power broke through, telling the tale of the bout.
A Miguel Cotto or Gennady Golovkin match up at this point seems premature, based on the results in Jacobs’ last few outings, when considering the opposition.
(Fletcher, left, Jacobs, right; credit: Amanda Kwok, Showtime)