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    In your corner: Brooklyn boxer honored for work in community

    In your corner: Brooklyn boxer honored for work in community

    Photo by Robert Cole

    Hometown hero: Brownsville native Daniel Jacobs was honored with a ceremony at Barclays Center and a day named for him on April 22.

    He’s not trying to change the world — just Brooklyn.

    Brownsville native and boxing star Daniel Jacobs is always determined to be the best every time he steps into the ring, but he’s also determined to be the best, period. The win totals are important, the knockouts are important, but, as far as Jacobs is concerned, his legacy away from the sport is what really and truly matters.

    “I want to spread some of that Brooklyn love up in here,” Jacobs said. “A lot of these guys, in the world of sports, don’t understand the platform they have or the magnitude of the position they have and how it’s important to give back.

    “I realize I might not be able to change the world, but if I can change a kid’s perspective on life or turn a situation then I feel like I’ve done my job,” he added.

    Jacobs’s work outside boxing — which includes his Get In The Ring Foundation — was honored at Barclays Center on April 22 as Borough President Adams declared it “Daniel Jacobs Day.” It was a surreal moment for Jacobs, who still couldn’t quite believe what was happening — even when he heard the cheers and the applause.

    “I’m overwhelmed. I don’t know what to say,” he said. “I’m just honored and I can’t even believe it’s real. What did I do to accomplish this? But I do know people look and they see and they take notes. So they see what I’m doing and people recognize.”

    Jacobs’s determination to leave the world — and Brooklyn — better than he found it, grew out of the challenges he faced in his own life. The 30-year-old was diagnosed in 2011 with osteosarcoma, a life-threatening form of bone cancer, and for years was told he’d never be able to box again.

    Jacobs refused to buy into that fate, saying he knew he’d get back into the ring. In 2014 he did, coming back to win the world middleweight title in August of that year.

    Now, Jacobs is working to make sure a new generation embraces challenges the same way he did. He spends his free time mentoring kids and working with local groups to focus on healthy eating, exercise, and anti-bullying.

    “I realize I have a platform that I can [use to] give back,” Jacobs said. “Maybe these kids don’t really listen to parents as much as we may like, but if they have a guy they like or they look up to, then that’s when things start to sink in and they start to have a positive effect. So that’s why I take on these roles and I try my best to relay a positive message to these kids.”

    Jacobs — who lost to Gennady “GGG” Golovkin in a hotly-contested match at Madison Square Garden in March — is always anxious to get back into the ring, but no matter what happens in his career, he’s determined to do well by his hometown and, most importantly, by the people who have always supported him.

    “Boxing is my career,” Jacobs said. “But there’s also another side where I want to be the best person I can be and live the life that gives me happiness when I’m not boxing. I just really feel great that I can make some type of change. That’s my goal.”

    Daily News Newser takes a swing at intense training session with undefeated boxer Heather (The Heat) Hardy

    Daily News Newser takes a swing at intense training session with undefeated boxer Heather (The Heat) Hardy

    Just days before one of her biggest professional bouts, an undefeated badass of women’s boxing put the heat on me.

    A single sweaty training session at Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn with Heather (The Heat) Hardy — who will go toe-to-toe with arch rival Shelly (Shelito’s Way) Vincent for the first time Sunday at Ford Amphitheater at Coney Island Boardwalk — left me sore and inspired.

    Hardy began our workout with a jump rope warm-up before taking a minute to wrap my hands — a way to secure joints and bones before the gloves go on.

    “There’s no right way or wrong way, you just want to make sure there’s enough protection for your wrists and on your knuckles,” said Hardy, weaving the strip of red fabric between each of my fingers for support.

    She's one tough mother

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    Boxer Heather Hardy (r.) trains Chelsia Marcius (l.), Daily News Reporter, at  Gleason's Gym in Brooklyn.

    (COREY SIPKIN/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)

    We moved on to double-end bag drills where the boxer — me, in this case — strikes a melon-sized punching bag suspended between two cables, bouncing it back and forth. Hardy made the exercise look easy.

    “It’s like, bop, bop, bop,” she explained as she demonstrated the drill, sending the bag out with well-timed jabs.

    I attempted to mimic my new coach only to find myself frustrated by the moving target. Hardy instructed me to extend my arm out further with each hit, like you would to shake someone’s hand, but higher.

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    Boxer Heather Hardy (l.) advised Daily Newser Chelsia Rose Marcius (r.) “There’s no right way or wrong way, you just want to make sure there’s enough protection for your wrists and on your knuckles."

    (COREY SIPKIN/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)

    “Good! Yes!” she said of the improvement.

    Brooklyn's Hitchins reaches Olympic heights thanks to Cops & Kids

    Slipping me into a pair of red gloves, Hardy went over the four fundamental punches of boxing: the jab, hook, uppercut and cross. Proper technique, she told me, is the key to the perfect blow.

    “You learn the basics first then you add power,” said the pugilist, who grew up in Gerritsen Beach, Brooklyn.

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    Boxer Heather Hardy (l.) trains Chelsia Marcius (r.) beginning with jumping rope.

    (COREY SIPKIN/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)

    We eventually powered down in a small nearby room where I talked more with Hardy and her coach, Devon Cormack, about the upcoming fight with Vincent at the Premier Boxing Champions event. Hardy said a call from her promoter, Lou DiBella, put everything in motion.

    "It was midnight. I was eating pizza and Lou called me. He's like, alright, we're going to do this," she said of Sunday’s match. "I had been waiting to fight this girl for so long that I put that pizza down and said. 'I'm in.'"

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    "In the beginning (Vincent) used to make all this noise because we were signed under different promoters, so there was no possibility of this fight ever happening,” said Hardy, 34, who got her start in the sport only six years ago.

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    Boxer Heather (The Heat) Hardy's next fight will be against Shelly (Shelito's Way) Vincent on Sunday Aug. 21 at the Ford Amphitheater at Coney Island.

    (COREY SIPKIN/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)

    Now, at 17-0, Hardy is a top featherweight contender.

    "(Vincent) makes fun of the way I look, the way I speak, the way I dress...She is going to pay the price."

    Vincent, a 37-year-old from Connecticut, is 18-0.

    I looked back at Hardy, a single mom who not too long ago worked several jobs to make ends meet, and saw the face of a focused fighter of formidable physical and mental strength, and thought, this woman is going to win.

    Hardy said she never put on a pair of gloves before she turned 28 — which just happens to be my age.

    Taken by The Heat, I thought, hey, you never know what’s possible.

    Daniel Jacobs: The face of Brooklyn Boxing

    Daniel Jacobs: The face of Brooklyn Boxing

    Secondary middleweight titlist Daniel Jacobs has signed on to become the face of Brooklyn Boxing apparel at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Ed Diller/DiBella Entertainment

    http://www.espn.com/blog/dan-rafael/post/_/id/16271/daniel-jacobs-the-face-of-brooklyn-boxing

    Dan Rafael ESPN Senior Writer

    NEW YORK -- Few fighters embody the fighting spirit of Brooklyn more than secondary middleweight titleholder and cancer survivor Daniel Jacobs, who has made a home fighting at Barclays Center in his hometown.

    So it seems entirely appropriate that Jacobs has been named the face of Brooklyn Boxing, Barclays Center's boxing branded merchandise. Jacobs' ring attire will be Brooklyn Boxing gear and he will appear in promotional materials and make public appearances on behalf of the brand, which, naturally, will be for sale at the arena and on its website. The deal was announced at the arena during a media conference before the Keith Thurman-Shawn Porter fight on Saturday.

    "I'm proud to represent Brooklyn Boxing, not just in the ring, but also in the community where I got my start in the sport," Jacobs said. "Brooklyn Boxing is a great platform for me to share my story about determination and never giving up. Brooklyn is my home and I'm proud to have achieved so many of my career milestones at Barclays Center."

    Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark has become close with Jacobs (31-1, 28 KOs), who has fought at Barclays Center five times, including in his emotional return from cancer in 2012, when he won his world title in 2014 and his past two defenses.

    "Daniel is a true inspiration to Brooklyn, the boxing community and beyond," Yormark said. "His story captures what Brooklyn Boxing is all about -- courage, toughness and perseverance. We are proud to have Daniel represent the Brooklyn Boxing brand globally. Wherever he goes, Brooklyn Boxing will go."

    As part of the deal, Yormark said Brooklyn Boxing will make an annual donation to Jacobs' Get In The Ring Foundation, through which he advocates for children struggling with cancer, childhood obesity and bullying.

    Jacobs is due to make his next defense this fall, also at Barclays Center, in a rematch against former junior middleweight titlist Sergio Mora.

     

     

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