It was the fists of a would-be junior high bully that led Daniel Jacobs to discover the power in those of his own.
The Brooklyn, New York, native was 14 years old when a schoolmate tried to pick on him one day.
Jacobs stood up for himself, the two got into a fight, and soon both were contending less with each other than with the furrowed brows of their angry parents.
“We got in trouble,” Jacobs recalls. “When we both went home, I realized that the same kid who was bullying me was going down to the local gym. So about a week or two later, my mom allowed me to go to the gym. I figured, ‘This is where I could get even, and do it the right way.’”
He went to that gym for comeuppance.
He’d end up with a lot more: a passion for boxing.
“I went there just to get revenge from this kid,” Jacobs says, “but little did I know, I was going to fall in love with the sport that would eventually become my own.”
Since then, Jacobs has established himself as a force in the 160-pound division.
But it all began with Jacobs hitting the gym instead of wannabe bullies in the schoolyard.
“Every day, I would just stick to it,” Jacobs says of his initiation into the sport. “It kept me off the streets. It allowed me to have some type of hope and aspiration for my future, because it wasn’t bright at that time. Growing up in Brooklyn as a teenager, I was very lost. Boxing was my savior.”