There’s a saying where Daniel Jacobs comes from. It embodies not just the city, but the man himself.
“Brooklyn vs. everybody,” Jacobs says, articulating the unofficial motto of his hometown with a smile as warm as his words are cold.
Now, there’s no consensus capital of boxing in terms of contributing quality fighters to the sport, but the streets of Brooklyn are famous for incubating boxers as hard as the asphalt beneath their feet.
“Brooklyn is boxing,” Jacobs contends. “When you think about Brooklyn, you think about the grittiness of it, the hardcore. That’s all related to boxing. There’s tons of champions from Brooklyn: Mike Tyson, Zab Judah, Shannon Briggs, Eddie Mustafa Muhammad—the list goes on and on.
Indeed, Jacobs didn’t even get to the likes of Riddick Bowe, Junior Jones, Paulie Malignaggi, Michael Moorer, Mark Breland, Paddy DeMarco, Joey Giardello and plenty others—including himself.
“I think we’ve definitely got an all-star team that could go against the world,” Jacobs says of Brooklyn’s boxing pedigree.
All of this begs the obvious question: What is it about Brooklyn that makes it such fertile ground for fighters?
“It’s just based on the culture that we have,” Jacobs explains. “They say, ‘What do you put in the water in Brooklyn that’s making these guys grow so tough and so fierce?’ It’s a culture, being prideful of where you’re from.”
Still, Jacobs doesn’t sugarcoat things.
“Growing up in the streets of Brooklyn wasn’t necessarily the best place in the ‘90s,” he says.
But he’s also quick to acknowledge how coming of age in such a hard-knock environment prepared him for the rigors of the life he chose.
Hailing from Brooklyn, Jacobs was, in many ways, a fighter before he ever stepped into the ring.
“I’ve had so many setbacks, so many challenges,” he says. “But it just goes to show you that that Brooklyn spirit lives on.”