Daniel Jacobs uses media exposure to grow more comfortable in ring

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He might not be coming at you with the relentless ubiquity of your favorite Kardashian, but Daniel Jacobs has been slowly but steadily pushing his way into the living rooms of America, coming to you from your nearest, dearest television set.

Daniel Jacobs and Caleb Truax

Daniel Jacobs is working his way to household-name status, in the ring and out of it.

Jacobs joined up with the NBC broadcast crew during PBC events starting with the Andre Dirrell-James DeGale tilt on May 23, and again June 20 for Shawn Porter’s huge win over Adrien Broner.

On top of that, Daniel Jacobs palled around with Kathy Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb on July 17 on Today’s Weekend Warrior Workout segment, where Jacobs and Peter Quillin put the hostesses through the paces of the punches.

“It was fun,” Jacobs said. “It was a really cool thing to do. It comes with the territory. It’s something I know I have to do, I know it’s something people love to see.”

In particular, there’s plenty of public interest in Jacobs’ well-documented cancer survivor tale. He sees it as an opportunity to get his message out, about perseverance and hope.

It turns out that message plays out on the streets of New York, too. Jacobs has been stepping up his cycling game during this camp as a means of strengthening his legs, trying something different.

Those bike rides between Brooklyn and Manhattan get him out amongst the public, where they give it up for the hometown hero.

“A lot of people will slap me five, put the fist up,” Jacobs said. “It’s a good feeling because I feel like I’m the people’s champion. Especially when I’m riding in Brooklyn, people recognize me. I know they’re supporting me, wishing the best for me.”

So that leaves us with the million-dollar-endorsement-deal-level question: Does all this additional exposure mean anything when it comes to getting back in the ring Saturday against Sergio Mora at Barclays Center in Brooklyn (ESPN, 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT)?

“I think that kind of gives me an upper hand because when you’re in the boxing ring, the spotlight is on you, and it’s a pressure feeling and it’s a nervousness you get when you’re performing live on TV just talking or commentating or broadcasting,” Jacobs said.

“I think it gives me a heads-up because I’m so used to feeling that feeling, that it’s kind of a comfort level for me. I’ve adapted it to something that comes with the territory. The more I put myself in these positions, the more it will help me calm my nerves and be relaxed and allow me to be myself inside the ring.”

For full coverage on Jacobs vs Mora, keep on top of our fight page. 

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