Lem Satterfield

Jacobs scores first-round knockout before hometown fans in Brooklyn

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BROOKLYN — Middleweight contender Danny Jacobs, of Brooklyn, took just 73 seconds to finish off Josh Luteran, using a left-, right-uppercut combination to drop the fighter from Blue Springs, Mo., flat on his back for the 10-count in Saturday night’s Showtime-televised bout at Barclays Center.

A 25-year-old who has overcome paralysis caused by a large tumor on his spine, Jacobs ran to his own corner, jumped on the ropes and raised both hands skyward to the delight of the screaming crowd, later, dropping to his hands and knees in prayer.

“I feel a little sad, the way that I hurt him, but I wanted to make a statement,” said Jacobs of Luteran (13-2, 9 knockouts), who lay on the canvas for several minutes before being assisted to his feet.

“A first-round knockout in Brooklyn in a brand new arena? This is electrifying. No moment has ever been greater than right now. This moment means the world to me. They told me that I would never walk or box again, and I proved everybody wrong. I gave a great show, and I want everyone in Brooklyn to be proud.”

Jacobs (23-1, 20 KOs) represented the fourth fight of a nine-bout event at Barclays Center — the first boxing show at the venue — whose main event featured four-division title-winner Erik Morales in a rematch with RING, WBA and WBC junior welterweight champion Danny Garcia.

In July of 2010, Jacobs suffered a fifth-round knockout loss to Dmitry Pirog, this while already fighting with a heavy heart. Jacobs had endured the cancer-related death of his grandmother, Cordelia Jacobs, the previous weekend. Immediately after facing Pirog, Jacobs had to fly back to New York to attend Cordelia Jacobs’ funeral the next day.

Southpaw former welterweight titleholderĀ Luis Collazo (32-5, 16 KOs), of Queens, earned a hard-fought, unanimous decision over Steven Upsher (24-2-1, 6 KOs), of Philadelphia, to rebound from a one-year layoff and a loss to Freddy Hernandez that ended his winning streak at three consecutive knockouts in October of last year.

Collazo once held the WBA’s welterweight belt, having previously suffered defeat by close unanimous decision against Andre Berto in January of 2009.

Collazo earned the WBA title following a split-decision that dethroned Jose Antonio Rivera in April of 2005, and defended that crown with an eighth-round stoppage of former world titleholder Miguel Angel Gonzalez in August of that year.

Collazo was dethroned following a unanimous decision loss to Ricky Hatton in May of 2006, and lost a subsequent bid for the WBC’s interim belt by unanimous decision to Shane Mosley in February of 2007.

Also on the card was Brooklyn welterweight Dmitriy Salita (35-1-1, 18 KOs), who won a bloody, six-round, unanimous decision over Brandon Hoskins (16-3-1, 8 KOs), of Hannibal, Mo.

Salita has won five consecutive fights, two of them by knockout, since being stopped in the first round by Amir Khan in December of 2010.

The evening’s third fight ended in a first-round knockout, as Bronx junior middleweight Eddie Gomez (11-0, 8 KOs) flattened Saul Benitez (2-3) with a counter-left hook. Benitez was dropped to his back at 1:23 and failed to beat the count.

The night’s first bout was a spirited junior middleweight fight that featured a first-round knockdown by Jason Thompson (5-6-2, 4 KOs), who was later floored in the third round by Boyd Melson (10-1-1, 4 KOs), the judges scored a six-round draw.

As always, Melson will donate his entire $2,000 purse toward spinal cord research, and Golden Boy Promotions’ president Oscar De La Hoya vowed to donate a matching $2,000 amount to Melson’s “Team Fight To Walk.”

Thompson, on the other hand, earned every bit of his $2,500.

Melson said he hoped to one day witness the development of a cure for paralysis, which temporarily affected Jacobs and which currently has former two-belt titleholder Paul Williams wheelchair-bound.

Photos by Tom Casino, Showtime

Lem Satterfield can be reached at lemuel.satterfield@gmail.com

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