NEW YORK — Middleweight contender Danny Jacobs, of Brooklyn, mercilessly pounded Chris “The Irish Ghost” Fitzpatrick, of Cleveland, eventually forcing him to retire on his stool prior to the sixth round of Saturday night’s undercard bout to the Showtime-televised main event featuring a defense by WBA junior middleweight beltholder Austin Trout against three-division titlewinner Miguel Cotto at New York’s Madison Square Garden.
A 25-year-old who overcame paralysis caused by a large malignant tumor on his spine, Jacobs (24-1, 21 knockouts) was in only his second fight back against Fitzpatrick (15-3, 6 KOs).
Jacobs was coming off October’s 73-second knockout of Josh Luteran on the first boxing show at Barclays Center in Brooklyn on the undercard of a main event featuring Erik Morales being knocked out in the fourth round of a rematch with Danny Garcia.
Jacobs hammered Fitzpatrick with hard overhand rights and left hooks over the final 30 or so seconds of each of the third, fourth and fifth rounds — each time leaving the loser on unsteady legs as he returned to his corner.
Fitzpatrick did not come out for the sixth, as referee Steve Willis waved an end to the bout.
“I’m glad that I got my work in. I took my time a little bit. My first time around, I got a quick knockout, so I wanted more time,” said Jacobs, who was in his first appearance as “The Miracle Man” after having changed his name from “The Golden Child.”
“I’m satisfied with my work. I let my hands go. I’m glad I got the rounds in and the ring rust off. I feel like I’m back. Obviously, I want to step up my competition, but I don’t want to jump the gun just yet.”
In another televised bout, Puerto Rican featherweight prospect Jayson Velez (20-0, 15 KOs) battered Salvador “Sal II” Sanchez II (30-5-3, 18 KO’s), of Tianguistenco, Mexico, dropping him in the second and third rounds of his third-round knockout.
Velez still was hammering on Sanchez when referee Harvey Dock stepped in and waved an end to the beat-down, after which Velez called out WBC beltholder Daniel Ponce de Leon. .
A native of Juncos, Puerto Rico, and a sharp puncher with either hand, Velez, 24, was coming off a sixth-round knockout over Leivi Brea in August. Velez was returning to The Garden for the first time since stopping Jesus Bayron in June of 2009.
“I thought he was going to be more difficult, but I was connecting very easily,” said Velez. “He was talking so much trash throughout the promotion of this fight, that I thought he was going to be stronger. This is just the beginning. This is a very exciting moment for me. I’ve been working so hard my whole life.”
Sanchez, 27, is the nephew of the late legendary featherweight champion Salvador Sanchez, and wore the trunks, shoes and robe that his uncle wore in his final fight — a 15th-round knockout of Azumah Nelson at Madison Square Garden in July of 1982.
Sanchez II had won 11 straight fights, including nine by knockout, having stopped his previous two opponents.
Photos by Rich Kane/Hoganphotos-Golden Boy Promotions
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org