Cancer fight continues to motivate Jacobs ahead of Golovkin showdown

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As Daniel Jacobs prepares to deliver what he hopes will be the fight of his life against Gennady Golovkin on Saturday, it is the fight for his life that continues to drive him to boxing success.

In 2011, Jacobs was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a life-threatening form of bone cancer that partially paralysed him from the waist down.

The illness forced the American middleweight to take an extended break from the ring, but he returned in late 2012 and earned his maiden world title two years later, beating Jarrod Fletcher for the vacant WBA regular belt.

Speaking to Omnisport, Jacobs said: "Doctors told me I would never be able to come back and fight again, let alone walk properly again.

"I've been able to do that and I've been able to capture a world title, making me the very first cancer survivor to be a boxing world champion.

"It was the biggest obstacle in my life. Being paralysed is probably one of the most challenging things anyone can go through. Also, going through the chemotherapy and radiation that I had to undergo was very challenging.

"[Boxing] was the only thing that brought me happiness and when it was taken away it was very devastating.

"The main reason we live is to be happy. Boxing brings me joy and happiness.

"When something is taken away so abruptly, some people just can't accept it. I was one of those people and I did whatever it took to get back."

Asked whether he returned to boxing with added determination to achieve his ambitions, Jacobs added: "Any time your back is against the wall, when a lot of people doubt you and really feel like it's over for you, that's when it's time for you to channel in and find out who you really are deep down.

"I found out that I'm a warrior and a champion through and through."

Jacobs faces the biggest fight of his career so far when he takes on unbeaten knockout merchant Golovkin for the WBA super, WBC, IBF and IBO titles at Madison Square Garden on Saturday.

"A win would mean everything to me," he said. "It would mean taking control of my legacy, just making sure that my eight-year-old son understands that there's no excuse in the world that you can't accomplish your dreams. 

"You can set your dream as high as you want, but it's up to you to go out and get it. Don't let anyone deter you from that positive thinking."