NEW YORK -- The comeback of middleweight Daniel Jacobs continued with a five-round beatdown of Chris Fitzpatrick on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden on the undercard of the Miguel Cotto-Austin Trout fight.
The 25-year-old Jacobs (24-1, 21 KOs), the 2009 ESPN.com prospect of the year, was fighting for the second time after being sidelined for 19 months and nearly dying from a cancerous tumor that attacked his spine.
He returned on Oct. 20 and knocked out Josh Luteran in just 73 seconds at the Barclays Center in his hometown of Brooklyn on the Danny Garcia-Erik Morales II undercard. But he got in better work against Fitzpatrick.
"I felt pretty good," Jacobs said. "I'm satisfied with what I've done. I let my hands go. I'm glad I did how many rounds I did to get the rust out. I feel like I'm back.
"We do want to step up because I think I'm back. But I don't want to jump the gun just yet. My first time around I got a quick knockout, so I wanted more time."
Jacobs cruised, but got in valuable rounds after such a long layoff. He opened a cut in Fitzpatrick's scalp in the third round and nearly knocked him out in the fourth. He was battering him all over the ring with overhand rights and also mixing in a few left hands. It was surprising that Fitzpatrick (15-3, 6 KOs), 25, of Cleveland, did not go down.
It was the same in the fifth round, when Jacobs blasted him nonstop for the final minute of the round, rocking him numerous times. Fitzpatrick, who has lost three of his past four fights, made it to the end of the round, but he elected not to continue after the round.
Velez smokes Sanchez
In an absolute mismatch, Puerto Rican featherweight prospect Jayson Velez (20-0, 15 KOs), who was managed by Miguel Cotto's father before he died, destroyed Mexico's Salvador Sanchez II, knocking him out at 38 seconds into the third round.
Sanchez (30-5-3, 18 KOs), 27, is the nephew of legendary Hall of Famer and former featherweight champion Salvador Sanchez. He wore his uncle's robe and trunks into the same ring where Sanchez beat Azumah Nelson in a title defense in 1982 before dying weeks later in a car crash. The robe and trunks didn't help.
Velez went through Sanchez with ease. He hurt him in the second round and was smacking him around. He knocked Sanchez down at the end of the round with a right hand on the chin and outlanded Sanchez 37-3 in power shots in the round, according to CompuBox statistics.
Sanchez was badly hurt and still unsteady at the beginning of the third round. Velez knocked him down again with a left uppercut-right hand combination. He survived, but Velez nailed him with an overhand right and referee Harvey Dock jumped in to stop it.
The victory could pave the way for Velez, 24, to challenge featherweight titleholder Daniel Ponce De Leon of Mexico early next year.
Velez had been lined up to challenge featherweight titlist Billy Dib on Saturday night. Cotto Promotions, which handles him, made the deal but Showtime ultimately rejected the fight because it did not like Dib's defensive style. Instead, it took the overmatched Sanchez.
" Puerto Rican junior middleweight Jorge Melendez (25-2-1, 24 KOs) blew out James Winchester (15-7, 5 KOs) of Greensboro, N.C., stopping him in the fourth round. Melendez dominated, seemingly rocking Winchester with almost every punch. He dropped him in the second round and staggered him late in the round. Winchester was in bad shape for most of the third round before going down near the end of the round when he nailed with a right hand. The battering finally ended in the fourth round when Melendez was hammering him along the ropes and referee Ricky Gonzalez jumped in to stop the beating at 54 seconds.
" Puerto Rican junior lightweight Jeffrey Fontanez (9-0, 8 KOs) smashed Pedro Arcos (12-3-1, 9 KOs) of Mexico, dropping him three times in a one-sided second-round knockout. Fontanez dropped him with a left hook in the first round and seemed to finish when he scored another knockdown with a right hand on the chin in the second round. But Arcos managed to survive, but was very shaky. Moments later, Fontanez landed a brutal left hook and Arce slumped to the mat along the ropes and referee Tony Chiarantano called it off at 1 minute, 23 seconds.
" In a barnburner, lightweight Michael Perez (18-1-1, 10 KOs) of Newark, N.J., won an eight-round unanimous decision against Fernando Carcamo (10-5, 7 KOs) of Mexico on scores of 78-71,77-72, 77-72. The brawled throughout the fight, which featured three knockdowns and massive momentum shifts. Perez dropped Carcamo with a clean left hook in the first round and had him nearly out. But he survived and rallied to drop Perez with a left hook early in the second round. With a few seconds left in the fight, Perez scored another knockdown, dropping Carcamo with a sweeping right hand.
" New Brunswick, N.J., featherweight Jorge Diaz (17-1, 10 KOs) won a unanimous six-round decision against Houston's Victor Sanchez (3-5-1 , 0 KOs) in an all-action fight. Sanchez went down in the first round, but showed a big heart to make it through all six rounds. He took a pounding, but also touched up Diaz way more than anticipated. Still, Diaz was the clear winner as all three judges scored 60-53 in his favor.
" Bronx, N.Y., junior middleweight prospect Eddie Gomez (12-0, 8 KOs), just 20, was pressed but won a lopsided decision against Luis Hernandez (9-1, 5 KOs) of Puerto Rico in an action fight. Gomez was the heavier hitter and controlled the action to win 59-54, 59-54, 58-55. Referee Tony Chiarantano docked a point from Gomez in the sixth round for a low blow.
" In the first bout of the night, Newark, N.J., middleweight John Thompson (10-0, 3 KOs) rolled past Eli Agustama (6-6, 3 KOs) of Haiti to win a lopsided six-round decision. Thompson won via 60-54 shutout on one scorecard and was ahead 59-55 on the other two.