Jarrod Fletcher has become the third Australian boxer in as many weeks to be stopped in a boxing world title bout in America.
Gutsy Jarrod Fletcher has become the third Australian boxer in as many weeks to be stopped in a boxing world title bout in the United States.
The 30-year-old Queenslander was stopped in the fifth round by American cancer survivor Danny Jacobs in their bout for the vacant WBA middleweight title in Brooklyn, New York on Sunday (AEST).
Fletcher said earlier in the week he felt the stars were aligning for him, but he was more likely to be seeing stars after Jacobs pummelled him in the opening round.
At one stage, it looked as if Fletcher would complete an unwanted three-two-one of Australian fighters getting stopped in successively lower rounds over three straight weekends.
Two weeks ago, Daniel Geale was stopped in round three by WBA middleweight Super champion Gennady Golovkin in New York.
Last weekend, Victorian Blake Caparello was stopped in two rounds by WBO light heavyweight world champion Sergey Kovalev in New Jersey.
Fletcher (18-2, 10 KOs), whose only previous professional loss was a second-round stoppage by Briton Billy Joe Saunders in 2012, almost didn’t make it out of the first in his American professional debut.
Local Brooklyn boy Jacobs (28-1, 25 KOs), who resumed boxing in 2012 after being diagnosed with the often-deadly bone cancer osteosarcoma a year earlier, floored Fletcher with a left hook halfway through the first.
The stunned Australian somehow survived the round despite copping several big blows and looking wobbly.
Jacobs briefly switched to southpaw early in the second and surprisingly turned counterpuncher.
That allowed Fletcher to work his way back into the bout.
He was enjoying his best round of the fight and looked on course to win the fifth, as he tagged Jacobs with some good right hands.
But the bout was called off by referee Michael Griffin with just a couple of seconds left in the fifth after Fletcher was dropped by a flurry of punches.
“I did get caught that first round, I felt like I came back into the fight quite well,” Fletcher told AAP.
“But I got caught again in the fifth a few times.
“I was feeling good, then ‘bang.'”
Trainer Steve Deller was amazed by the heart Fletcher showed to get back up after the first-round knockdown and was adamant the 2006 Commonwealth Games medalist should continue his professional career.
“He’s still got plenty of miles left in him,” Deller said.
“That was his 20th (professional) fight. He’s only a baby.
“He’s had two years out in his career through injuries.”
Jacobs paid tribute to Fletcher’s resilience.
“I knew he was a tough customer, so when I hurt him in the first round and he didn’t go out immediately, I wanted to pace myself,” Jacobs said.