Daniel Jacobs, longtime friend of the late junior middleweight Patrick Day, will honor Day with a robe adorned with his name and image when he walks to the ring for his next fight.
Jacobs, a former two-time middleweight world titlist who lost his belt by decision to Canelo Alvarez in their unification bout in May, returns to the ring on Dec. 20 (DAZN) and moves up to the super middleweight division for a 12-round bout against former middleweight titlist Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. at the Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix.
On Wednesday, Jacobs posted photos on social media that showed the white robe with powder blue trim with a message to Day: "Love you kid. Forever in my heart ... This is in honor of your memory and legacy. You truly will be missed! The stamp you left in this world will live forever."
Love you kid. Forever in my heart ... This is in honor of your memory and legacy. You truly will be missed! The stamp you left in this world will live forever. #OurChampion #PatDay #AllDay pic.twitter.com/yPgZoDNOUl— Daniel Jacobs (@DanielJacobsTKO) December 11, 2019
Day, 27, suffered a 10th-round knockout loss to Charles Conwell on Oct. 12 in Chicago. Day never regained consciousness and died four days later as a result of a brain injury from the bout.
Day, of Freeport, New York, was well-liked throughout the New York gym scene and was particularly close to Jacobs for several years.
"I spoke to [Day's] brother earlier [Wednesday] and he thanked me for the idea of it," Jacobs said of the robe. "I knew that I wanted to do something special in his honor and this is just something small I could do. Patrick meant so much to me. People don't know our relationship but Patrick really, really meant a lot to me. He changed me as a person -- in my mindset, my thought process, how I look at things -- so to me, he really matured me.
"This is just a small token that I can do to represent him in his honor and what he meant to not just me but to so many other people."
Jacobs, who along with manager Keith Connolly paid for Day's funeral, said that he planned to give the robe to Day's family.
"They know me and Patrick had a special relationship," Jacobs said. "I do think that it will be a beautiful moment [coming to the ring with the robe on]. I had to do something for my boxing brother."
Jacobs said he spent time grieving Day's death, but he felt ready to fight again.
"I've had my time to grieve. It still hurts. I'm at point now where I can focus and do things that's necessary when I'm inside that ring," Jacobs said. "For me, I've had the time to deal with the fact that I lost someone that was dear to me. I think it's more of a beautiful feeling, knowing I can fight in his honor, more so than the sad feeling.
"I can't change the past and all I can do is move forward and I know that he would want me to not be sad. He would want me to continue with my dreams. He would want me to be the best version that I can be inside the ring because that's who he was. He was a big supporter of everybody. But he was a supporter of me. We spoke all the time. We were sparring partners [for] numerous, numerous rounds in the ring. Countless times. He was a beautiful person and I know one thing about him, that he would want me to go on and keep striving."