Another legendary Beltway-based trainer has left us. A man who worked with two of the greatest fighters in the history of the business. Dave Jacobs passed away on Friday, March 23rd at the age of 84.
Mr. Jacobs was the first trainer of a 14-year-old boxer by the name of Sugar Ray Leonard. Mr. Jacobs trained Leonard throughout his Olympic Gold Medal amateur days and was an assistant to Angelo Dundee (right) throughout the early years of Leonard's pro career including Leonard's first championship when he knocked out Wilfredo Benitez in the 15th round on November 30th, 1979 in Las Vegas, NV. Mr. Jacobs would be in Leonard's corner for his first title defense when he scored a crushing fourth-round knockout over Davey "Boy" Green on March 31, 1980 in the fourth round in front of 12,000 partisan fans at the Capital Centre in Landover, MD.
Mr. Jacobs would leave Leonard's corner after Leonard lost the title to Roberto Duran on June 20th, 1980 in Montreal, Canada by 15-round unanimous decision. However, Mr. Jacobs would return when Leonard defeated Marvelous Marvin Hagler by 12-round split decision on April 6, 1987 in Las Vegas. He would leave the Leonard camp for good after Leonard fought to a draw in the rematch against Thomas Hearns in Las Vegas on June 12, 1989.
Later in his career, Mr. Jacobs would work with a returning Mike Tyson and was in the corner for his first bouts after being released from prison, including his championship wins over Frank Bruno and Bruce Seldon as well as his first loss to Evander Holyfield.
Mr. Jacobs leaves behind a wonderful family and many boxers, trainers and fans who will cherish his memory.
Personal note: Dave Jacobs was a wonderful person. His support of boxers throughout his life was fantastic. I always enjoyed talking to him about the business and he definitely treated me well. He is a true legend and will be missed by all. Details on Mr. Jacobs's memorial service are forthcoming.