Boxing trainer Dave Jacobs is one of the most successful trainers of all time, amateur or pro. His greatest fighter was noticed early on by Jacobs. “I first saw Ray Leonard when he was 14 years old. He didn’t want to fight at first, but when he got into it, he became one of the greatest of all time,” recalls Jacobs. Jacobs was attending a World Golden Gloves Championship in Waldorf, Md. recently and says, “I love events like this. Several countries involved, each playing their countries national anthem. Amateur boxing is so big in this area.” Asked why it doesn’t translate into more Olympic fighters from this area, Jacobs says, “I think the trainers are training their fighters in a pro style, which is why our young fighters start their pro careers so successfully and have not done too well at Olympic trials.”
Jacobs, 80, was wearing a Pound for Pound shirt claiming Floyd Mayweather is the pound for pound best fighter in the world. He would not get much argument from anyone. The big question is could Sugar Ray Leonard handle Mayweather in their primes. “Oh yes. We would have something for Mayweather. Ray could definitely hit Floyd. I get asked all the time, ‘what would Ray do with Floyd’ and I refuse to give the strategy we would use against Mayweather. But I think Ray would take care of Floyd.” People who saw Leonard fight agree that he had much more punching power that Mayweather, but could he hit Floyd. Fight fans will never find out.
People don’t know that Jacobs trained Mike Tyson for his first 4 fights after being released from prison. He took Tyson up to the first fight with Evander Holyfield. Fans did not see Jacobs in the corner of Leonard’s last fight against Hector Camacho, which Leonard lost after fighting with a strained muscle that occurred in training for that fight. Jacobs will not discuss why. “That is a long story and I do not want to talk about it”, says Jacobs. DC’s great trainer, Adrian Davis worked that last fight for the great Leonard.
Jacobs trained a few younger fighters before retiring, but says, “I would not have the patience for fighters that I saw did not have the dedication for the sport. It is a rare athlete that can be successful in this sport and I can detect it early on.” One more point on Leonard’s career. Many thought that Tommy Hearns beat Ray in their rematch that was ruled a draw by the judges. Jacobs simply says, “You can’t fight and judge at the same time. We fight and judges judge.” Please subscribe and keep up with the fight game in the Washington, DC Metropolitan area.