Country: United States
Born: March 10, 1880, in New York, New
Died: January 1953
Mike Jacobs was the world’s top boxing
promoter from 1935 to 1949, when
he sold his boxing empire. During his reign as president of the Twentieth
Century Sporting Club, he controlled the champions of every division.
1933, Jacobs organized his Sporting Club in opposition to Madison
Square Garden. The club’s initial bout
was staged in January 1934 between
Barney Ross and Billy Petrolle. But it was not until 1935, when
Jacobs gained control of young Heavyweight sensation Joe Louis, that
became a major player in fight promotions. With some creative persuasion,
convinced Heavyweight titleholder James Braddock, scheduled to
fight Max Schmeling under the auspices of Madison Square Garden,
defend his crown against young Joe Louis. Braddock was promised,
should he lose, a percentage of the earnings of the new Heavyweight
Champion for the next 10 years.
On June 27, 1937, Louis defeated Braddock
and went on to hold the title for a decade. Every fight Louis fought
as a champion was promoted by
Among Jacobs’ many
• In 1937, he originated
the first paid radio sponsorship for a series of
boxing matches, 18 weeks, from the New York Hippodrome, heard
on WHN, New York. Sam Taub was the blow-by-blow reporter.
• In September 1944, Jacobs secured the first commercial sponsorship
of a television boxing match—the Featherweight title bout between
Willie Pep and Chalky Wright.
• During World War II, he promoted a boxing extravaganza that realized
$36 million in U.S. War Bond sales.
• Three times during his career Jacobs promoted million-dollar fights.
His biggest championship fight gate was the Louis–Billy Conn
rematch in 1946 that grossed $1,925,564.
In his heyday, the stretch on Manhattan’s 49th Street between
Broadway and Eighth Avenue was known as “Jacobs Beach.”
• Jacobs sold his Twentieth Century Sporting Club and boxing
empire in 1949 to Madison Square Garden.
• He was elected to the Boxing Hall of Fame in