Jim Jacobs Mentor of Mike Tyson - Boxing Lines

Jim Jacobs Mentor of Mike Tyson – Boxing Lines

Written by on September 18, 2020

When most fight fans think of Mike Tyson, they remember the negative. No doubt, there are plenty of things Mike has done in his life that he regrets. But before Don King entered the picture, before Tyson turned into an angry young man that could bite off the ear of an opponent, Iron Mike was a young individual who looked up to a couple of much older men. Let’s take a closer look at the other mentor Iron Mike had so you can begin to plan ahead your bets against his Mike Tyson Odds.

Iron Mike’s Other Mentor – Jim Jacobs

The first, Cus D’Amato, is more famous than the second, Jimmy Jacobs. But Jim Jacobs was not only one of the most important individuals in Mike Tyson’s life, he was also one of the most important persons in boxing history.

Jim Jacobs was the greatest handballer to ever live

Born in 1930, Jacobs grew up in Los Angeles. While growing up, Jacobs became interested in all sports, including basketball, boxing, and handball. Some claim that Jacobs was such a fantastic athlete that he could run 100 yards in under 10 seconds.

At one point, the U.S. Olympic Committee offered Jimmy a chance to try out for the Olympic basketball team. He declined to concentrate on his favorite sport, handball. Most consider Jacobs the greatest handball player of all time.

Jacobs meets Cus D’Amato while collecting boxing film

Although Jacobs liked boxing, he didn’t really get into it until reading about how many felt the judges robbed Jersey Joe Walcott of a win against Joe Louis in 1947. Jacobs decided to track down footage of the film so that he could watch the fight and determine himself if Walcott won.

Collecting boxing film became a passion. While in his search for as much boxing footage as he could get his hands on, Jim met Tyson’s future trainer, Cus D’Amato. Jacobs impressed Cus so much with his passion and competitiveness that D’Amato trained Jacobs to fight then heavyweight champ Archie Moore.

The fight never materialized, but the two became friends. Jimmy Jacobs met fellow film collector Bill Cayton in 1959. The pair built the most extensive collection of boxing films in the world. Without Cayton and Jacobs, the world would have been lost to most old boxing footage, including film of Jack Dempsey. That’s what makes Jacobs an important figure in pugilist history.  

Cus calls Jacobs about Mike Tyson puts together aggressive professional schedule

D’Amato called Cayton and Jacobs and told them about Mike. After meeting Tyson, Jacobs and the young future heavyweight champ immediately became friends. 

While D’Amato trained Tyson in the rings, Cayton and Jacobs built Tyson into a superstar before his very first amateur fight. Armed with fight film from the past, Jacobs also taught Mike about boxing history. 

Jacobs and Cayton put Tyson on the path to the heavyweight championship. Jacobs and Cayton set Mike on a ridiculous chedule. Tyson started his professional career at 18. His first fight was a first round TKO win over Hector Mercedes on March 6, 1985. By Dec. 27, Tyson’s last fight that year, Mike was 15-0 with 15 wins via KO or TKO.

The break-up with Iron Mike happened when Jacobs and Cayton signed a deal to participate in a unified championship tournament that Butch Lewis, Don King, and HBO had put together. In an interview, Cayton said that he regrets signing the deal even though Tyson won the tournament.

After Mike Tyson married Robin Givens, according to Cayton, things went sour. Then, once Don King got into “Tyson’s head”, the relationship was on the track to disintegrating. It seems like King became a force in Tyson’s life within minutes of Jimmy’s death. 

In addition to collecting boxing movies, Jim Jacobs also collected comic books. Rumor has it, Jacobs bought at least one edition of every new comic book that came out that month. Supposedly, Jacobs had 880,000 comics in a warehouse somewhere in Los Angeles on the day he died. 

Nobody has said what happened to the collection, which, no doubt, remains the most prized in history. Jimmy Jacobs died of leukemia on March 23, 1988. Former legendary boxing analyst Larry Merchant described Jacobs the only human being who had the “Three Greatest” in front of his name, greatest handballer, owner of greatest collection of fight films, and owner of greatest collection of comic books.

Mike Tyson vs Roy Jones Jr. – Frontline Battle Stats


Mike Tyson
Roy Jones Jr.
NicknameIron MikeCaptain Hook
HometownNew York City, New York, U.S.Pensacola, Florida, U.S.
Pre-fight record50–6 (44 KOs)66–9 (47 KOs)
Height5 ft 10 in (178 cm)5 ft 11 in (180 cm)
RecognitionFormer undisputed heavyweight championFormer IBF middleweight, IBF super middleweight, undisputed light heavyweight, and WBA heavyweight champion
Mike Tyson vs Roy Jones Jr.

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