NEW YORK - At a news conference prior to the Cotto-Clottey fight, NY Giants running back Brandon Jacobs commented on his interest in boxing, namely becoming a full time manger after his football career is over. In the New York Post, Jacobs discusses growing up in the sport, only loosing 2 fights in over 30 amateur bouts. His second career started early when former WBO light welterweight champ, and close friend, Kendall Holt was looking for new managment and asked Jacobs to fill in.
"It's early for me, so I'm just trying to get my feet wet," Jacobs said
Jacobs is not flying blind in this effort. He has received guidance and assistance from Top Rank. Pat Lynch, who managed Arturo Gatti, has teamed up with Jacobs and they are working on signing new fighters.
"We're looking to sign some young fighters. We've got one on the radar screen we'll try to have under contract next week," Lynch said of their new found partnership. "Brandon is a very knowledgeable guy in the boxing business. He knows a lot."
Why managing over promotion? Brandon seems to like the personal aspect of the sport. A former fighter himself, Jacobs wants to be involved with the fighters as opposed to the venues. He has also been advised that its much less stress, which would explain Don Kings appearance.
"I do have my day job, but this is something I look at and take very seriously, because it's another guy's livelihood in the palm of my hand," Jacobs told The Associated Press
I personally have met Brandon. Let me start by saying hes huge! The photo is of him and my mother, a 6' former college basketball player. Beyond being massive and very athletic, hes a classy guy. He is a very religious man and motivated by his faith and family. In his locker is an 8X10 of his son, reminding him what he is playing for. Boxing needs more guys like Jacobs in the sport.
More after the jump.
Seeing a guy 6'4" 265 of solid muscle going into managing makes you wonder what could have been. Jacobs is known for being a RB who runs through DL's. This is a guy who had a solid amateur record and has the size and athletic ability to be a top HW.
It leads back to that discussion of why boxing, especially HW boxing, has been down. One cant blame MMA, as that has only come about in the last few years, filling the void in interest created by boxing lack of tallent. Recent MMA fighters trying to box goes to show you that boxing still has the bigger paydays and should attract top athletes. One has to look at the money these athletes are making in boxing, vs the money they get for football or basketball.
When Jacobs began considering colleges, he could only find a few that even had boxing clubs. He wound up at Southern Illinois, hung up the gloves and dedicated himself to football, and a few years later helped lead the Giants to the Super Bowl.
Jacobs picked a mid major football program over pursuing a career in boxing. Most of the athletes who enter those programs do not get drafted. Jacobs was not an early draft choice. Every year there are guys his size who dont even go on to play pro football, or play just one or two seasons who would make great fighters.
I personally would like to see boxing come back as a college sport. Back at Syracuse, we had a boxing national championship trophy on the wall that Id notice whenever I was in the athletic complex. This would help give fighters an opportunity to go to college that is not football.
Or... there is the Tom Zbikowski route, where he played saftey for ND, and signed with Top Rank. This is another NCAA loophole, the likes of the recent Greg Paulus situation, that athletes dont seem to know about.
According to NCAA Bylaw 12.1.1, a Division I football student-athlete may box professionally and retain his eligibility, as long as he does not promote a commercial entity.
More athletes should be made awear of this for their own sake. If a guy flames out in the NFL, having boxing to fall back on would only help them utalize their God given talent to a productive end and keep their options open. Its also good for boxing (is their a HW who has the athletic ability to play in the NFL?)
"People don't understand -- once you're a fighter, it's addictive," Ed Zbikowski
Ill get off my soapbox now. As a boxing fan, Im glad to have a class act like Brandon Jacobs in the sport and if I see him at the fight saturday night, Ill shake his hand. As fans we should follow his example and expose others to the finer points of the our sport
Jacobs plans to be ringside for the Cotto-Clottey fight Saturday night, and he's bringing more than a dozen of his Giants teammates with him.
His constant discussion of the sport has turned many of them into boxing fans as well.