Last NameSportCountryYear Inducted


Sport: Boxing
Country: United States
Born: March 10, 1880, in New York, New York
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.

In 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 he became a major player in fight promotions. With some creative persuasion, Jacobs convinced Heavyweight titleholder James Braddock, scheduled to fight Max Schmeling under the auspices of Madison Square Garden, to instead 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 Jacobs.

Among Jacobs’ many special achievements:

• 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 1982.


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