FEATURE GARY JACOBS
Behind the self—assured exterior lies another Jacobs. At his Newton Mearns home. he keeps every cutting ever written about him, mounted and laminated to make sure they last. ‘It’s my portfolio.’ explains the boxer who gives himself a maximum of three more years in the ring.
His aim is to snatch the WBC welterweight title from Whitaker and net enough money to support his family when he retires. He knows it is easier to call the shots as a world champ: ‘When you become World Champion you can decide cash deals for hundreds of thousands. maybe millions of pounds.’
He is characteristically pragmatic about retirement. even in the face of the lumbering 46-
year-old George Forman‘s recent. astounding defeat of the WBA heavyweight champion Michael Moorer. ‘When the time is right, [’1] know.’ says Jacobs. ‘l’d like to retire undefeated champion of the world.’ Until then. he has some winning to do and. ifiacobs has his way. nothing will stop him.
Photographs © Chris Blot! 1994
Weighing up achampion
Philip Dorward asks Scottish boxing tigures outside the ring to put Gary Jacobs in perspective.
Jim Watt, Scottish boxer and tamer WBF lightweight world champion.
‘In boxing today you’ve got four ruling bodies and seventeen weight divisions, so it ’s never been easier to be a world champion. That doesn’t mean to say boxing is any worse: there are still good world champions and Gary Jacobs deserves a crack at the world title. lle's world class. If he
goes over there and wins, it will be a tremendous achievement. lien Buchanan went to America and won the world title and I won it here, but I ’d have to say, defeating a man in the prime of his fighting career like Parnell Whitaker would rate above those achievements. '
Tommy Gilmour, World Promoter of the Year, 1993. ‘Determination is probably his greatest asset, along with his fitness. You can ’t beat fitness and Gary is in great shape. lie could quite easily have retired into the background after his defeats but he didn’t do that - he fought back, believing that he had something to offer. I just want to see him win the title, defend it in Scotland and
uphold the great fighting reputation we have. ’
Jim Reynolds, boxing correspondent for
‘At the moment I would say Whitaker would be favourite to beat Gary but come next summer, who can tell? Maybe Mickey Duff knows something we don’t. Possiny Whitaker is ready to go - when a fighter does go he exits very quickly. Gary may just exploit his weaknesses because Gary is very, very strong. There’s a wee bit more class to Gary’s game than just knocking someone out. He’s a tremendous body puncher: body punching saps the opponent’s strength and is the sign of a great fighter. '
8 The List 18 November—l December 1994