New York State Light Heavyweight Champion Herschel Jacobs Dies in Yonkers at 75
By Robert Brizel, Head Real Combat Media Boxing Correspondent
New York, NY (December 20th, 2015)– Former New York State Light heavyweight veteran Hershel Jacobs, who former world light heavyweight champion Harold Johnson, Henry Hank and, Hal Carroll, and fought such notables as former world heavyweight champion Ken Norton and top middleweight contender Ruben ‘Hurricane’ Carter during his 18 year professional career between 1960 and 1978, has passed away at age 75 in Yonkers, New York on December 19, 2015.
Hershel Jacobs interview on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A71qrF-5bLs
Trained by Kid Sharkey, Herschel Jacobs compiled a career record of 27-20-2 with 11 knockouts, but he never fought Archie Moore, Bob Foster, Mike Quarry, Matthew Saad Muhammad, John Conteh, Eddie Mustafa Muhammad, Michael Spinks, or any divisional champions back in the day. Known as ‘the uncrowned light heavyweight champion’, part of the tragedy of Jacobs career was he frequently got robbed of hometown decisions he deserved to win which favored white fighters who managed to not get knocked out. Jacobs later became a noted boxing trainer.
Jacobs debuted in Quebec City, Canada, in September 12960, losing a four round decision to Larry Renaud. Jacobs then began fighting in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts, winning 14 of 16 professional bouts, losing only four round decisions to middleweight contender Ruben Carter and Stu Bartell. After winning an eight round decision over Sam Jordan in Totowa, New Jersey, in November 1962, the career of Jacobs turned downhill, though he did win the New York title.
Stepping up to 10 round main event fighter status, 13 of Jacobs next 17 bouts were scheduled 10 round bouts. He won seven and lost six of them, with three knockouts,
On March 30, 1971, Jacobs entered the world rankings and won big, scoring a third round stoppage on cuts of former World Light Heavyweight champion Harold Johnson in a rematch. On July 1, 1971, Jacobs won a 10 round decision over 60 win fighter George Johnson, to solidify his ratings position.
In his only title bout, Jacobs won the vacant New York State Light Heavyweight boxing championship with a 12 round unanimous decision over Hal Carroll at Westchester County Center in White Plains, New York, on November 29, 1971. Carroll had lost a World Boxing Council World Light Heavyweight title bout in March 1971 to Bob Foster, so the win was significant.
Jacobs lost a 10 rounder to Johnny Frankham in London on April 25, 1971. Then, in a bout which should not have been allowed by the California Athletic Commission as per their regulations due to the weight disparity and different divisions of the fighters, Jacobs, who weighed 178 pounds to future world heavyweight champion Ken Norton’s 206 pounds, lost the 10 rounder to Norton in San Diego, and retired at age 32. After the bout, Jacobs spent several weeks in the hospital, and never recovered fully from the injuries he sustained in the Norton bout.
Jacobs attempted a comeback at cruiserweight at age 37, but got stopped in the fourth round by Eddie Phillips in White Plains on January 18, 1978, and then retired for good.
In his afterlife as a professional boxing trainer, Jacobs worked out of Cage Recreation Center in White Plains, New York, and the Yonkers PAL. His successful students included heavyweight Renaldo ‘Mister’ Snipes, middleweight Doug DeWitt, and welterweight Milton Guest. Jacobs resided in Port Chester, New York, and passed away after several years in a Yonkers, New York nursing home.