Bob Jackson RIP
It is with great sadness that we learned last week of the passing of legendary Gleason’s Gym trainer Bob Jackson, aged 82.
Bob was a man with utmost integrity and experience who mentored and trained many world title contenders and other fighters to come out of the world famous stateside Brooklyn, NY gym.
He was one of those unsung heroes of the sport who knew boxing and knew fighters. Bob worked for thirty plus years in the notorious New York state maximum security prison Sing Sing and at night trained fighters. He honed the rough diamonds and abundant raw material of the New York metropolitan area, and potentially saved many from a lifetime of being under his sterner command at the said correctional facility.
During his New York State Hall of Fame training career Bob would drive miles across the USA transporting and mentoring young amateurs to shows. One such champion was Britain’s Adrian Dodson who served his formative boxing years in the New York metropolis.
Adrian remembered fondly how Bob shared journeys and passed on his life experience and advice to this young impressionable fighter. “He taught me so much, about life and being the person I am”.
With Bob in his corner Adrian won the New York Golden Gloves in 1989, along with it the Sugar Ray Robinson boxer of the tournament, and on representative teams won various metropolitan games in the hot melting pot of competition that was the Empire state. Adrian would compete at two Olympic Games (1988 & ’92) and when he turned professional it was Bob who he turned to in his corner again.
Adrian recalls “I remember many things Bob passed on….he would say in that New York drawl….” – “Don’t carry any bum in dere dat don’t belong…you run ’em over”. He knew his fighters and he knew how to motivate them.
In a lengthy career Jackson would also train and work the corners of former WBA world bantamweight champion Junior ‘Poison’ Jones and perennial heavyweight contender Oleg Maskaev. He even had a stint teaching the ropes to Robert DeNiro in his preparations for playing Jake LaMotta in Academy award winning film Raging Bull.
Bob is also attributed to founding white-collar boxing in New York state, spending evenings teaching the Wall Street yuppies the fundamentals of the Sweet Science and launching competitions across the metropolitan area. This would later become a global phenomena.
On the Gleason’s website last week there was a fitting tribute by owner Bruce Silverglade – “Bob was a New York State Hall of Fame trainer who was part of the fabric of Gleason’s. He will be dearly missed by me and many, many other people”.