Marty Jakubowski Had 116 Wins Including One Over His Brother! - Doghouse Interview
By Ken Hissner, Dog House Boxing (Oct 5, 2015)
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I’ve seen Duane and Rodney Bobick go to war in Joe Frazier’s gym. In the same gym “Smokin” Joe Frazier and his son Marvis sparred. I’ve heard of brothers meeting in an amateur tournament. Jakubowski had a 125-35 (or 120-30) record in the amateurs and debuted in the professional ranks in March of 1987 in Fayetteville, NC. August of 2005 he finished his last fight some 18 years in the ring.
On July 4, 1988, “I was at a festival with some buddies and there was an altercation with some guys and I was doing great until they stabbed me. It was questionable if I would live let alone fight again. Punctured lung, actually hit the pericardium sack around the heart just a nick. Three weeks later I was out and back with my buddies and back in the gym,” said Jakubowski.
In March of 1990 Jakubowski defeated his most experienced opponent Rocky Berg, 36-15. In November of 1990 he again defeated Berg. He fought Verdell Smith six times and Lee Cargle four times.
Jakubowski fought for three world titles and neither one with legendary Julio Cesar Chavez then WBC super lightweight champion for the title. He was 37-0 with 2 no decisions defeating Tim Tipton, 16-6-2, prior to when he fought the first time with Chavez in December of 1992 when Chavez was 83-0. In the opening round Jakubowski outboxed Chavez. In the second round Chavez landed solid right hands on three different occasions as Jakubowski kept boxing but Chavez knows how to cut off a ring. In the third round Chavez worked the body. During one spurt Jakubowski landed six punches without return before Chavez again finished strong. In the fourth round Jakubowski landed a three punch combination but during the round the power of Chavez caught up with him.
In the fifth round Chavez landed a five punch combination hurting Jakubowski. Jakubowski has no quit in him and actually traded punches with Chavez but didn’t have the same power as Chavez. In the sixth Chavez landed a pair of rights to the head with the second one hurting Jakubowski buckling his knees as he moved away the referee Carlos Padilla (referee in Thrilla in Manila) waved it off to the disdain of Jakubowski at 0:18 of the sixth.
Though suffering his first loss Jakubowski boxed well enough to show though a lightweight fighting a super lightweight who came in at 144 to his 142 Jakubowski was a 135 lightweight who gave up nine pounds to Chavez over Jakubowski’s fighting weight. Chavez would go down at the time as the greatest Mexican fighter in their History. Their “rematch” was in July of 1999 in Mexico this time Jakubowski was ko’d in 4. They both had 101 wins at the time.
Born in Whiting, Indiana, but boxing out of Chicago Jakubowski had numerous fights in Indiana and fought a handful of fighters more than once. In 1992 he had a pair of no decisions with Harold Warren, 21-5. In 1993 he started off defeating Dwayne Swift, 37-15-1, in the first of their six fights and fought a total of 36 times that year winning 33 with 3 no decisions starting after the first loss to Chavez. He defeated Craig Houk, 38-17 in March in their third meeting.
In his next fight he won the vacant USA Mid-American and vacant USA Mid-West Lightweight titles defeating Jeff Whaley, 15-13-1 in April of 1993. In October he defended both titles defeating Charles McClellan, 6-3 in the first of their two meetings.
In July of 1994 Jakubowski scored the biggest win of his career defeating Philadelphia’s Anthony “Kid” Boyle, 25-4-1, at the PA Convention Center, in Philadelphia for the vacant USBA title in 12. “I never even spoke to him. He ran the whole time he was in Philly. Never stopped to talk,” said Anthony Boyle.
To that Jakubowski replied “I feel bad Anthony wanted to chat. I knew he had no idea what he was getting himself into when I introduced myself to him at the weigh-in. He had no idea who I was when I approached him. He never bothered to look at a tape or anything I don’t think. It wasn’t that I was a “better fighter” as much as I was better prepared and probably had the best night of my career that night!”
The show was promoted by Top Rank. “Boyle wasn’t happy with the decision but I felt Jakubowski won the fight,” said J Russell Peltz. Chuck Diesel of Diesel Fitness Gym in Philadelphia and also a manager was a friend of both Boyle and Jakubowski. “You would never know he (Jakubowski) was a fighter. He was kind and genuinely true out of the ring and a good person. He was a story teller,” said Diesel.
In Jakubowski’s first title bout for the WBC World Lightweight crown he lost by decision over 12 rounds to Miguel Angel Gonzalez, 36-0, at the Foxwoods Resort in Mashantucket, CT, in June of 1996. It was the ninth defense for Gonzalez’s title. Jakubowski did fine defensively but offensively was flat.
In July of 1996 Jakubowski stopped Curtis Strong, 16-8-2, in the tenth and final round. He landed a solid right to the left ear of Strong driving him into the ropes. He followed up with a flurry of punches before referee Vance Thompson wisely called a halt. “Strong was a tough opponent,” said Jakubowski. He improved his record to 98-2.
In November of 1996 Jakubowski got his second title shot against southpaw Uzbekistan’s Arthur “King Artur” Grigorian, 20-0, out of Germany in Hamburg, Germany losing over 12 rounds to a decision. Once again Jakubowski was not offensive enough and in a foreign land you know getting a decision is rare. In July of 1997 he got his third title shot moving up to super lightweight losing to Moroccan Khalid Rahilou, 29-2, out of France getting stopped in the seventh round after several knockdowns fighting for the WBA title in Casablanca, Morocco. His brother went 6 rounds with Rahilou in March of 1996. Two fights later Jakubowski lost for the fifth and only time to an opponent with a losing record in Eduardo Castillo, 5-7, in San Francisco being stopped in the fifth round. He would win five straight before the rematch with Chavez who by then was 101-3-2.
In May of 2000 Jakubowski traveled to Holbaek, Denmark to take on the former European champion Dennis Holbaek Pedersen, 38-1, getting stopped in seven rounds. He would go onto win his next five fights starting with Felix Dubray, 41-18-2, before finishing his career in Whiting Park defeating Ryan Maraldo, 18-16-1, in August of 2005.
In 2011 Jakubowski was inducted into the Hammond, IND, Sports Hall of Fame. He fought in 21 states with 41 times in IND; 23 MO; 14 IA; 10 KY; 9 OK; 5 ea KS and TN; 4 IL; 3 WI, NE, and ND; 1 ea in MI, CT, NC, AL, MT, NV, PA, MS, WY, CA and TX. He fought in 5 countries including MEX, GER, CAN, DK and MOR. Now that’s what you call a “travelin man!”
SEAN GIBBONS: Marty was a throwback when fighters learned on the job how to fight. He fought as many times a week as he could to learn his craft. Marty was as slick as they come. Just could not punch at all.
PETE SUSENS: If Marty Jakubowski could punch, he would be champion still. He’ll have to settle on being a great father and a solid citizen.
Marty agreed to do a Q&A with me upon contacting him:
KEN HISSNER: You were born in Whiting, IND, but did you fight most of your amateur bouts in Chicago?
MARTY JAKUBOWSKI: I was actually born on the South East side of Chicago. Moved to Indiana at a young age and started boxing at nine. Whiting, Indiana pretty much borders the South East side of Chicago, so I had the benefit of boxing in both Indiana and Chicago quite often as an amateur. Living 16 miles out of the Chicago loop, I always considered Chicago a suburb of Whiting. I spent many, many hours in the Chicago gyms along with the Whiting gym.
KEN HISSNER: Who were your trainers, managers and promoters? Your promoter must have had a travel agency having fought in 21 states and 5 countries.
MARTY JAKUBOWSKI: I had a few amateur coaches that were in the Whiting gym, Dennis Hardesty, Joe Balutis, Jesse Flores and a few others. I also had guys in Chicago that helped me out like Louis Carr, Sam Colona, and a few others. I learned a lot from a lot of different people. I turned pro with Dennis Hardesty as trainer and manager and things worked out for a long time. Later in my career I had a guy by the name of Mike Soria, who to this day I regret not using sooner and more consistently through my career. I was at my best with Mike. I had Pete Susens and Sean Gibbons as agents and they truly treated me great and were the biggest reason I had the success I had with boxing. They are my best friends to this day. Fred Berns promoted a lot of my local fights early in my career.
KEN HISSNER: You had 12 no decisions and 1 no-contest of which 2 no decisions were with Harold Warren. Were these due to a weight difference?
MARTY JAKUBOWSKI: I don’t think the weight difference was the issue. Harold (Warren) would fight a lion! The issue was at the local shows. They couldn’t pay us what it would have been worth to fight. Plus we were working with the same people and had the same goal, to win the world title. All that being said, Harold and I were always the best fight on the card.
KEN HISSNER: Leading up to your first fight with WBC super lightweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez in a non-title bout in your first meeting you were 37-0 and he was 83-0. It was in your only appearance in Las Vegas at the Mirage. In the 8 bouts on the card 6 of them were future or former world champions. How nervous were you going into this fight with Chavez?
MARTY JAKUBOWSKI: I was about 22 or so years old, had nothing at all to lose and everything to gain. Plus at 22, I was not the smartest kid in the world and really didn’t care what happened to me. I was there to fight. It was all I ever knew since being a kid. Go out there and give it a shot. I was just out gunned. I had a bb gun, he had a bazooka. Great experience and I am grateful for it.
KEN HISSNER: Six weeks after the first Chavez fight you appear in 36 fights in 1993 winning 33 and having 3 no decisions. Did you live out of a trailer or motor home?
MARTY JAKUBOWSKI: Naw, just had an apartment in Whiting and stayed at the Knucklehead Resort in Indianapolis, hotels, motels, back seats of automobiles. I loved what I did.
KEN HISSNER: In May of 1993 you were 49-1 and put in with your brother Eric who was 3-0. Was this a “grudge match?” How did this all come about?
MARTY JAKUBOWSKI: No grudge match. Not quite sure how it ended up but we were both there, he was hung over, and it came up they needed a fight on the card. We figured we did this in the gym for free so why not? I banged him to the body because I knew he was hung over. Brotherly love!
KEN HISSNER: You had won 36 in a row plus 6 no decisions with a 76-1 record when you came to Philadelphia to meet Anthony “Kid” Boyle, 25-4-1, who I know well and probably gave me the funniest interview ever. It was for the vacant USBA title and you defeated him. His version was you ran all night. What is your version?
MARTY JAKUBOWSKI: I hate the term “ran” but I did box the crap out of him. I got hit twice the whole fight. The fight wasn’t even close when I watch it or on the judge’s scorecards. He was a tough Philly kid and I wasn’t about to prove how tough I was by standing in front of him. He couldn’t find me all night, and I’m happy about that. He had a nice left hook. To be honest, I watched so many videos on him I knew what he was going to do before he knew what he was going to do. I literally could have boxed 100 rounds that night. I ask about him now and then through a mutual friend in Philly (Chuck Diesel) and I hear he’s doing good. I am happy for that and wish all the old fighters nothing but good stuff. I really have to make it a point to visit Anthony one day. I never stopped to talk to him last time.
KEN HISSNER: You get your first world title bout with an 87-1 record meeting the WBC lightweight champion Miguel Angel Gonzalez who was 36-0 making his ninth defense, at Foxwoods in Mashantucket, CT. in June of 1995 having debuted in March of 1987. Here you are 88 fights plus that only took you 8 years. What were your feelings going into this one?
MARTY JAKUBOWSKI: I really thought I was going to outbox Miguel. Which I did, I just forgot to hit him back. I was more concerned with not getting nailed. He was a good sharp puncher. True story…..I went back to my dressing room after losing a 12 round decision to the WBC lightweight Champ, looked in the mirror and did not have one mark at all on my face. Took off my shoes and had a blister on my foot. I blew that one, but my defense was absolutely fantastic. I just needed to fire back and I didn’t. I went to Big Bear with Miguel and Abel Sanchez as a sparring partner after that. They are two fine gentlemen who I will always admire.
KEN HISSNER: You come back winning 12 straight including 1 ND and you meet Verdell Smith for the third of six meetings with him and win your 100th fight in August of 1996! Did you celebrate?
MARTY JAKUBOWSKI: Oh Ken, you people and record keepers were the only ones counting! I had no idea that was No. 100 I don’t think. I boxed to make some cash doing something I love. These guys get their brains beat in sparring in the gym. I get paid for doing it in front of thousands of people and get paid. There is no better way of learning your trade than actually doing it. I figured out quick, I can practice all day long with a lot of these guys, I don’t try and hurt them and they will fight me again next month. Made a career out of practicing my trade! I think I am a genius!
KEN HISSNER: Two fights later you get your second title shot traveling to Germany to meet southpaw Artur “King Artur” Grigorian, 20-0, for his WBO lightweight world title. What was it like being in Germany for this opportunity and fighting a southpaw?
MARTY JAKUBOWSKI: Ken it’s what I did. I fought. I didn’t care about left, righty, Germany stuff. The opportunity came. They gave me literally a 2 week notice, but I was always in the gym in fighting shape. I called Angel Manfredy and my buddy Jeff Strege (an amateur fighter) that were southpaws and got my sparring in. Trained with my favorite trainer Mike Soria, my brother Eric, Sean Gibbons and my financial buddy Chuck Steeples jumped on a plane and went to Germany. Eric got talked into fighting while we were there due to a fighter falling out again LOL. My trainer Mike had to leave a day or two before the fight due to the death of his Father so Sean took over the corner. I took a bit of punishment in that fight because I swore to myself I wasn’t going to do the Gonzalez fight all over again and lost the decision. This time I looked like I was in a fight and slept better over that fight. Grigorian and his team were very nice people.
KEN HISSNER: Two wins and 8 months later you find yourself moving up to super lightweight earning a WBA World title bout with Moroccan Khalid Rahilou, 29-2, in Morocco. That must have been an experience. You get stopped in 7 with one of my least favorite referees Stanley Christodoulou. What happened?
MARTY JAKUBOWSKI: Ha, Mike Soria and I had a falling out, training went completely awful and I think I was truly burned out and done with boxing at the time. My worst fight ever and possibly, the most winnable title fight I was ever in. It was just one of those nights. I was treated well in Morocco, but my wife said I wouldn’t eat that piece of meat it looks funny. Sean Gibbons took it and ate it and I never in my life seen someone that sick! I’m not saying they tried to poison me, but I thought Sean was going to die. I am cracking up now thinking about it. Worst fight of my life I think.
KEN HISSNER: Two fights later you fought Eduardo Castillo who was 5-7 and got stopped. What happened in that fight?
MARTY JAKUBOWSKI: Ha, maybe this was my worst fight ever. Once again, no Mike Soria. I was in good physical condition boxing a lot of rounds in the gym with Harold Brazier and feeling good. This Castillo cat was one of the roughest guys ever. Or maybe it was his awkwardness, either way he was throwing these crazy loopy shots that I would slip, come back to counter and get hit with the same shot I thought I slipped ha, ha, ha. Crazy stuff and anyway we were trading shots and I was getting hit all night and the referee breaks us and takes a look at my right eye and says something like I’m sorry son but I have to stop this fight, you are cut really bad. I said thanks because this was really starting to stink. I go to get stitched up and the guy at the hospital says, we should get a plastic surgeon to look at this! I told him I’m married with kids and my modeling career never took off. Just stitch me because I want to go check out California while I’m here. He stitched me up with 13 stitches. I had a flap of skin just hanging there LOL. Castillo whipped my butt.
KEN HISSNER: You won 5 fights in a row after that you get a second fight with Chavez in Mexico. How different was that from your first fight?
MARTY JAKUBOWSKI: It was totally different. I was kind of retired, he was working on a payday. I didn’t train much, didn’t care much. I knew I was never going to get a decision in Mexico, they knew I wasn’t going to get a decision in Mexico. I knew I couldn’t knock Julio out. I went and gave it a shot for a few rounds, decided I could use an addition on my house, got caught with a shot, the referee didn’t count and stopped it. I got paid and put the addition on the house. At this point it was about getting paid because I had different priorities including a family and really figured I wasn’t getting another title shot.
KEN HISSNER: Three fights later you travel to Denmark to fight Dennis Holbaek Pederson, 38-1. It would be the last time you lost. What were the circumstances?
MARTY JAKUBOWSKI: Same as above, I didn’t care much, didn’t spar at all but I did get in tremendous shape without sparring. You know, when you don’t spar, your body doesn’t react to stuff like it does when you do spar. I got hit with the worst body shot ever in the first round and dropped. I swear it was the best body shot ever except maybe one time Brazier dropped me in the gym one time before. Anyway, I get up barely beat the count because it feels like my liver has been re-located and get back to my corner and my buddy Mike Soria is laughing so hard he can barely talk. Real funny right? Anyway I box him for the next few rounds and feel like I am getting back on track and I run into the same exact body shot. That was it. I hurt for weeks from that.
KEN HISSNER: You came back and defeated Felix Dubray, 41-18-2. Did you think you would stay retired? What made you come back?
MARTY JAKUBOWSKI: I really figured any fight that came up I would consider. Felix was a game guy who I really admire. We will always be friends. I was just a step ahead of him at this time in our careers.
KEN HISSNER: Did you promote your next and final 4 bouts?
MARTY JAKUBOWSKI: No, I sure didn’t. Not sure where that started. A really great gentleman named Octavious James approached me about fighting locally. I was enjoying not training or fighting and just being a regular person. I called Pete (Susens) and Sean (Gibbons) and they said to consider it if I can make a little money. So I think I told Octavious I needed ten grand to fight! I knew I out priced myself for a local card but Octavious said, I’ll tell you what. If you fight I will give you 50% of the revenue of the tickets you personally sell. No brainer, I sold a lot of tickets the next three shows and made very, very, nice paydays for fights I would have fought for $600 back in the day.
KEN HISSNER: You ended your career on a winning note defeating Ryan Maraldo, 18-16-1. Did you intend on retiring after that bout?
MARTY JAKUBOWSKI: Ah, disheartening. My Einstein brother decided to promote a show in Whiting Park, Instead of the ticket deal I made with Octavious we decided we would split the money at the end of the day that was left. Let’s just say it was a poor business decision on my part. After that, I just lost interest again I think. Ryan Maraldo is a good tough Indiana kid.
KEN HISSNER: What was the funniest or strangest thing that happened to you in boxing?
MARTY JAKUBOWSKI: Man Ken, so many characters and crazy things in the world of boxing. One time all the lights went out in the middle of a round and it was pitch black! The little clubs, big cities small towns, let’s just say the crazy that affects most people is normal for me.
KEN HISSNER: Seven years later you got inducted into the Hammond Indiana Sports Hall of Fame. Tell us about that.
MARTY JAKUBOWSKI: It was an honor to be recognized for doing something you love. I put every ounce and fiber of my being into being the best boxer I can be. My high school teacher Pat Montalbano put in the request and the committee made me a member.
KEN HISSNER: I understand you became a Christian. When and how did that come about?
KEN HISSNER: In closing is there anything you want to say pertaining to your career or about boxing today?
MARTY JAKUBOWSKI: I have absolutely no regrets about my career and if I had the opportunity to do all it again. I would do it the same way. Regrets are for sissies. Most people do not understand how many lives boxing saves and affects. These commissions and their silly rules and medicals are killing the sport. There are hardly any club shows anymore therefore less club fighters. Now the commissioners who mostly have never been in a fight are making matches and have no clue how to make a match or build a fighter. I wish boxing people ran boxing but unfortunately it isn’t like that. Boxing will survive no matter what, but I do not see it flourishing unless the people who think they know boxing get their heads out of the sand. Most importantly boxing has taught me very valuable lessons and I am so grateful for my wife Teresa and my kids who have put up with the craziness. I love them so much. God Bless you Ken and thanks for thinking of me.
From a GRATEFUL former boxer Marty Jakubowski: I sure do miss the excitement sometimes. Boxing was very good to me. Al Bernstein and Sean O’Grady were really kind to me every fight they did. Really everyone from Don King to Bob Arum and all the rest of the “big shots” involved in boxing were always great to me. I love boxing people for the most part. “Thanks to everyone and thanks for the Memories!”.
Please send all questions and comments to Ken Hissner at: Kenhissner@gmail.com
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