He’s a Manatee County powerhouse in the ring, and he’s being inducted into the Florida Boxing Hall of Fame.
At 63, David Jaco is still widely recognized in the boxing world.
The only time you’ll find him in the ring these days is chasing around his grandchildren, but, in his prime, Jaco had a star-studded career.
“Well, my dad had 50 professional fights,” said his son, Adam Jaco. “In that career, he fought 10 world champions.”
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The list includes Mike Tyson and George Foreman, and he even trained with Muhammad Ali.
“I remember I had a heart of a lion and the eye of a tiger. I never gave up,” David Jaco said.
More than 20 years after ending his professional career, Jaco is being inducted into the Florida Boxing Hall of Fame.
“It’s about time he takes his rightful place in the hall, for sure,” Adam Jaco said. “And it’s long overdue if you ask me.”
David Jaco might not be the most famous boxer in the sport, but he was known for his courage.
“I always gave it my best, that was the main thing,” he said. “I never laid there and took the fight money and run. I always gave my best.”
The formal induction ceremony is Sunday at the Westshore Grand Hotel in Tampa.
According to the hall of fame’s website, David Jaco’s first “high-profile victory” came April 30, 1985, against future title contender Donovan “Razor” Ruddock.
“Ruddock was unable to answer the bell for Round 8,” the hall says about the fight with Jaco.
On Jan. 11, 1986, Jaco fought a 19-year-old Tyson but was knocked out in the first round. Tyson went on to become the youngest boxer to win a heavyweight title when he defeated Trevor Berbick on Nov. 22, 1986.
Berbick is among the other fighters in the hall’s class of 2017. They also include Melissa Del Valle, David Lewter, Oscar Montilla, Michael Moorer, Alex Stewart and Winky Wright.