JIMMY GLENN died last week after being struck down by coronavirus. For anyone who knows boxing, who truly knows boxing, it was a sad day. Anyone who has ever met him will tell you that Jimmy was one of the most pleasant and nicest people you could ever hope to meet. Just a super quiet, super humble, super friendly guy who had a million old school boxing stories that, on request, he would regale. He was the type of man who if you brought someone in there to meet him he would spend the first minute or so telling them how great YOU were as opposed to shining a light on himself.
Jimmy Glenn’s impact on boxing in New York City will be felt forever. He was a trainer, cutman, manager, advisor and friend. He will be remembered by many on these terms. If you have anything bad to say about Jimmy then there’s a good chance that you were the problem and not him. His gym on Times Square was also one of the greatest gyms of all time and the list of great and legendary champions who chose to train there when visiting New York is far too long to list here.
Then of course there was his bar, Jimmy’s Corner.
Each and every time I have visited Jimmy’s Corner on West 44th Street in New York City there has always been a boxer there to see and speak with. One of the most memorable times, though, was a couple years ago when a bunch of us were in town and we all met at Jimmy’s one night. We had three members of the great 1984 Olympic team there in Jerry Page, Frank Tate and Mark Breland. We had Iran Barkley there. A bunch of other guys, Junior Jones, Lonnie Davis, Richie Lamontagne and Montell Griffin. What I remember most about that night was that every one of those guys seemed to want to meet or see Jimmy, something he could never quite understand. The humble vibe he gave off was very special to be experience.
The last time I visited Jimmy’s Corner was this past October when I was in New York for the annual Ring 10 dinner and it was as usual, Jimmy hugging you when he saw you, making you feel like he hadn’t seen you in 100 years. The thing about the bar is that it isn’t very big and it was very narrow so on those busy Friday and Saturday nights you literally have to slowly squeeze your way through to the back. But no one minded, it was like being in a club house with a bunch of long time members. On fight nights in the city you could go in there and some of the most famous boxers, writers and TV announcers might be in there chopping it up. The walls are literally covered from floor to ceiling, from the front of the bar to the very back, with pictures and posters of some of the greatest fights and fighters in history, including photos of some of them while they were actually visiting the bar.
Jimmy loved to tell the stories of how Robert DeNiro used to come in at night during the filming of Raging Bull to hang out and how a few of the scenes from the movie were actually filmed right there in the bar.
I will always, always remember Jimmy as a man who always tried to make you feel like you were the special one when you were in his company. I miss him already.