Jackie Kallen (Jackie Kaplan) was born to a Jewish family in Detroit. She is a boxing manager—quite possibly the most successful female manager in history. Her life was the inspiration for the film Against the Ropes, and she worked as a consultant for Mark Burnett's reality tv series The Contender. Kallen began her career in the 1970's as a show business journalist and worked for a magazine. In 1977 she was assigned to interview a new boxing prospect from the Kronk gym in Detroit. The fighter's name was Thomas Hearns. She worked with Hearns as a publicist for ten years, becoming a well known personality in Detroit's boxing circles. Kallen was also met with sexism, and many people did not take her seriously. At the time, women's boxing was practically non-existent.
She truly arrived on the boxing scene in 1991 when she managed her first champion—James Toney. Toney knocked out Michael Nunn in eleven rounds in 1991 to win the WBA World Middleweight title. Kallen currently lives in Los Angeles and manages three professional boxers.