But the Carrollton product reflects on those days where the glory he earned between the ropes was nearly KO’d by his reckless lifestyle outside it. Brown finally realized that if he didn’t change his ways, all the bobbing and weaving in the world wouldn’t be enough to stop him from eventually getting caught on the chin.
Brown could have easily become another statistic to the prison system — or even worse, he suggests. But his decision to give his life to God nearly two years ago has altogether changed his life for the better.
And now, Brown is doing his part to help other at-risk youth discover that same positive light.
“He’s changed me so much. I could not stop doing the things that I was doing if it wasn’t for Jesus Christ,” Brown said. “I was a mess. I done did it. If I told you everything I did, you’d be like, ‘Golly, I can’t believe it. How are you even here?’ But Jesus changed me. And I know for a fact that He can change anybody else. So that’s what we’re built on. We’re built on the Word of God.”
Back in September, Brown combined his newfound spiritual devotion to his other passion in life, leading to the creation of The Truth Boxing Club, a ministry supported through A Place of Refuge Church in Carrollton.
The group of promising, preteen-to-teenage pugilists meet three times a week in the church’s gymnasium, and Brown is now training roughly a dozen up-and-coming talents. Along with a focus on the sweet science, Brown also stresses the significance of following the Christian path and living the right way.
Brown based the boxing club on bible passage John 14:6.
“It says that Jesus is the way. Jesus said to them, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life.’ So we stress that He’s not a way, He’s the way. The truth. That’s why we are ‘The Truth Boxing Club,’” Brown said.
“So we want to be the truth, as far as like the real deal when it comes to the sport. We want to reach our top goal in the sport. But also when it comes to Jesus Christ, we know that He is the truth. So we base what we do on Jesus Christ. Some people may not ever win a national title, they may not become a world champion in the pro ranks, but if they can get some truth and knowledge about Jesus Christ, they will be the best at something else. They will be successful in something else in life.”
Brown began his boxing endeavors at age 11, following the footsteps of his father, uncle and older brother.
“I really didn’t want to do it at first. I was kind of intimidated to do it. I tried it the first day I went in there and they put me in there sparring and I didn’t do too good. But I was determined after that. I knew I could do it,” Brown said.
After getting that initial taste, Brown grew addicted to the training, which yielded winning results in the ring.
“I just traveled around different places boxing. I trained under a couple of different Olympic team coaches. Once you start winning in the amateurs, you get to do a lot of traveling,” Brown said. “That was kind of my motivation. We got to go out to the Olympic Center in Colorado, went to Michigan for the Junior Olympics traveling around with the Golden Gloves and stuff like that.”
Brown’s last competitive bout was in 2009, and since that time he’s evolved into more of a coach/training role. And what started as working one-on-one individual workouts has blossomed into the level he’s reached now with the club.
And while the boxing club is moving in the right direction, it’s been a labor of love in many ways.
“It hasn’t been easy because doors were shut in my face. I had the experience and the background. You can speculate on why people didn’t give me the support that I wanted. I talked with different local organizations trying to get things going, but thanks to Pastor [Barry] Walker and [Youth] Pastor [Jerome] Baker, we were able to get what we needed to get started and we’re going to grow from here,” Brown said.
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Brown has both boys and girls he is currently training — some more advanced than the others — and he said how fast they move along depends on the individual. He is hopeful of getting some of his pupils into club fights during the 2013 calender year.
“I think they can be as quick as two years, they can be ready to go to some major tournaments. I don’t really stress tournaments too much, especially with new fighters ... I focus on getting them prepared for the Open Division and the Senior and Junior Olympic Division. Some people go up and win nationals in less than two years, then some it will take a little longer,” Brown said.
Whether or not Brown can produce a talent of his caliber remains to be seen — he is confident he can, if not even better — but the primary focus is to produce productive young men and women in life, first and foremost. He said there are a lot of life lessons that boxing can teach.
“I did make a lot of bad mistakes and a lot of wrong turns. But I think boxing helped me keep some sense of motivation and kept me away from a lot of things. So that’s the same thing I’m trying to do with them. Just give them something to work toward. Some kids don’t have nothing to work toward. Too much idle time — you know what I mean? But hopefully this can be a positive thing, both in and out of the ring,” Brown said.