When Jordan Brown was in middle school, he knew he was different. While everyone else was out playing football and baseball or basketball and wrestling, Brown wasn’t interested. It wasn’t that he wasn’t interested in sports, it’s just that the school didn’t offer the sport he wanted to do. In fact no schools offer the sport Brown prefers, boxing.
“I want to say it was cool because it increased my popularity,” Brown said. “The boxing gym is kind of mysterious to people and not very many people have been down there. It was like, ‘oh he boxes,’ and it was different. I wasn’t around anybody and nobody knew what kind of workouts I was doing cause they were doing football and their workouts and everything else. It was different. It was different and that is what I liked about it.”
Going from the idea of doing something different to actually being interested didn’t take long.
“I just wanted to fight and I wanted to get in shape,” Brown said. “I thought I was a tough guy. I went down there (to the Armory) and everybody could beat me up so I quit. But then I went back because I wanted to get in shape.”
Among the people who were influential and Brown looked up to were Brandon Hoskins, Joel Daniels, and Charlie James.
“What kept me in it was the older guys that were going down there when I was going down there,” Brown said. “They were all big influences on me when I first started.”
After eight years fighting in an amateur status, Brown turned pro about four years ago.
Brown has three professional fights under his belt and he has won them all. His first two fights came against Brian Durham and James Culp.
“My first fight I weighed in at 218 pounds,” Brown said. “The guy I fought was 3-8 and I won by unanimous decision. My second fight was also a Heavyweight. We both weighed in at over 200 pounds. He had never had a fight and that was a TKO (technical knockout) in the second round.”
Brown’s most recent fight came in March of 2011 when he fought William Clint Green.
“My (most recent) fight was Clint Green,” Brown said. “He was 1-0 with one knockout. I won a unanimous four round decision over him.”
For all three of his pro fights, Brown fought with the Hannibal Armory Boxing Club at the Admiral Coontz Recreation Center.
But times have changed and Brown is ready for the next step. One of the first changes Brown made was leaving the Armory and joining up with a new manager, Peter Morgan of Sho-Me Boxing.
“He more or less changed camps,” Morgan said. “He was down there (at the Armory) and changed from an amateur to a pro and he wasn’t going anywhere so he moved up to a different gym and a different situation.”
Morgan said that he is hoping to find Brown at least one fight a month.
Friday night in Chicago, Illinois, Brown will have his first fight with Sho Me Boxing in his corner. Brown is excited and ready to go. It will also be Brown’s first fight outside of Hannibal and the state of Missouri.
“It is exciting and I have learned a lot,” Brown said. “I have learned how to fight at this weight a lot better. ... I am excited and it is going to be fun.”
Brown will be facing Paul Littleton at the Cicero Stadium. Littleton has a record of 5-0-1 with four knockouts.
Another change will be a change in weight class. After fighting his first two pro fights as a Heavyweight while his most recent fight was at Cruiserweight. Now, Brown will be moving down two levels to the Super middleweight. The maximum weight for Super middleweight is 168 pounds.
“I will be fighting at Super middleweight at 164 pounds,” Brown said. “This will be my first time fighting at a lower weight class like this.”
Brown said there is a big difference in fighting at a lower weight class.
“In Heavyweight you stand straight up and brawl, punch and take your time,” Brown said. “In these lower weight classes I don’t have time to do that. Guys are a lot faster and I have to be a lot faster to match them.”
But Brown is not worried. In fact, he has been training for the change.
“It is six to eight weeks of training,” Brown said. “It is steady, hard and everyday. Sometimes twice a day.”
But just because a fighter trains six to eight weeks for a given opponent, doesn’t mean there is down time. For Brown, the fact that he hasn’t fought in almost two years means there has been plenty of time to train.
“So far, we haven’t had any kind of down time,” Brown said. “I haven’t stopped training in the last 18-20 weeks. I am pretty much ready right now for whatever gets thrown at me.”
Brown does a lot in his training. He runs seven to eight miles a day, jumps rope at the gym, shadow boxing, and practices on the heavy bag. In addition he also does cardio training, pushups, pull-ups and sit-ups and lifts weights three times a week.
Like every other boxer, Brown has goals. And while every boxer wants to be the No. 1, Brown is also realistic.
“I want to be the best I can be,” Brown said. “Everybody wants to say world champion. Being realistic, I am going to shoot for the stars, but I will get up there somewhere.”
The one big difference in boxing from other sports is the injury factor.
“Coming from fighting Heavyweight to these lower class weights, I am not as worried about it.” Brown said. “The punches aren’t as heavy and the guys aren’t as big. When I was younger I used to be scared of things like a detached retina and things like that, but I don’t worry so much about that anymore. The refs are pretty good about seeing when somebody is hurt and getting them out of there.”
While boxers take a lot of hits and punches, the biggest risk is possible head injuries. But that is one injury that has never crossed Brown’s mind.
“I haven’t ever really thought about head injuries,” Brown said. “I have never had any concussions or any problems with things like that. I have got physicals regularly. I am pretty healthy.”
As a fighter, Brown is required to see a doctor for a physical every six months.
“Every state has different criteria,” Brown said. “For Illinois I had to get an eye physical done and it was real thorough to where here in Missouri you don’t have to have that.”
Next month Brown is planning another change. After graduating from Hannibal High School in 2007, he is looking at going back to school. Brown is planning to start college in January at Moberly Area Community College. His plans are to study marketing and advertising.
“I think it would be really cool to be a promoter and put my own fights on,” Brown said. “To be able to promote this sport and help kids who might not ever have this chance that are out walking around and wandering the streets right now dealing drugs when they could be in here doing something productive with their life - marketing and advertising are every aspect of this business.”