Courtney “CJ” Jackson, 27, of Homestead, a senior biology student at the University of Miami, will fight his first local professional boxing match on Aug. 15 at Mana Wynwood stadium.
“This is the breakout fight that will make CJ a household name in Miami,” said trainer Mickey Demos Jr., who is also the head coach of the UM boxing team. “The whole world will soon get to know CJ.”
After graduating from Felix Varela Senior High, Jackson joined the Navy and served in Afghanistan for five years. After a brief stint acting and modeling in Los Angeles, Jackson returned to Miami to study biology.
With no prior experience, Jackson joined the UM boxing team in 2012 and two years later became the U.S. collegiate welterweight champ.
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Earlier this year, he turned pro and is currently 3-0, with one knockout. However, these fights took place outside Miami, two in the Dominican Republic, the other in Tampa.
Demos thinks the bout in Miami will “put him on the local map.”
“In a few years, CJ will be fighting for a world title,” Demos said. “He is that good.”
Soft-spoken, yet fiercely determined, Jackson has been on a grueling, six-day-a-week training cycle that includes sparring countless rounds with professional boxers.
“I am not your typical boxer,” said Jackson, as he noted his career plans on becoming a doctor.
Jackson credits the military for instilling in him a sense of honor, discipline and the ability to deal with high-pressure situations, like those found in the boxing ring. Next year, he hopes to represent the U.S. in boxing at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
“I know exactly where I am going,” Jackson said.
If you go
What: WBC Fight Night featuring Courtney “CJ” Jackson vs. Moises Carasquillo
Where: Mana Wynwood stadium, Northwest Second Avenue and and 23rd Street
When: 6 p.m. Aug. 15