CJ Jackson is 27 years old and weighs approximately 145 pounds. He's a military veteran and University of Miami pre-medical student. He's also a hellaciously talented boxer, and his first big bout — scheduled for August 15 in Wynwood — might just be the start of a pro career worth watching.
"He's already the biggest draw on the card," Jackson's trainer Mickey Demos, Jr. tells New Times. "He sells more tickets than any other boxer on the show."
Jackson, soft-spoken and photogenic, was raised in Miami to Jamaican parents; he started boxing only about three years ago, after a four-year stint in the Navy, where he served in Afghanistan, and after enrolling at the U.
"It's more for the competition," the welterweight said. "I have no anger issues."
His ascent, though, has been meteoric: After joining the University of Miami's club boxing squad Jackson quickly started dominating. Last year he won a national collegiate title, and he's already been tapped by superstars like Guillermo Rigondeaux — the Cuban Olympic gold medalist — and American Emmanuel Taylor to serve as a sparring partner. Since turning pro himself a few months ago, Jackson is 3-0, with one knockout.
"I've been picking up things pretty rapidly," Jackson said. "It's going well."
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He's been doing so well that Demos envisions his prodigy soon transforming into the first really big-time Miami-raised boxer since Muhammad Ali. "He's good enough to fight for a world title within three or four years," the trainer said.
The fight on the 15th will be at the stadium at Mana Wywnood, a roughly 3,000-seat venue. "It's perfect for us," Demos said. "It's a breakout fight because it'll create a hometown following for him."
Jackson is slotted against Moises Carasquillo, a Puerto Rican southpaw. "I'm totally stoked about it," the boxer said.