It was the first fight of the night, and if you looked away for a minute (1:49, to be precise), you would have missed it.
“I heard everyone cheering and I didn’t know what happened,” said one patron who was still in the concession line when the bout ended abruptly.
What happened on August 15 at WBC Fight Night at Mana Wynwood in Miami was that UM student and Kendall native Courtney George “CJ” Jackson, 27, added yet another knockout to his record—in under two minutes, in front of a big contingent of his family and friends. This despite the fact that his opponent, Alfred Ellis Jr., of North Carolina, weighed in at 148 pounds compared to Jackson’s lean 141.6 pounds.
The welterweight division win puts Jackson’s burgeoning professional record at 4-0—with three knockouts. A former U.S. Navy medic, Jackson took up boxing a few years ago at UM as a hobby.
A junior in the College of Arts and Sciences, he still plans to attend medical school after graduation, but now is also poised for stellar success in the ring, says his coach, UM alumnus Mickey Demos, J.D. ’93, whose father, the late Mickey Demos Sr., M.D. ’57, A.B./B.S. ’82, J.D. ’86, made it twice to the NCAA boxing championships and served U.S. Olympic boxing team physician during the 1980 Olympics.
Rachad Wildgoose, whose cousin sometimes spars with Jackson at Showtime Gym in Liberty City, agrees. After watching his latest win, he said Jackson stands out because of his endurance and discipline, training three hours and running at least five miles daily, then sparring eight rounds twice a night on Fridays and Saturdays.
Jackson said his fights usually go past the first round, but given his opponent’s weight advantage that night, a coach advised that he look for a knockout opportunity sooner rather than later. Jackson found that opening—and took it—when he saw his opponent covering up.
“I learn something every time I step in that ring,” said Jackson, who, in the wake of recent achievements, remains grounded about his future.
“I got a bunch of calls for fights at the end of the month or early September, so we will sit down and decide on the best opponent,” he said. “Most importantly, I will prepare for school.”
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