ROCKINGHAM — Dungeon Boxing Club welcomed Jamell Brown with open arms and a smile Tuesday afternoon.
Brown, a native of Rockingham who started boxing at Dungeon nearly a decade ago, returned home with a championship trophy in his possession following a one-fight show in Portsmouth, Virginia this past Saturday. The 21-year old amatuer boxer defeated Shawn Patterson in a three-round, three-minute title bout in the 145-pound weight class.
“I tried for it (a knockout) but it was tough. He was aggresive…a southpaw, left-handed,” Brown said. “So I just boxed, did my thing and stayed safe. I guess I just overpowered and outboxed him.”
Brown doesn’t get a chance to come back home often, due to his out-of-state work with trainer Al “Smitty” Smith, so he was happy to be able to work in a familiar space and reconnect with his grandfather — and head trainer at Dungeon — Mario Olivera Jr. on Tuesday.
“I always like training here. It’s home,” Brown said.
Olivera was excited to have his grandson back where he started, saying that his dedication is something to be proud of. Brown’s success has also gave the kids training at Dungeon someone to look up to as they continue to learn the sport.
“When he comes from out of town and walks in here, everybody wants to say hello to him. The little kids just want to touch him and talk to him,” Olivera said. “Right now it’s kind of difficult because he’s doing all of his training out of town, but believe me, these kids have smiles on from ear to ear when he’s here.”
In two weeks, Brown will make his way to Chattanooga, Tennesse in hopes of impressing at the USA qualifiers. His goal is to make it on the 2020 Olympic team that will compete in Tokyo, Japan.
“He’s a fighter who has really gone the distance,” Olivera added. “He’s doing a tremendous job and I just hope he fulfills his goals.”
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Jamell Brown poses with his championship trophy Tuesday afternoon.