By Bobby Glanton Smith
Wednesday, January 1, 2014
“The Sweet Science,” as boxing is referred to by aficionados, has intrigued and captivated sports fans for more than a century. When you think of great world champions you think of sweltering gyms in Detroit, Chicago and New York – not necessarily St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. Conversely, two of the all-time great world champions are from the Virgin Islands: Emile Griffith and Julian “The Hawk” Jackson are both in the Boxing Hall of Fame. The latter (Julian “The Hawk” Jackson) has passed the torch to his sons, John “Dah Rock” Jackson (Junior Middleweight, with a sterling record of 16 wins, 1 loss, and 14 knockouts) and Julius “The Chef” Jackson, 17 wins, no defeats and 13 knockouts. On April 25th, 2012 he won the title of WBC (USNBC) Super Middleweight Championship. Julius’ boxing prowess was noticed by Middleweight Champion Sergio Martinez and he was invited to participate in sparring sessions before the highly anticipated fight between Martinez and Julio Cesar Chavez.
I had the pleasure of meeting Julius at the Watson Celebrity/Charity Classic and quickly became enamored with his disposition and carriage; he has a countenance of royalty, which is a reflection of his father’s meticulous parenting. Put another way, he acts as though he was raised by a strong father and caring mother. He handles the responsibility of being a public figure with grace and humility and that prompted me to learn more about his quest for greatest in the brutal sport of professional boxing.
The first thing that I discovered about this 26-year old was his accomplishments outside of the ring reflected his balance; when not training or traveling to and from fights, Julius is the Head Chef at Fat Turtle, in St. Thomas. His passion for cooking dates back to his adolescence and he put in the work necessary to graduate from the Florida Culinary Institute in 2008. Julius spent three years honing his culinary skills at the Marriott and in 2012 he was crowned “the king of wings” at the highly coveted St. Thomas ‘King of the Wing’ competition.
What leads me to believe Julius “The Chef” Jackson will soon become a great champion is skill, determination and a sense of purpose. He knows his boxing lineage and has learned to embrace what it takes to be a champion. Moreover he possesses knockout power, which fans love in a fighter. Finally, I believe this young man wants to be the best in the world – bad enough to make the extreme physical sacrifices necessary to be king of the hill.
As we met in downtown Los Angeles to conduct an interview for this article, we ran into Los Angeles. Floyd spent a couple minutes with Julius and I could tell that the young warrior was thankful to have a moment with the greatest fighter of this era. He might someday look back at that chance encounter as the beginning of a very special journey to the penthouse of the sport.
Only time will tell. Meanwhile, “The Chef” is already a winner – in and out of the ring.
p.s If you haven’t already, get a copy of “Real Men Don’t Play!” I would great appreciate your support.
Courtesy of: http://realmendontplay.com