The Call to Boxing

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Posted Thu, Oct 24, 2013

From kindergarten on Jackson wanted to be in the ring.  Now after owning his own gym he’s partnered with DeVarryl Williamson a world-class fighter.

From kindergarten on Brad “B Loko” Jackson wanted to be in the ring. Now after owning his own gym Jackson has partnered with DeVarryl Williamson a world-class fighter. [Photo by Ashley Hattle]

DENVER — Brad “B Loko” Jackson has always been a fighter.  The boxing ring called to him at an early age, and that passion has only grown over the last 30 years.

Jackson, 38, has done it all from amateur boxing to professional boxing to working with one of the world’s best fighters.  He has continued to strengthen his skills and agility while training others to fight.  Now he hopes to instill this passion into at risk youth. He hopes to create a non-profit organization to provide kids a place to go and learn.

Jackson was born in Wyoming, but came to Denver when he was very young with his mother and aunt.  When Jackson was 8-years-old, he knew he wanted to become a boxer like his grandfather.  When his mother said, “no” to training, Jackson found a way to train himself.  He would either be boxing in the basement or outside fighting.

“I was fighting in kindergarten,” Jackson says.  “I was fighting in elementary.  So me being a fighter is like nothing, that just came natural.  It just had to find me.”

Jackson pushes client Kelly Mott to hit harder.  [Photo by Ashley Hattle]

Jackson pushes client Kelly Mott to hit harder. [Photo by Ashley Hattle]

When high school hit, Jackson was faced with a choice to be a nerd or a gang member.  He’d spent his childhood honing his fighting skills, so he ended up becoming a gang member.  In the end, it made him a better fighter in the ring though.

“When you’re in there.  It’s just your thoughts and when you’re in there fighting it’s strange because it’s do or die.  Even with me being a gang member and all that.  I’ve always lived in the fast lane,” Jackson says.

Jackson, 38, owned his own gym for three years until DeVarryl Williamson, 45, asked him to merge gyms.  Now Jackson and Williamson work together to train clients in private, semi-private or group classes.  They even switch clients occasionally to give them different techniques.

“We’re very competitive working together, which is really good for the client.  He’s passionate about his job, passionate to work with,” Williamson says.

When Jackson’s teaching in the ring you can tell he’s in his element.  He goes from student to student yelling to hit harder or duck faster.  His clients love working with him because he’s not afraid to yell and push to the breaking point.

Liz Arthur, Kelly Mott and Garrett Hacking all love taking Jackson’s semi-private class every Wednesday. [Photo by Ashley Hattle]

Liz Arthur, Kelly Mott and Garrett Hacking all love taking Jackson’s semi-private class every Wednesday. [Photo by Ashley Hattle]

Clients spend a lot of the class time doing exercises to strengthen certain muscles.  They don’t get in the ring until half way through, when their muscles are already aching.  Then Jackson pushes them even harder.  Jackson’s student, Liz Arthur, has been coming to Touch ‘Em Up for over a month and has loved every session.

“It’s like being trained by everyone’s favorite high school coach meets Snoop Dogg.  It’s a mixture of getting perfect technique, and being told to drop that ass when you need to drop that ass,” Arthur says.

Even while training other clients, you can tell Jackson is constantly thinking about what moves to do next and how to make them better.  He’s a fighter, but the ring is the end game.  There’s so much training and planning before Jackson even puts on the gloves.

When Jackson stepped into the ring for his first fight as an amateur he won.  When he went pro he made sure to win that first fight too. There’s a strategy to boxing and part of Jackson’s is to investigate the person he’s about to fight.  He looks into what kind of style they fight with, do they come out swinging or do they fight with finesse like him?

When Jackson’s working with other in the group, clients are expected to be doing sit-ups or push-ups. [Photo by Ashley Hattle]

When Jackson is working with other in the group, clients are expected to be doing sit-ups or push-ups. [Photo by Ashley Hattle]

Jackson even seeks help from other professionals.  He asks around for advice to see if they’ve heard of the person he’s about to fight.  Other boxers and trainers will tell Jackson not to let the other guy get him on the ropes or it’s over and when he hears this from a lot of fighters he knows not to go near the ropes.

“I ain’t no spring chicken,” Jackson says. “I only got like five to six years in the game.  So I want to get my non-profit off the ground and train kids who want to be fighters.  But it’s hard because boxing requires so much dedication and so much time to be successful.”

Running a non-profit organization for kids is a big dream for Jackson.  Helping kids to learn to fight can be a rewarding feeling but he’s also helping a lot of kids who don’t have a good place to go to after school lets out.  Boxing is a great way to let out anger and all the feelings that must be kept inside.  Jackson wants to give kids a place to go where they can let it all out and get rid of that anger and hurt.

“I always had a chip on my shoulder, and the more I boxed, the more it helped me release that,” Jackson says.

Jackson is not the type of fighter or person to go into anything giving less than 200 percent. Jackson is a fighter in more ways than one, he fights for his family, for the kids, for the clients.  He has built himself up from the ground and won’t give up trying to become better anytime soon.

“Now coming from where I come from, I come from literally nothing,” Jackson says.  “I mean nothing.  For me to get my own gym and then to merge with one of the world’s best fighters, I mean eventually you keep on doing good and people notice it.”

 

Train with Brad “B Loko” Jackson

Touch ‘Em Up Boxing Gym

            720-690-5653

            gygboxing28@gmail.com

            3910 S. Kalamath St.

            Englewood, CO 80110

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Ashley Hattle

About Ashley Hattle

Ashley Hattle is a senior at Metropolitan State University (MSU). In high school, Hattle worked for the school newspaper, The Blazer, as the Executive Photo Editor and Lifestyles Editor. After high school she pursued a career in photography and attended the Art Institute of Colorado. After the Art Institute she quickly began working for a photography company in Denver. Through working as a photographer in Denver she re-found her love of journalism and has been a magazine journalism major at MSU since 2010. Hattle hopes to work as a journalist and photographer after graduation in May 2014.

View all posts by Ashley Hattle

4 Responses to “The Call to Boxing”

  1. Robert Crew Says:

    A very cool article. I love stories about people who come from nothing and make something of themselves. I think the quotes you used were great.

    Reply

    • Trinity Says:

      Kia Ora RobbI will have a long overdue break Robb. It would be nice to catch up with you if at all possible. I value our emerging frsThdin.ehe family, food amd mountains are calling.Bob

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  2. Luke Whittaker Says:

    Great quotes, great pics–great story!

    “It’s like being trained by everyone’s favorite high school coach meets Snoop Dogg. It’s a mixture of getting perfect technique, and being told to drop that ass when you need to drop that ass,”

    love it.

    Reply

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