Demond Brock: ‘No matter what, people can make a change’
Demond Brock’s story of serving time in jail to becoming a professional prizefighter would be a great storyline in a movie.
Instead, it is playing out in real life.
Brock is only five years removed from sitting in a Louisiana penitentiary to possibly being five wins away from fighting for a major title.
For now, Brock is enjoying his newfound success in the pro ranks and taking life one day at a time.
He returns to action tonight when he faces Reynaldo Blanco at the Downtown Las Vegas (Nevada) Event Center. The 10-round bout will air on CBS Sports Network, beginning at 12 a.m. ET/ 9 p.m. PT.
Brock (12-3-1, 4 knockouts) is unbeaten in his last six bouts, which include a no-contest, after beginning his career winning eight of his first 11 bouts.
It is a far cry from where he was, years ago, when he was convicted at the age of 15 for armed robbery. Brock served 14 1/2 years of a 15-year sentence at Louisiana State Penitentiary.
Brock learned how to box while serving his sentence, fighting a total of 40 bouts, losing only once.
After his release, Brock became the No. 1 ranked welterweight in the amateurs, even reaching the quarterfinals of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Boxing Trials. Brock finished his amateur career with a 54-3 record.
Brock has received well-wishes from family, even complete strangers, on his success.
“One of the most rewarding things for me are the call and text (messages) I receive from people that say my story inspires them,” said Brock in a recent interview. “I like to show people that, no matter what, they can make a change. I push that message.”
Brock faces Blanco (13-2, 7 KOs), who has won his last six bouts and 11 of his last 12. The 29-year-old stopped Mario Beltre in the second round of his most recent bout on July 15.
While Brock has a modest record, he is more focused on what he has to do to execute his game plan.
“We prepare for everything,” said Brock, who defeated Jesus Gutierrez in his most recent bout on June 10. “We’re not concerned with my opponent. It’s about what I do.”
Brock has enlisted the services of Roy Jones Jr., who is also the promoter of record for tonight’s fight card in Las Vegas.
The all-time great super middleweight and light heavyweight world champion has been impressed by what Brock has done thus far.
“I love Demond’s energy and his will to learn,” said Jones recently. “He has been very enthusiastic, doing everything asked of him and more. He has a lot of upside in the sport and the heart of a champion.”
A win over Blanco could result in Brock landing among the Top 15 at lightweight. The 35-year-old believes he can still get better as a fighter.
“The plan is to get positioned for a world title shot next year. We’ll take ’em one fight at a time and be prepared when it’s my time.
“The Demond Brock you see (tonight) will be a completely different fighter than in my last fight.”
Francisco A. Salazar has written for RingTV since October of 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper, BioxingScene.com and Knockout Nation. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing.
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