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DANVILLE, Va. — Danville resident and boxer Chakem Brooks has big dreams, but for now, he is looking to move up the ladder. On Sept. 26, he made his pro debut at Fight Night on the Charles in Dedham, Massachusetts.

A resident of Danville all his life and graduate of Dan River High School, Brooks got into boxing because of his friend.

“My buddy actually brought me to the gym,” Brooks said. “I was homeless, going through a tough time, and the trainer asked if I was serious. He put me in the ring with his pro. I got knocked down a couple times but got back up every time.”

The trainer’s name was Marcus Luck, and Brooks must have impressed him during that time because Luck said, “Be here tomorrow morning, you’ll be practicing with the pros.”

Brooks said the hardest part of being a boxer is the training and conditioning.

“For starters, once you step into that ring with someone who isn’t from your gym, and it’s an actual boxing match, you’re throwing harder than you ever threw,” he said. “So, you have to go hard during the sparring sessions to kinda simulate a real fight.”

However, during training, Brooks reminds himself how far your body can go to convince your mind to go that distance. He called it a mind over matter thing.

“The conditioning session is absolute hell, pretty much just a bunch of running and working out – every single day,” he said.

When it comes to strengths and weaknesses, Brooks said his biggest weakness would be his confidence and endurance. To help and improve, Brooks says sparring helps with the confidence and the whole session is helping with the endurance.

Brooks says his ultimate goal in boxing would be becoming Flyweight Champion of the world with whom he credits a lot of people supporting him during his rise to the top.

The 124-pound boxer (0-1) competed against Troy Anderson, Jr. in his pro debut.

Staff Writer

Zach McKnight joined the Star-Tribune from Wadsworth, Ohio, as a staff writer. Zach earned his bachelor's degree in journalism from Kent State University in Kent, Ohio.

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