Friday, January 6, 2012


Derekniqua Brown, Derek’s daughter, takes on her father and shows boxing isn’t just for the boys. (Photo by Isaac Jones)
 Derek Brown knows too much about fighting and the temptations of Chicago’s West Side streets. That is precisely why he launched a youth boxing program and called it Boxing Out Negativity. His purpose is to build self-confidence, pride, and respect for peaceful conflict resolution in the boys and girls participating in his program.
    Brown’s boxing program has bounced around North Lawndale. He hopes it has found a permanent home in the basement of the former Blessed Sacrament Church, 3600 West Cermak Road. Father Larry Dowling of St. Agatha Church helped him find this location, hooking him up with the Blessed Sacrament Youth Center and Marilyn Gooch, its Executive Director.

Jearyne Brown, 15, spars with Boxing Out Negativity Director Derek Brown at Blessed Sacrament Youth Center, 3600 West Cermak Road. (Photo by Isaac Jones)   
 Currently, there are about 20 members of the program between the ages of 6 and 15. It was a noisy and active scene when we visited Blessed Sacrament recently. Happy kids were working on homework assignments while others played games and the core of young boxers were practicing their moves. Underscoring the importance of Boxing Out Negativity was a report we heard on the radio of five people shot on a West Side street just minutes earlier.
    Brown’s associate, Martin Murff, works with 16-22 year olds on Mondays, Tuesdays & Wednesdays from 2:30-6:00 PM. On Thursdays, they travel to 9th & Madison in Maywood from 3:00 to 6:00 PM. Fridays the action shifts to The Rec in Melrose Park at 23rd & Cortez.

Derek Brown, Jr., known as Baby B, practices his boxing moves with his father at Boxing Out Negativity. (Photo by Isaac Jones) 
Brown says his boxers pay for their training in homework. He and his colleagues keep track of grades, school attendance, and behavior of participants in Boxing Out Negativity because the goal is to teach the positive attributes of the sport, promote physical fitness, and develop self-confidence – not aggressiveness and violence – in the young boxers.
    Young people interested in learning to box should call Derek Brown at 773/310-1743. He is also seeking sponsors willing to donate to the program and defray the costs for equipment, travel, and boxing exhibitions. Interested persons and companies should call him, too, at 773/310-1743.

1 comment:

  1. Pacquiao retired from boxing after his unanimous-decision victory over Timothy Bradley in April 2016, but with professionals now being permitted to qualify for boxing in the Olympics,he would love to be in it. Boxing Trainer Freddie Roach is willing to train Manny if he qualifies.