“At five years old, I knew I wanted to be a boxer.”
At five years old, rising star boxer La’Baron “Young Floyd” Briggs, knew that he wanted to be a boxer. At 23 years old he has accomplished the goal of being a boxer but he says his journey wasn’t easy.
“I knew I wanted to be a boxer at five years old.” Briggs said. “I love the one-on-one match-ups. I like the fact that there is no one to help me in the ring, it’s just me, my fists and my feet and it’s my job to study and know my opponent better than he knows himself.”
Unfortunately for Briggs, his dream of becoming a boxer wouldn’t be accomplished until he was 18 years old. While he was a student at Chadsey High School in Detroit, Michigan, Briggs’s main focus became the Marines.
“Growing up, it cost money to receive training for boxing and my family couldn’t afford it.” Briggs replied. “So instead I focused on school and I eventually started to focus on the Marines.”
While that may seem odd to some, Briggs says he felt the Marines was what he needed at the time.
“I honestly thought the Marines was what needed.” Briggs said. “The Marines are all about discipline which is what I am all about, so I felt it was a great fit. Plus, I am always looking for challenge and I thought the Marines would be great challenge and I knew I would learn a lot during my time in the Marines.”
Although Briggs’s goal was to enter the Marines after graduating from Chadsey High School in 2008, he wouldn’t accomplish that goal due to his uncle becoming sick and being admitted to the hospital. While some would call that tough luck, Briggs calls it fate.
“My uncle getting sick was unfortunate because of course I didn’t want to see him sick plus it stopped me from going to the Marines because I had to be there for him.” Briggs said. “However, at the same time, my uncle getting sick, cause me to get angry and since I was angry I needed a way to get out my aggression. So I walked into a gym and hit the bag and once I hit the bag, I never stopped.”
From that moment, Briggs traded in his goal of going to Marines and focused on his first dream of becoming a boxer and he say’s the only thing he regrets is the fact that he started boxing so late.
“I don’t have many regrets in my life but I will say that I regret waiting until I was 18 years old to start boxing.” Briggs replied. “Some may feel that experience isn’t key with boxing but trust me it is, but unfortunately when I was younger it cost a lot to pay for boxing lessons so I wasn’t able to afford it until I was able to take care of myself.”
With that in mind, Briggs wouldn’t waste much more time, as he immediately joined the legendary Kronk Gym in Detroit, Michigan. Now for those who don’t know, the Kronk Gym was a boxing training facility led by the famous trainer Emanuel Steward, who trained Hilmer Kenty, Thomas Hearns and Mickey Goodwin, Milton McCrory and many more. However since Emanuel Steward died, the name of the gym has changed to Clark Street Gym but Briggs says while the name may be changed, in his mind and the rest of the boxers minds, it is still Kronk gym, because they still hold the same storied boxing traditions and just like the Kronk gym, Clark Street Gym teaches the art of boxing to Detroit’s youth, with a company motto of “Believe in One, Respect All, Fear None.”
Since joining the Clark Street Gym, Briggs has participated in 30 competitions, wining 27 of those competitions, each victory making him a better boxer. While most would be surprised by his immediate success, Briggs says he isn’t his surprised.
“I’m a smart boxer.” Briggs said. “I believe my intelligence is my biggest strength in the ring. Don’t get me wrong, I have good feet and great combinations but my intelligence is my best asset in the ring. I do a good job of learning from other boxers and trainers and studying my opponents, which I feel gives me an edge in the ring.”
Briggs also says his parents and four siblings are happy with all that he has accomplished and they support him at his matches as often as they can.
“My parents are very happy for me and have supported me.” Briggs said. “My siblings are just as happy for me and have been there to support me at my various matches.”
Now, due to his success in the ring, Briggs has been offered an opportunity to join a small company called Fire Proof Boxing in Grand Rapids, Michigan, which helps him to get one step closer to his goal.
“They basically help to get my career going on a bigger stage.” Briggs replied. “They set up photo-shoots, promos and even schedule my first couple fights for more exposure but eventually the goal is for them to move me to Vegas.”
While Briggs admits that he is ready and eager to take his boxing career to the next level, he says that making it to the top is not his only goal anymore.
“I definitely want to be one of the best boxers and I am going to do all that I can to accomplish that.” Briggs said. “but, my other main goal is to train and promote other boxers, once I am finished with my own career. I love boxing, that will never change but I also love the idea of training and promoting other boxers … most would think that I am doing it for the money and recognition but I want to do it because boxing is what I love and I want to use my experience to help another young boxer accomplish his goals one day…. so once my boxing career is over, that’s what I plan to do.”
I don’t know about you but based on what I know about Briggs, I think he would make an excellent boxing trainer and promoter. There is no doubt in my mind that once he finishes his own great career in the ring, he will help to make someone’s else career great in the ring. However, for now he is still in the ring, and with the goal to be the best, I encourage a lot of you to lookout for this young man, remember he earned the nickname “Young Floyd” for a reason.
Written by LBeasley (Lauren Beasley), Sports Contributor for Radio One Detroit