ST. THOMAS, U.S. Virgin Islands – St. Thomas natives and brothers John and Julius Jackson are going for gold in Beijing where they are currently competing side-by-side in the 2008 Olympic Games boxing competition. A total of 286 boxers will face off in the competition, which began on August 9 and will last until August 24.
The Jackson brothers are affiliated with the Boxing Federation of the U.S. Virgin Islands, located in the Paul M. Pearson Housing Community, a temporary training facility in St. Thomas. Julius qualified for the Olympic trials in Guatemala in April, weighing in at 81 kg. His younger brother John, who weighs in at 69 kg, qualified for the Olympic trials in Trinidad in February. This is the first time both brothers have been eligible for the Olympics.
Boxing is a family affair for the Jacksons. John and Julius’ father, Julian Jackson, nicknamed “The Hawk,” is a former professional boxer from the USVI, and three-time world champion of the middle weight and junior middle weight divisions. He has continued his involvement in the local boxing field as a trainer and coach.
St. Thomas natives and brothers John and Julius Jackson are going for gold in Beijing in the 2008 Olympic Games boxing competition.
Photograph courtesy of Nick Schneeman at The Daily News
Before arriving in Beijing for the start of the boxing competition on Saturday, the Jackson brothers and their former champion father attended a two-week camp in Seoul, Korea in order to acclimate themselves to the 12-hour time difference and climate, similar to nearby Beijing.
The boxing competitions are currently underway, with John Jackson gaining a 4-2 win over Mahamad Nirudzinau of Belarus in this week’s earlier match-up.