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Lakeland boxer to dedicate first professional fight to late mother

Carisse Brown is looking forward to her first professional boxing match on Sept. 12. She's dedicating the fight to her mother, Ollie, who died on Jan. 31.

LAKELAND, Fla. — Heartache has been following Carisse Brown in 2020.

“My mother. She passed January 31,” she said.

That, followed by the loss of Brown’s uncle from a car crash two weeks ago. It’s been an emotional battle. 

“Just staying focused, really. Boxing helps,” said Brown.

A few years ago, when we first met Brown, she was preparing for her first amateur fight. Her amateur career progressed so well, friends, especially her trainer, “Lady Ram”, suggested Brown pursue a professional career in boxing.

“If I’m an elite athlete, she’s a super-elite athlete,” Laura Ramsey, who goes by “Lady Ram”, said in 2018.

Ramsey and Brown have become business partners at Big Dreams Boxing Academy. Brown is working out with “basically no days off” in preparation for her professional debut on September 12.

The career move would have made mom proud.

“That was an extra push that made me want to do it because my mom, you could tell, when she gets excited there is a gleam in her eye and she starts smiling and poking me. She was happier with the decision about me going pro so I just decided it was a win-win situation,” said Brown. “In my opinion she is watching so I know that when I get the win she’s going to be thrilled.”

Ollie suffered a brain hemorrhage shortly after Carisse was born. She spent time in a full-time care facility in Lakeland, dealing with dementia as well during her final years. She was against Carisse fighting initially but came around after she saw the passion her daughter had for the sport.

“If there is a bigger fan, I want to meet them,” joked Ollie during Carisse’s amateur career.

Brown injured her eye in her final amateur fight in November. She’s healed now and ready for her first professional bout. She’ll fight at the Lakeland’s Old Polk Theater.

“It’s a different flow,” she said of professional fighting. “It’s more strategic and of course you work on perfecting your craft. I know I have a lot more to learn. I’ve only been in boxing for three years.”

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