Courson made his pro boxing debut on July 8, knocking out Cornelius Gibbs just one minute and 18 seconds into the first round of his heavyweight bout.
The 6-foot-2, 240-pound pugilist will make a second appearance in the ring at Bulldog Brawl III on Aug. 18. The fight will be held at the Gold Dust Park Arena in Villa Rica.
Courson attended Coosa High, where he was a starting offensive lineman for the football team and wrestled as a heavyweight.
During Courson’s sophomore year, he heard of a boxing gym in Cape Spring and jumped at the opportunity to train under former boxer Lee Fortune, who amassed a pro record of 30-25-2.
Courson trained hard at first, and eventually went on to win his first seven amateur fights while still attending Coosa, where football and wrestling began to fade into the background, where he looked at them as more of a hobby.
The young fighter’s early work paid off in the ring as he went on to win the 2008 Georgia Games Super Heavyweight Title.
However, Courson admits that he didn’t give boxing all the focus it deserves, leading to a balloon in weight and two consecutive losses.
“I wasn’t taking in seriously and I was focused more on stuff outside of the ring,” said Courson.
Courson went on to admit, half jokingly, that “stuff outside the ring” included a girl and an insatiable craving for pizza that saw his weight jump from 240 to 275.
After watching tape on one of his losses, Courson said that he hated the way he looked, and focused on getting his career back on track. He went on to win his next six bouts.
Courson graduated from Coosa in 2010 and set on a path to turn pro, which included heading to Douglasville to train with Jerry Hill, who has been in the sport for over three decades and has trained five championship title contenders.
With his six-fight winning streak, and new-found dedication to training, Courson was able to make his first pro fight happen in July, though nerves almost got the best of him before the fight started.
“I felt like I was going to throw up,” Courson said. “But once the bell rang I was okay.”
Courson was more than okay as he punished Gibbs through the first minute, and finally ended the bout with a left hook, that sent his opponent face first to the mat.
“I lost control, there was so much emotion,” Courson said. “I was never really born with natural athletic ability. Everything I earned was through hard work.”
Courson still resides in Rome and is attending Georgia Highlands College, where he is majoring in Physical Therapy to back up his boxing career.
He hopes to eventually get an internship with Floyd Hospital in their new Advanced Rehab Center and wants to work with either high school or college kids after graduating.
Courson was raised in Rome by his grandparents Jerry and Mary Courson. He is also close to his little brother, Michael Long.
Tickets will be available for Beatdown Brawl III at Gold Dust Park Arena the day of the fight. The fight will be headlined by former unified cruiserweight champion O’Neil Bell. Bell and Evander Holyfield are the only boxers ever to carry all the belts in their weight class at the same time.
Individual tickets are available for $30, $40, and $50. Pre-sale individual tickets are available at a $5 discount by calling Hill at 770-885-2315 or Richard Ashby at 202-213-0133. VIP table of four tickets are also available for $500.