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The cell phone lit up with a text from V.I. boxer Julius “The Chef” Jackson. “Both new champs!” the message said. Just a couple hours earlier, at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, Jackson’s brother John Jackson and cousin Samuel Rogers made their successful Las Vegas debut, in bouts scheduled during the World Boxing Council’s 49th Annual World Convention, both winning by knockouts.
Both boxers had been training for the past month for the bouts, including doubling up on their already intense workout routine, and spending extra hours sparring, and on the bags.

John Jackson was fighting for a vacant Youth WBC super welterweight title, while Rogers was a contender for the vacant WBC FECARBOX belt. From the beginning, however, both boxers remained confident in their abilities to deliver a KO, and it seemed Saturday morning that all their hard work and dedication had paid off.

Boxing President Jose Rosario said that the convention’s fight night was attended by 1,200 WBC delegates, including several former world champions that were all in the front row watching Jackson fight.

Rogers was initially scheduled to make his debut against a fighter out of Houston, Texas, but the fight card got changed about two weeks before the fight. At a press conference on Dec. 2, boxing officials announced that Rogers had also been booked for a title bout, making the stakes even higher for the V.I. contingent as they left for Las Vegas.