Supported by his father (three-time World Boxing champion Julian “The Hawk” Jackson) and longtime trainer David Rogers, Sr., Virgin Islands’ amateur power puncher Clayton Laurent Jr. is moving onto the professional ranks.
Laurent announced Friday that he has signed a management contract with managers Matt Clark and Philippe Fondu who have joined forces to guide Laurent’s career. Laurent wraps up his amateur career with a record of 40-15. He is also a four time Paul Murphy Trophy Award winner and has the distinction of having represented the territory at the 2016 Olympic Games, where he trumped No. 1 seed Erik Pfeiffer in the preliminaries.
“I am excited to be starting this new chapter in my life,” Laurent, a super heavy-weight fighter, said. “I’ve been around the world representing the U.S. Virgin Islands as an amateur and now it’s time to do it as a professional! My dream has always been to be a world champion, not only in the ring, but in my home community as well. I know the time is right, and after learning so much in the Olympics, our team feels confident that this is the right time to take it to the next level.”
“I watched the Olympics with a lot of interest and with Clayton, I saw a boxer with plenty of talent and a style that can make an impact on the bigger stage,” Clark said. “I got in touch with my business partner Philippe Fondu and showed him some footage and he was impressed as well. We beat some of the biggest names in boxing to get Clayton’s signature. We are delighted.” Indeed, it was Laurent’s prowess at the Olympics that caught the eye of his new managers.
“I know what it takes to move a fighter to a world title. I think if Clayton stays dedicated, the world is his oyster. He’s a big heavyweight with good footwork and fast hands, and it’s going to be fun to watch as he develops under the tutelage of his father, Julian Jackson”.
Fondu added that Laurent is “one of the most exciting prospects” to have come out of the 2016 Olympics. “Clayton impresses me in a number of ways, and it’s an honor to be associated with him. He’s of upstanding character and wants to represent the people of the U.S. Virgin Islands to the fullest of his potential,” Fondu said. “He has all the tools to become a force in the heavyweight division – he displayed these qualities in Rio, but we believe he can progress and improve even more. He’s one of the most exciting prospects to come out of the Rio Games”.
Laurent’s high caliber management and training team is matched by sponsors FirstBank and Rock City Wellness, who have both expressed their excitement at being able to take Laurent to be next level.
“FirstBank is extremely excited to begin this partnership with Clayton. In our meetings with Clayton, we were impressed by not only his professional demeanor and positive image and values, but also by his strong community involvement. Clayton has an innate desire to be a positive influence on his community and do great things and we are proud to be a part of his journey and development –both in and out of the boxing ring,” said Victor Santiago, FirstBank’s Senior Vice President and Regional Business Director.
Drs. Tylur and Tygue Arvidson of Rock City Wellness have also opened up Rock City Wellness as a home-base for Laurent. “Many past champions in boxing have trusted their health to the natural healing options and full-body preventative benefits of chiropractic. As we like to say: we’ve got Clayton’s back,” said Dr. Tygue Arvidson. “Rock City Wellness is also excited to help support Clayton’s aspirations to empower youth through mentorship. Clayton’s dedication to training and community development is a prime example of the community leadership needed from young men in the Virgin Islands.”