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Natalie Brown
© Copyrighted photo taken by Michael Alberts


Junior welterweight Natalie "Too Bad" Brown was born on 1 January 1979 in Maryland,  but has lived in Jamaica, Georgia (USA) and Canada.  She began boxing in 1998 in Atlanta, GA by taking aerobic kickboxing classes at Biggs Morrison Boxing Gym to get in shape while a freshman at Georgia Perimeter College. She was motivated to stay actively involved in sports after a stalking incident.

"All I knew about boxing was Muhammad Ali," Brown told Joe O'Connor of Canada's National Post. "I was a girly-girl. My parents put me in pageants. I liked to do hair." 

She not only fell in love with boxing at the gym, she also met her future husband Chris “Mr. Showtime” Johnson there. The Jamaican-born Johnson had won a bronze medal for Canada in the 1992 Olympic Boxing competition and was a former WBF and NABF Light Heavyweight champion. He persuaded Brown to take up competitive boxing so that she might also make it to the Olympics some day. Johnny Gant was her amateur coach.

At the 1999 National Women's Golden Gloves, Natalie lost by a 5-0 decision to Micki Pryor of New York in the semifinal of the 147-lb Open division.

At the 2000 National Women's Golden Gloves at Augusta, Georgia in August 9-12, 2000, Natalie won the 147-lb division by defeating Sha’Mell Carter, of Kansas City, Kan., 5-0 in the quarterfinal, Micki Pryor of Wheatley Heights, NY, 4-1 in the semi-final and then winning on a first-round retirement over Heather Frady of Peachtree City, GA in the final.  Brown, who became the first Georgia-based female boxer to win the National Golden Gloves, told WBAN correspondent Rick McLean that her experience at this competition made all the difference in her career. “It was there things started to click for me, I was able to calm down, think and fight in the ring and that took me to a whole other level and it made me a more composed fighter in the ring.”

In the 156-lb division at the 2000 Eastern Gear-Up in Lexington, Kentucky, Natalie scored a 5-0 win over Mary Jane Hudson of Missouri in her first bout, but lost by a 5-0 decision to Angel Bovee of New York in her second.

Natalie went on to gain the 2000 National Police Athletic League (PAL) title on December 15 in New Orleans with a 14-1 decision over Sha'Mell Carter of Kansas City. This PAL performance earned her the United States Amateur Boxing Athlete of the Month award for December 2000.

Natalie retained her National Golden Gloves title in 2001 by defeating Jill Emery of New York. When she met Emery again at the 2001 USA Boxing National Championships at Camp Lejeune, they ended the bout tied at 13-13 on the points scorecard but Natalie lost to Emery by 17-15 on the punch count.  

This razor-thin loss to Jill Emery cost Natalie a place on the US team for the world championships but her mother suggested that she contact the Jamaican Boxing Board about representing Jamaica because of her heritage. Natalie became the entire Jamaican team at the 2001 AIBA Women's World championships in Scranton, Pennsylvania, where she lost to Irina Sinetskaya of Russia in the 67-kg final.

At the 2002 Women's U.S. National Championships in Scranton, PA., she also secured a spot on the 2002 USA Women's World Championship Team by winning the 147-lb final on August 2 with a 10-9 decision over Elizabeth Quevado of Commerce, CA. Natalie had previously defeated Vikki Marlow of San Diego, CA by 19-6 in the semifinal and Tammy Evans of Glendale, AA by RSC-1 in the quarterfinal.

At the 2002 National Women's Golden Gloves in Rosemont, lllinois on August 21-24, 2002, Natalie won the 147-lb division for the third straight time by defeating Desiree Mistretta of New York by a decision in the final after previously defeating Elizabeth Mooney of New York in the semi final. 

At the AIBA Women's World Championships in Antalya, Turkey from October 21-28, 2002 Natalie again lost to Irina Sinetskaya of Russia in the 67-kg final. Brown's silver medal was however one of only four medals for the US team, and her second straight world championship silver medal earned her USA Boxing Athlete of the Month for October. She was later named USA Boxing's 2002 Female Athlete of the Year.

Natalie left amateur boxing and took several years off from competition  to focus on her family after marrying Chris Johnson - they have a young son, Omar.  She was inspired to come back into the sport at the pro level after she saw some of her fellow amateurs - Carina Moreno, Jill Emery, Ann Marie Saccurato, Yvonne Reis - move into the pro ranks.

In 2005 Natalie tested the waters of top level boxing in a four round exhibition match with Jelena Mrdjenovich (18-2, 11 KO’s) of Edmonton, Alberta. Brown told Rick McLean that she had been back in fighting shape for only two months at the time and felt that some of the people in Edmonton tried to play mind games with her but that once the bout started “I realized that people can really write a cheque for you that you’re a$$ can’t cash and that’s what they did for Jelena because on that night you could hear a pin drop in the arena, they couldn’t cheer for her because the world champion could do nothing against me and I had only 1 fight.” Natalie went on to say that she is looking forward to fighting in Alberta again in the future!

She made her official pro debut on January 28, 2006 at the Little River Casino in Manistee, Michigan, winning by a second round KO over debut fighter Christina Jones of Cincinnatti, Ohio,

On May 12, 2006 at the Little River Casino in Manistee, Michigan, Natalie (148 lbs) TKO'd Kimberly Jackson (152 lbs) of Fort Wayne, Indiana at the end of the second round, dropping Jackson to 0-2.

On July 1, 2006, again at the Little River Casino, Natalie (139 bs) TKO'd Rebecca Gill (144 lbs) of Muskegon, Michigan at 1:27 in the first round. 

Natalie Brown vs Ingrid Hay in September 2006
© Copyrighted photo taken by Michael Alberts

On September 16, 2006, again at the Little River Casino, Natalie faced then unbeaten Ingrid Hay of Livonia, Michigan. Natalie won by a 40-36,40-36,40-36 unanimous decision, dropping the 40-year-old  Hay's record to 4-1-1 (3 KO's). For more photos of this fight by Michael Alberts see Photo Gallery #394 on the WBAN Records Member Site.

Natalie did not fight in 2007 as she was unable to find opponents ready to fight her.

Natalie dropped Kelli Cofer twice in a Jan 2008 four-rounder
© Copyrighted photo taken by Durell Wambolt

On January 19, 2008 at Casino Rama in Orillia, Ontario, Canada, 5,200 fans saw Natalie (138˝ lbs) win a four-round unanimous decision over the well-traveled  Kelli Cofer (136˝ lbs) of Willard, Ohio, who fell to 13-7-4 (3 KO's). Natalie dominated the bout and scored two knockdowns on her way to the win, taking her pro record to 5-0.  (For more photos of this fight by Durell Wambolt, see Photo Gallery #465 on the WBAN Records Member Site).

On May 9, 2008 at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan, in what was said to be the first time that the Japan Boxing Commission officially recognized a women’s boxing event, Emiko Raika (136 lbs) of Tokyo, Japan won a hard fought six-round majority (58-57,58-56,58-58) decision over Natalie (136Ľ lbs).  Raika improved to 18-3-1 (6 KO's).

On September 26, 2009 at the Yesha Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Rachel Clark (143˝ lbs) of Philadelphia won a four-round majority (38-38,39-37,39-37) decision over Natalie Brown (144˝ lbs).  Clark improved her record to 3-2-1 (2 KO's) with the win while dropping Natalie to 5-2-0 (3 KO's)

In her spare time Natalie likes to draw, write music and play the violin. "I'm very much a lady. I get my hair done. I get my nails done. I'm smart and well spoken. I'm not tough or masculine," she told the Jamaica Gleaner's Sacha Walters.

Natalie now lives in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada and trains at husband Chris Johnson's Fighting Alliance gym. She is always in the gym to stay and shape and is looking to improve as a boxer. Johnson, who left boxing after a cranial bleed  incurred in a bout with Antonio Tarver, says he has no reservations about Natalie boxing: "She is a fighter. And a fighter needs to fight to live. What would I be without fighting?"

Natalie wants promoters to know she is calling out all of the women who hold titles, and she is willing to fight in Europe and to travel to other women’s backyards to get fights. 

Other Natalie Brown links

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Page last updated: Monday, 10 December 2012


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