Tiara “T Baby” Brown is Both Featherweight Contender and Police Officer of the Year
By Felipe Leon
Who would have thought a baby named after a Duncan Hines cookie from the 80s would grow to be an extraordinary accomplished boxer as well as Washington D.C.’s Police Officer of the Year?
That is exactly what happened with 30-year-old Tiara “T-Baby” Brown (7-0, 5KO). Originally from Ft. Myers, Florida, and growing up a Roy Jones Jr. fan, Brown’s first love was not the ring but a running track.
“I went to college on a full-ride scholarship for cross-country,” Brown said in an exclusive interview with the 2Min Round, the all-female boxing podcast. “I have always been a runner, track and cross-country in middle school, high school and college. I also played basketball in middle school and high school.”
“When I was in middle school I had two cousins that when I was in basketball practice they would be in boxing,” she explained. “I started going to the gym just to waste some time and I would see them fighting in there and nobody was getting in trouble for it. I just started going to the gym. I used to get beat up all the time by my older cousin. She was actually ranked #2 in the nation at that time. She used to beat me up so bad I didn’t know if I liked it, getting punched in the face. Eventually I figured I could hang with it.”
That began a now a very successful 18-year career of strapping on the gloves, first in the amateurs and now in the pros.
The eloquent and charismatic Brown, who campaigns in the paid ranks between 126-130 pounds, was a standout in the amateurs amassing over 100 fights and the highest level of awards short of an Olympic medal. She was the 2015 USA National champion while taking bronze in 2014 at the Worlds as well as the National title in the United States. She was also National champion in 2012 as well as a gold medalist at the Worlds.
“All of the US tournaments because you have to fight to get there, you just don’t sign up,” said Brown about which amateur tournaments she participated in. Adding that her favorite was the World Championship where she captured a gold medal. “Once you get there you are there with the top fighters of the nation. You know you deserve to be there. I think those tournaments are great, you learn a lot and you get exposed to different fighters, different techniques, different coaches, and different skill sets. I really miss being on the USA team.”
“I miss traveling the world and meeting different women from different countries,” she continued. “Some of my closest friends are not American, they are fighters from different countries that I met in these 18 years I have been boxing. We keep in touch on Facebook, Instagram, we can still see each other. I have two really good friends in China and they can barely speak English. We Facetime.”
Dream Team and Officer of the Year
In 2015 the USA women’s boxing team could be considered a “dream team” with not only Brown in its ranks but also Queen Underwood, Mikaela Mayer, Christina Cruz, Raquel Miller and Claressa Shields.
On her way to being part of the team and as well as in her amateur career Brown faced Mayer a number of times. “I think we fought four times, I won two and she won two so we are even. I’m pretty sure we will meet up down the line in our professional careers. We will just leave it at that. May the best woman win. It’ll probably go the distance, it will be a great fight.”
One other she thinks she will be facing in the pro ranks is a favorite of hers as well as of many others, the unified lightweight champion Katie Taylor.
“I would like to fight Katie sometime down the line,” she said thoughtfully. “We are actually good friends. Actually, I think it was when I won my World gold medal in 2012 she came to watch me fight, her and her father who was her coach at the time, they told me they knew all about me. They had been watching my career while I was watching Katie Taylor fights before I even made the USA team. She was one of my favorite fighters to watch. We have never boxed each other but we have fought in the same tournaments, I was always in a smaller weight class.”
While working on her boxing career Brown worked on her education earning a criminal justice major from Columbia University and has been patrolling the streets of our nation’s capital for a number of years, “I always knew I would be in law enforcement but didn’t know in what capacity. Growing up I used to watch a U.S. Marshalls show. I thought they were off the hook. I wanted to kick down doors and battle with the bad guys.”
“I have been a police officer for four years and recently I received the Police Officer of the Year award for 2018,” Brown said proudly. “I have my own cruiser now that says Officer of the Year on it. I can be driving down the street and people are waving me down asking me if I am the Officer of the Year, it is awesome.”
The popularity she has earned from being the Officer of the Year helps her promote her other job and get people to open their eyes towards female boxing.
“I have kids from eight years old to adults in their 50s who have never watched boxing ever but they have gotten to know me,” she explained. “They are interested in boxing now. Even guys who never respect women’s boxing, they know who I am and they have watched my journey and now are in love with women’s boxing as well. It just takes one good fight for them to see and then they are like, ‘wow, the women can do the same thing the men can do.’”
A pro since the fall of 2016 and fighting out of the Old School Boxing gym under the tutelage of Buddy Harrison and Marcus Paterson, Brown has her first opportunity for a title fight in May and in her new hometown of D.C.
“It is for the IBF intercontinental belt and it will be May 18th here in the nation’s capital, D.C., in the new D.C. Entertainment Arena. It is actually the WNBA Mystics women’s basketball arena,” she shared. “Everyone is really excited, I am excited. The chief of police will be there, the assistant chiefs will be there. I have a lot of family, friends and fans flying in from all the way from Florida. They said that when I would have my first title fight they will come and they are sticking to their guns. I think that is so awesome that I am going to have supporters flying in from my hometown to watch me in my first title fight. It makes it 100 times more special to me.”
It all was made possible by signing with one of the most supportive promoters of female boxing in the United States, Lou DiBella of DiBella Entertainment. Usually a promoter sees a fighter perform and then after a serious of talks signs a contract with the fighter. Brown and DiBella’s relationship was much more organic than that.
“It was God’s plan that I signed with Lou. I love Lou. He is true to his word, everything he says, he means it,” she said. “He is not the type of person that will tell you something and then the whole time is not believing it. He is honest and genuine. I reached out to him once and he replied. Ended up in us developing a relationship and it ended up in him wanting to sign me and I was just thrilled.”
(Editor’s note: Brown is scheduled to fight on May 18. Look for our story on the pending title fight.)
Listen to the full exclusive interview by visiting BlogTalkRadio.com/2MinRound