LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Growing up, Carlos Dixon had no plans of stardom.

“I really didn’t focus on anything. I was kind of all over the place,” said Carlos, who will make his professional debut as a fighter Saturday at Freedom Hall.  

No like any typical teen, what he really wanted six years ago was to get dad off his back.

“I noticed that his grades started slipping in school,” said James, his father and coach. 

“He was like ‘pick a sport. You got one week,'’” said Carlos.

And so began the career of Louisville’s newest professional boxer.

The 20-year-old didn’t know it then but his choice to box would wind up changing both he and he’s dad’s lives forever.

“He had my back. I had his. It’s kind of how it went,” said Carlos.

When Carlos first started, he and his dad trained out of their own garage. All they had was a treadmill, a boxing bag, and a desire to be the best.

“After that 1st year, his body started taking shape you. You know he admired himself in the mirror,” said James.

Dad liked what he saw too. And so a short time later, he decided to go all in. He got out of the construction business and wound up opening up his own gym, Louisville TKO. 

You play all kinds of sports. Football, basketball. You don’t play boxing,” said James. “There are a lot of sacrifices in this game.”

But for his son, there was no sacrifice too great. The potential was there and soon, so was the reward in the form of a pro contract from Real Deal Promotions. 

“We are just two guys that started in a garage in East Jefferson. It pays off,” said James.

And to think, without some tough love from dad, it wouldn’t have been possible. 

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