Rob "Bravo" Brant hails from St. Paul, Minn., but his professional boxing home is the Grand Casino Hinckley. He fought there 11 times as an up-and-coming pro, and for his world first title defense, he'll make his triumphant return. (photos by Mikey Williams).
Brant (24-1, 16 KOs) will defend his WBA middleweight crown against the unbeaten Khasan Baysangurov (17-0, 7 KOs) on Friday as the headliner on an ESPN-televised card (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT). Two days before his big homecoming, Brant, along with bantamweight contender Joshua Greer Jr. and female fighting sensation Mikaela Mayer, hosted a "Clinic with the Pros" at the nearby Meshakwad Community Center.
More than 50 children from the Hinckley area were in attendance to learn fistic fundamentals from three of the world's best.
Greer (19-1-1, 11 KOs) will look to extend his KO streak to 7 against Giovanni Escaner (19-3, 12 KOs), while Mayer (9-0, 4 KOs) will make the second defense of her NABF super featherweight belt against Yareli Larios (13-1-1, 3 KOs).
Brant manned the jump rope station, Mayer was in the ring teaching technique, and Greer gave one-on-one instruction on the heavy bag.