Veteran Boxer Justin Thomas, 35, Shot And Killed In Baton Rouge

A good day for Justin Thomas was anytime he could make a difference in the lives of anyone with whom he came in contact.

That warm feeling was taken in an instant as Labor Day weekend came to a close.

The aspiring light heavyweight contender was murdered overnight in his hometown of Baton Rouge, La. The incident took place in the early hours of Tuesday morning, as Thomas was shot while walking to his car a block away from Benny’s Bar and Lounge, where he had spent a portion of his Monday evening.


He was still alive and fighting for his life when discovered in a nearby field, at which point he was transported to the hospital for emergency care.

Thomas was pronounced dead soon after arriving at the hospital, which local authorities notified resulted in the second homicide in the area over the holiday weekend.

According to Baton Rouge Police Department spokesperson Sgt. L’Jean McKneely, noted that the matter is under investigation, although detectives have yet to identify suspects or motive for the horrific crime.

Thomas (19-5, 7KOs) would have turned 36 years old later this month.

“JT was loving and never hesitated to show his affection for his people,” Derek Major, Thomas’ manager told of his longtime client and close friend. “He’d always tell me, ‘I love you Big Bro’ whenever he saw me, as he did so many other folks.”

Thomas turned pro in 2012, shortly after relocating to Baton Rouge from Houston, Texas. The return home in came after his mother suffered near-fatal injuries sustained in a car accident, requiring 24-hour care during her recovery process.

From there came an honest pro career, one that perhaps didn’t live up to early expectations but where he always gave a respectable account of himself. Thomas was a fixture on the local circuit, often appearing in the long-running World Fighting Championships (WFC) series at Belle of Baton Rouge Casino, which housed 16 of his 24 pro bouts.

As familiar was Thomas’ face on the local scene, so too was his signature look.

“Man, he loved those white earphones,” Major noted. “He’d wear them to every function.”

Thomas ultimately suffered losses in four of his last five ring appearances. He managed to give Mike Lee all that he could handle in an eventual majority decision defeat in Feb. 2017, two years before Lee would go on to challenge for a super middleweight title.

The final pro fight of his seven-year career came this past June, dropping a competitive 12-round decision to super middleweight prospect Eric Moon in Elkins, West Virginia.

His impact on the community extended far beyond the ropes. A troubled youth by his own admission, Thomas returned to Baton Rouge as a man with purpose, determined to better the lives of those around him from close family members to strangers who would eventually become his friends.

“I try to use the things that used to get me in trouble to better myself,” Thomas told during an interview in 2015 when he was still an undefeated super middleweight prospect. “I work with troubled kids. Just because you start off on the wrong foot doesn’t mean you can’t turn things around.”

As the investigation remains open, Baton Rouge police are urging anyone with knowledge of the horrific crime to contact Violent Crimes Unit (VCU) at (225) 389-4869 or Crime Stoppers at (225) 344-7867.

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for Twitter: @JakeNDaBox

User Comments and Feedback
Comment by The D3vil on 09-04-2019

Rest In Peace, brother

Comment by Barristan on 09-04-2019

Cold ass world man I swear....RIP Champ

Comment by MeanestNiceGuy on 09-04-2019

Sadly, most guys get their lives taken in their hometown...a sad and disgusting trend that's as old as time, I swear. This man had to take care of his mom, which I'm sure was the ONLY thing that kept him…

Comment by P4Pdunny on 09-04-2019

This is so sad. R.I.P

Comment by Tomasio on 09-04-2019

May He R.I.P..Sad to see this type of news, especially when it's someone who was actually doing something for the community & the kids.

Top Headlines
Petr Petrov is Back in Main Event Slot on Thompson Card Jimmy Kelly Jr. Inks Promotional Pact With Greg Cohen Hunter vs. Povetkin Clash In Works For Ruiz-Joshua II Undercard Taylor vs. Serrano At MSG Theater is Targeted By Hearn, DiBella Munguia: I Don't Know If This Is My Last Fight At 154 Pounds Terry Flanagan vs. Michael Ansah Set Down For October 11 Promoter: The Sky is Now The Limit for Otto Wallin British Boxing News: Conlan-Nikitin II, Natasha Jonas, More Lamont Roach Extends Pact With Golden Boy Promotions Alamo vs. Moran Kicks Off Telemundo Fall Season Parker, Should He Beat Chisora, Wants Rematch With Whyte Jarrell Miller Acknowledges ESPN Talks, Still Open To DAZN Return Crawford: Kavaliauskas Can Fight, No Matter What's Said Hearn: I Want To Thank Bob Arum For All The Publicity Tyson Fury's Cutman: That Was Worst Cut That I've Ever Seen Al Siesta Enters Russian Boxing with Troyanovskiy and KOntender Warren: Fury Won With Serious Injury, Does Not Affect His Standing Tetteh Feels Dubois Overlooking Him Like Joshua Did Ruiz Chavez Jr. Says a Deal To Fight Daniel Jacobs is 'Close' For 12/14 David Haye Reacts To Tyson Fury's Win in Vegas, Talks Cut Chris Algieri Reacts To Tyson Fury's Win, Talks Cut Eastern Europe Update: Churbanov, Perez, Tischenko, More Arum: If Fury Underestimated Wallin, Would've Lost Serrano: Hardy is a Warrior, She Came And Stood For 10 Rounds Wallin: Fury Stole Some Rounds, But A Fair Decision Arum: Fury's Cut Shouldn't Push Back Wilder Rematch Fury's Trainer Hits Back at John Fury's Plea To Fire The Team Nadjib Mohammedi, Firat Arlsan, Mariusz Wach Pick Up Wins Tyson Fury: Doctors Did Fantastic Job, Got Fifty Stitches Jessica McCaskill vs. Erica Farias Rematch on Usyk-Spong Ryan Garcia: This Was Chance To Stand My Ground, Get Respect Otto Wallin's Promoter: We Have A New Top Heavyweight Frank Warren Admits Fury's Cuts Could Delay Wilder Rematch How Billy Walsh is Reviving United States Olympic Hopes Fury: Cut Changed The Fight, I Could Not See Out of That Eye Jaime Munguia Beats Down Patrick Allotey For TKO Win Haney: If I'm So Easy, No-Machenko Should Get Me Out The Way Tyson Fury Suffers Severe Cut, Decisions Otto Wallin Jose Zepeda Wins Big, Decisions Jose Pedraza Emanuel Navarrete Batters, Stops Juan Miguel Elorde
Latest Forum Threads