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He began training as a boxer at the Garfield Park Field House under the tutelage of head trainer George Hernandez. Brown won several state and regional tournaments as a junior in the USA Boxing system, and also won the Chicago Golden Gloves tournament in the men's open division in 2010 and 2011. Brown's 2012 USA Olympic Team bid was ended when he was shot on two separate occasions.
Brown had a 370–20 record as an amateur. He turned professional on December 14, 2012 at the Cicero Stadium, using the fight moniker "Bad Boy". He was shot later that month. Brown fought two more times in 2013 before he was shot again and spent 10 months in Cook County Corrections on a gun charge.
While he was in jail boxing manager Mike Cericola, a union plumber from the Bridgeport neighborhood, presented him to Las Vegas boxing manager Cameron Dunkin. Dunkin signed Brown to a managerial contract and Brown fought 13 fights over a six-month period, including three fights in August 2015. On September 30, 2016, Brown scored a TKO victory over Robert Acevedo as part of a live TV broadcast on the CBS Sports Network. In Brown's biggest fight of his career, he battled former world ranked contender Albert Mensah on November 11, 2016 in Philadelphia, winning by unanimous decision. Brown was scheduled to fight on a Showtime Sports ShowBox Next Generation telecast on January 20, 2017.
Brown was a member of "The Broke Team", a group of professional boxers who train at Garfield Park that includes world ranked contender Adrían Granados. At the time of his death he had a 20–0 pro record with 16 knockouts.
In the early hours of December 3, 2016 after returning home from a work out, Brown was sitting in his car in front of his home in Garfield Park when an unknown gunman opened fire. Brown was struck several times, including in the head, and he died the next evening on December 4.
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- "NBC 5 Segment prior to Brown's Death".
- "2010 National Golden Gloves Results". Team USA. May 5, 2010. http://www.teamusa.org/USA-Boxing/Features/2010/May/05/2010-National-Golden-Gloves-Results.
- "Ed Brown is the goods". December 28, 2015. http://thaboxingvoice.com/55427-2/55427?var=no.
- Hillmann, Bill (November 11, 2016). "The Fighter Who Survived 8 Shootings to Become Boxing's Next Big Thing". https://melmagazine.com/the-fighter-who-has-survived-eight-different-shootings-to-become-boxings-next-big-thing-bccd7016098b#.v1ijd5fwj.
- "Ed Brown Racks Up 13-0 Record Over Last 8 Months". Fight Network. December 28, 2015. http://fightnetwork.com/news/6538846:ed-brown-racks-up-13-0-record-over-last-8-months/.
- Yanun, Alejandro (December 11, 2015). "Ed Brown, la gran promesa del boxeo de Chicago, lleva dos nocauts por mes: El ‘Bad Boy’ de Chicago lleva 12 triunfos y 10 nocauts en sus peleas de los últimos seis meses" (in Spanish). http://www.vivelohoy.com/deportes/8514554/ed-brown-dos-nocauts-por-mes. Retrieved December 30, 2016.
- Salazar, Francisco (July 28, 2016). "Ed Brown Returns To The Ring Against Venegas in Indiana". http://www.boxingscene.com/ed-brown-returns-ring-against-venegas-indiana--107156. Retrieved December 30, 2016.
- Baca, Michael (October 1, 2016). "CBS Sports Network results: Mike Lee handles Chris Traietti". CBS Sports Network. http://ucnlive.com/cbs-sports-network-results-mike-lee-handles-chris-traietti/.
- "Ed Brown's 19th win broadcast internationally on CBS Sports Network".
- "Ed Brown". http://boxrec.com/boxer/634941.
- Whicker, Mark (December 8, 2016). "Ring was safe zone for promising boxer Ed Brown, latest victim of Chicago gun violence". Orange County Register. http://www.ocregister.com/articles/brown-737910-chicago-shot.html. Retrieved December 29, 2016.
- Hillmann, Bill (December 5, 2016). "The Tragic Death of Boxing's Next Big Thing". https://melmagazine.com/the-tragic-death-of-boxings-next-big-thing-36a0289f4868.
- Pugmire, Lance (December 5, 2016). "Veteran fight manager heartbroken over Chicago prospect Ed Brown's shooting death". Los Angeles Times. http://www.latimes.com/sports/boxing/la-sp-sn-boxing-ed-brown-chicago-murder-cameron-dunkin-20161205-story.html.
- "Pro boxer Ed Brown dies following shooting in Chicago". The Washington Post. Associated Press. December 5, 2016. https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/pro-boxer-ed-brown-dies-following-shooting-in-chicago/2016/12/05/a1752c24-baf0-11e6-ae79-bec72d34f8c9_story.html.
- Mark Whicker (2016-12-08). "Ring was safe zone for promising boxer Ed Brown, latest victim of Chicago gun violence". Orange County Register. https://www.ocregister.com/2016/12/08/whicker-ring-was-safe-zone-for-promising-boxer-ed-brown-latest-victim-of-chicago-gun-violence/. Retrieved 2018-06-23. "There was nothing to say, it wasn’t mistaken identity. Some in Brown’s circle say he had a brother who was just questioned by police, and maybe somebody didn’t like the information that might have slipped out."
- Keith Idec (2017-02-10). "Broner Tried to Help Granados Deal With the Ed Brown Tragedy". Boxing Scene. https://www.boxingscene.com/broner-tried-help-granados-deal-with-ed-brown-tragedy--113481. Retrieved 2018-06-23. "Brown became more dedicated to boxing when Cameron Dunkin agreed to co-manage him. Dunkin – who co-manages Terence Crawford and has worked with Timothy Bradley and Kelly Pavlik – arranged an astounding 17 fights for Brown from May 2015-November 2016."