Willard J. Brown is in Indianapolis in the 1930 census. He is only 16 years old. He lists his profession as "boxer". The census was taken 2nd April of that year. He was born in Tennessee and his parents were Henry and Hylan (Smith) Brown. He is probably born in Morgan County, Tennessee as that is where the family is in the 1920 census.
He attended and possibly graduated from Lousiana State University. According to the Corpus Christi Times, 2nd June 1937, he was a student at LSU and a top ranked welterweight.
A picture from the Corpus Christi Times, 9th June 1937: 
This is him in 1937 as a sophomore at LSU from the yearbook, which lists his hometown as Baton Rouge: 
Willard Brown SSN: 435-18-1674 Last Residence: 78209 San Antonio, Bexar, Texas, United States of America Born: 8 Sep 1913 Died: Feb 1975 State (Year) SSN issued: Louisiana (Before 1951)