When I listen to stories of how some men first encountered boxing I find that each story is very similar. They usually begin with how they would slap box as kids, they needed an outlet/discipline in their life, or it kept them off the street.
Now ask a woman and see what answer you get. With females becoming more recognized and popular in the sport of boxing, I find that many men are mystified. Men have been the dominating gender in this sport for so long that the female significance is an oddity to them.
I have had many men ask me, “why boxing”. Some were honestly interested in my story and others made comments such as, “you should be home baking pies”, “you’re a smart girl, you don’t need to box”, or “you don’t need to box, you can marry a millionaire”. These comments are usually made by men of an “old school’ mentality. I use to take offense to it when I first began boxing, but quickly learned the meaning of the word “naive “.
The funny thing is even after many of my accomplishments questions of this kind still arise. So here is my answer.
When I first encountered boxing I was 16 years old. I was at a friend’s house visiting while his father had friends over to watch a boxing match. I had no idea what boxing entailed. All I knew was the guy who was fighting was Mike Tyson. After hearing uproar in the living room we all ran in to see what had happened. It seemed Mike Tyson had bitten the ear of his opponent… Evander Holyfield. I was in shock. What sport would cause an individual to go to that extent to win?
After this encounter I never gave boxing much attention again, until I was 19 years old and found myself in an abusive relationship with no way out. I went to a local gym to better myself, thinking I didn’t look good enough for my boyfriend. That was when I rediscovered boxing. I went to the back of the gym and noticed a boxing ring and heavy bags, but no women. Only men were sparring and working out. I was confronted by an older gentle man who was shouting directions at some of the men in the ring. He looked at me and then took a double take and came right over. He asked if I wanted to try. I said “in the ring?” he said,”no you have to learn a lot first.” So I began to come in every day and work. Many men in the gym didn’t take me seriously. Some watched, others tried to pass me their phone numbers. I quickly dismissed them, setting a tone that I was not there for that. At times it was frustrating and irritating that no one would take me seriously. One thing I never stopped doing was taking myself seriously. I knew I wanted to learn everything I could about this sport and found myself loving it more and more with each training day. I would go to school in the morning, then to my internship then head right to the gym to train.
I devoted much of my time and energy to boxing. It became the architect that rebuilt me. Boxing helped me to realize I was a lot stronger, mentally, physically and spiritually, than I thought I was. It helped give m e the courage to get out of the abusive relationship, go to college, and pursue any dream I ever had. I have experienced more than I ever deemed possible in this sport and continue to do so on my quest to my ultimate dream of becoming a World Champion. See before being a woman, I am a human being. I bleed the same blood, shed the same tears and sweat the same sweat as any man who enters that squared circle in order to claim victory. As a professional I have trained alongside the likes of: Paulie Malignaggi, Yuri Foreman, Vivian Harris and Monte Barrett and I have shared ideologies with the legends of boxings , Tommy Brooks, Hector Roca, Ronnie Shields, Kevin Rooney, and Al Certo. Through boxing I have a new found respect for myself, my life and the way I live it. Boxing has been a gift from God and my legacy is my gift back to Him.