‘Boxing with other people is kind of like a chess game. You have to figure things out; you don’t just start whaling on people.’
“I started boxing when I was 15 or 16. My dad got me into it. When I was growing up, I had pictures of myself at 4 or 5 years old with gloves on, but I didn’t know how to box. My dad found this boxing coach and I figured I’d try it out. My entire family boxes: my brother, dad, cousins. I’ve been with coach Nic Gialourakis at Slick Sluggers Boxing in Mineola, and he’s been training me for about four years now.
“I started it for self-defense. I’m a small girl, 5 foot and 130 pounds, and growing up, my mom wanted me to protect myself. I love the sport so much that I’m continuing with it. I’m slowly transitioning into doing it as more of a sport, boxing against men and women.
“I’m 19 now; I manage the boxing gym with coach Nic. I’m not coaching yet, but if I sit down and study the program, I can do it because I have that foundation underneath me. I picked up a lot of skills and techniques.
You have to read people. Boxing is a mental thing; you have to study the sport like a science.
“I was going to John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and I took a semester off, but I’m going back to Nassau Community College for criminal justice. I’m probably going to be a cop in the NYPD; both my parents are retired NYPD, so I want to follow in their footsteps.
“In the first four lessons of boxing, you get a quick foundation — to understand your position, your straight punches, uppercuts and hooks, defensive skills like slipping, blocking and rolling. If you continue, you build up your skills and get a lot more comfortable with reacting. It’s all repetition. With anything you keep practicing, you get better.
“This would help me as a cop. I know you can continue it from there, even the NYPD has a boxing league. It’s 100 percent discipline. I’m very impatient and anxious where I like to get things done. Boxing with other people is kind of like a chess game. You have to figure things out; you don’t just start whaling on people.
“You have to read people. Boxing is a mental thing; you have to study the sport like a science. It’s not just throwing punches. Everyone has their own different styles; you can see what people are going to do.”
Interviewed by Rachel O’Brien – Morano