Equality for Female Boxers in the Olympics

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Sue Fox Named  in the "Top Ten" Most -Significant Female Boxers of All Time - Ring Magazine - Feb. 2012


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The Real Ava Knight by Ava Knight.
June 8, 2011


(JUNE 8) A lot of people are quick to judge a fighter without knowledge of what is really going on. Looking at my record, I started quick, went up in competition fast, and then after a loss with the Mexican champ Ana Maria Torres, took a long “break.” I put it in quotes because it was not by choice. For the most part I took the break because of a back injury I was waiting to heal from, but when I was ready to fight again and start back up in the gym, my life started falling apart, literally.

To start off, I was brought up as the “boy” in the family, getting my hair cut off every few years down to my scalp, and remembering people telling my parents they have a good looking son. Despite that, they put me in ballet, where I was told I was very good but didn’t have the financial means to continue. While that fell apart, I spent years of my childhood watching my mother work day and night to support the five of us and a family member with a habit. I had a rough time through school never finding a place to fit in; I was left most of the time at lunch time alone stuck in my own thoughts. I stayed to myself, and while people knew who I was, many put me in a place where I felt invisible. Now, I’m not saying that I have it worse than anyone; I actually have no ill feelings about my childhood because it made me who I am today and I know there are people out there who didn’t get the opportunities I did.

Boxing became a part of my life as an accident. I had never seen a boxing match or even talked about it till I had stepped in the gym at age 13. My former coaches thought I’d never make it, I got in the ring one day and got knocked down for my first (and last) time, and while most may have walked away, I came back the next day. After 5 years of a great amateur record, and creating a name for myself in the amateur boxing world, it may have not been enough to have a 28-4 record because I was being compared and shadowed by groomed local female fighters (with worse records) who had money and promotion on their side. I believe all of us women go through the same things, we spar the guys cause it’s all we have, we work just as hard as men or more just to prove a point, and we fight with passion and will.

My Pro career was great, I feel that I have no shame in what I have done in my career and that is including my loss. I have gained so much from all my experiences with every fighter that I’d never take it back. A lot of people don’t know how hard it really is for us though. While in the spotlight we see big fighters, particularly men who get paid a hundreds of thousands if not millions, have huge fan bases, get 24/7 exposure of their training and months advances on training, I have had promoters say to me “take it or leave it.” Many of my fights were taken last minute, with minimal training, and for little money, and the worst instance being out of the gym for a week sick, getting a call after missing school and flying to LA and getting a first round KO. After that, I said never again. I got lucky with that and I would never do it again, but I still found myself taking fights last minute, not because I get offered a lot of money, not even enough to say I can pay my bills with it, but because boxing to me is my world. I eat, breath, and live boxing.

After boxing fell apart in the town I am from in 2009, it was heartbreaking and de-motivating to me just to do anything. I was missing more than a hobby, buy my passion for life. After facing a break up that crumbled my foundation and ruined every ounce of confidence I had, I decided I had to get back to the one thing that kept me going through the last 8 years. I moved to the city of Oakland with nothing but my car and clothes, found a place to live and started up back in a boxing gym that made me feel home again.

 Moving to a place with no friends, no money, and sometimes little food was all worth it for the experience and chance to get back in the ring. I was alive again and nothing felt better. I was fortunate to get the chance to spar with a fellow female boxer who some called “pound for pound” and came out with more confidence in myself than ever. Since I moved, I have had the chance to fight once on a Golden Boy Card and though it was short, all experiences come with growth.

Now I am getting back in the ring with a champion who I beat once before. I can honestly say, I know this won’t be easy, it wasn’t easy the first time, but we fighters never take fights to lose, not even to draw. She is coming back to avenge her loss, and I have taken the point to be the opponent to take her title. I know the potential of both of us as fighters and the roads we took after our fight have been totally opposite. While Kaliesha stayed busy fighting all over the world and winning a world title, and as I previously stated, I was going through an inactive period. Many of you will be watching for the results of this fight and many may be rooting for my opponent, but this fight, no matter what the result, will be a big step up for women boxing. Being in the spotlight has never been my specialty, but this is my story and I want the people and fans to know who they are watching, rooting for, and eventually paying for paper view fights on TV. This is the Real Ava Knight…Thank you.

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