(AUG 25) WBAN's next edition of
"Where are they Now" features retired world champion Michele Aboro, who boxed from 1995
to 2001. She retired from the sport with an undefeated
record of 21-0-0 (12KO), winning the WIBF super bantamweight
world title, successfully defending it three times. Earlier in
her career she also won the WIBF European Super Bantamweight
With our latest update on Aboro she
said the following:
The first day I set foot in
Shanghai, I was astonished by this magical city. I had felt like
life had given me a unique opportunity, a blank canvas where I
could open my own boxing gym and train the first Mainland
Chinese world champion. So I packed my bags after living in
Amsterdam for 18 years and moved to a country where professional
boxing was non-existent on an international level. I felt I had
a chance to really make an impact in a land that didn’t even
recognize pro-boxing as a serious sport.
In 2012, I opened my first gym
with my previous business partner. Unfortunately, we decided to
part ways once we had realized our objectives differentiated.
During my departure, I also had a bit of a set back between 2012
and 2013 as I was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer which
confirmed my decision to move on and start my own Academy. My
aim was to create the perfect haven that I never had when I was
training as a boxer.
Although today’s boxing gyms
clearly differ to back in the day when I was training, the
industry is still very slowly changing. When I started boxing,
we were lucky to have water at our gym!
Ever since I had a desire to open
my own, my ambition was to open a clean and fully working
facility with different punching bags, a weight training area
with calibrated weights and an actual professional ring. But
most importantly, it was vital for me that everyone felt welcome
no matter their gender, sexual orientation and background. I
wanted to build a second-home for my members where I could steer
my pupils in the right direction and be a mentor by giving them
as much advice as I could.
In January 2014, Aboro Academy was born in the heart of downtown
Shanghai. We train beginners, amateurs and professional fighters
in various boxing disciplines such as Muay Thai, and Dutch
Kickboxing. The Academy also has an array of passionate and
patient teachers from all over the world who are also
I come from a rough area in London called Peckham, which is
where I started boxing at 17 years old. My life changed when I
met Lincoln Boney, a remarkable trainer who motivated me in
becoming a professional boxer and pushed me to get an education
and go to a university. This led me to win the world
championship and also get an MA in Sports and Sciences from
Westminster University. After having such an incredible mentor,
I was impelled to help youngsters from poorer backgrounds. We
now run the Aboro foundation, which provides career-orientated
training and English lessons to local underprivileged youths,
thus certifying them as personal trainers. We also provide
internships and even employment at the Academy.
Within the foundation, I have been working with a group of young
girls from Ningbo, an area well known for its sports university,
home to the Chinese female national team.
On February 5, 2014, Xu Chun Yan,
one of the girls we trained, fought the outstanding Lindsay
Garbatt. It was a close call but Xu won the WBC International
Featherweight World Title.
WBAN would like to thank Michele for taking the time to update
boxing fans on what she is doing now!