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Where are They Now: Retired World Champion Michele Aboro! 
by Sue TL Fox
August 25, 2014


(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 title. 

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 exceptional fighters.

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!

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