Beverly Szymanski, 5’3", 126 pounds,
is now retired but was one of the most determined boxers on the scene. Szymanski’s love for
the sport brought her to commuting 100 miles a day, five days a week, to
earn her stripes!
Szymanski lives in Marine City, Michigan and she trains at Detroit’s
Kronk Gym. She had been training in boxing since 1994. Szymanski made
headlines when she began boxing. An Excerpt from writer Michael Katz of the
Detroit News said the following:
"You begin to perspire almost the instant you enter the sweltering
gym in the basement of the Kronk Recreation Center. There are no windows
and the room is small, and adding to the humidity is the sweat generated
by the numerous boxers who are honing their craft. To your right is a
punching bag, to your left speed bags, and by the far wall is a mirror
used for shadowboxing. On almost all of the walls are photos of and
newspaper articles about the many amateur and professional champions who
have toiled at the gym. Inside the ring is Beverly Szymanski, 33, a
5-foot-2, 125-pound dynamo who is sparring with a teen-age boy. She has a
band of bear claws and feathers tattooed to her upper right arm. "The
bear claws are for strength and the feathers are for bravery," says
Szymanski, a professional boxer from Marine City. "Now all I have to
do is find some wisdom."
Prior to Szymanski's interest in boxing, she participated in karate and
kickboxing. Her original motivator was to keep in shape.
Unfortunately like many new boxers, Szymanski's boxing career did not
have a good start. She was immediately mismatched with Christy
Making her pro debut on October 15, 1993, she learned her first
"painful" lesson in boxing---being overmatched. Szymanski was
KO'd in the first round.
When WBAN ran a story on another fighter, who had identified herself as
Anonymous", Szymanski was compelled to write her story to
WBAN about her experience, hoping it might help other new boxers. The
following is what she wrote to WBAN on August 15, 1999:
"I have just finished the article about Ms. Anonymous and the
story of her mismatch . I've been on both sides of the mismatch, and I
understand how she feels, and how humiliated I felt, and for some odd
reason I felt I let everybody down. I trusted these people with my life.
They would never try to hurt me. Boy was I in for a hard knock lesson
about boxing. I was fresh out of Karate class. The only fights I had was a
tough man contest, and 2 or 3 kickboxing fights (I didn't know what a jab.
or cross was) . They made up a fake Kickboxing record, 18 wins, no losses,
something like 17 knockouts. then threw me in the ring with the likes of
Christy M. on 3 days notice. That time was spent running around getting
doctors notes, and licenses , and then the weight in. All I can say is
Thank God There is a 3 Knock down rule in Michigan. I think it saved my
life.. . .I was devastated, not only losing, but losing in front of a
large crowd of people, But a sports program picked up the coverage and
used it for their (LET'S GET READY TO RUMBLE ) TV commercial. So I got to
relive this wonderful moment over, and over, again..... I swore I wasn't
going down like that. When I saw this man I trusted, do the same thing to
another fighter. I knew it was time to leave. I looked around for a new
place, and did the same thing again. (I was never a fast learner ) I
finally found the right training, and I've worked very hard to erase the
mistakes of my past. and I've learned to recognize A line of Bull , when I
hear one. I also can see a set up for myself . I've seen the girls sitting
next to their coaches, at a weight in. With short notice, not knowing who
I am, or what title If any I hold, They sit next to their coaches
trusting, while they wink at everybody , knowing what's going to happen. I
know because I've been there. I Hate to think how many girls quit boxing
because the same thing has happened to them. The only thing that made me
stick it out, is that to many people wanted me to quit, and I had to prove
them wrong........ and as bad as all that sounded, I still Love boxing. It
has changed my life. Beverly Szymanski" –IWBF Featherweight
Champion as of January 1998.
Szymanski did not let her bad start in boxing deter her from
fulfilling her dreams of being a world champion, and in January of 1998, she became a Champion after
defeating Dierdre Gogarty.