Hey readers, here’s something new for you! While exploring the city, we often meet fascinating people – many with captivating stories and experiences that we think deserve merit. Here’s one of those individuals.
If you’ve been keeping up with our posts, last week I blogged about Agency Wars III – a unique charity event that brought together wannabe boxers and trained them to compete in a sanctioned amateur boxing match. You may recall us mentioning one of their coaches, Natalie ‘Sugar’ Brown.
This decorated female boxer recently had a knockout comeback fight on Dec 1st after taking a 3-year hiatus. The D-Rex crew had a chance to join her Agency Wars team and cheer her on during the pro boxing event. After the fight, we sat down with Natalie to chat and learn her story. This one is about camaraderie and overcoming the odds.
So what are the chances of a woman making it in a sport that is often considered a ‘man’s world’? Honestly guys, if you saw her last fight, I highly doubt most of us ‘men’ would stand a chance in the ring with her. Karl’s unbeatable high score in Wii Boxing just isn’t going to cut it this time.
The tough but feminine fighter has been through quite a bit since she began boxing in 1998. She was initially motivated to take up the sport to learn self defence due to a stalking incident. Fast forward through time, she quickly made a name for herself – joining the U.S Women’s World Championship Team and later turning pro. Her last fight (before this year) was in 2009. Back then, female boxing was still struggling for equality (having even been rejected from the 2008 Olympic Games due to lack of competition).
I get it, It’s tough trying to make it in a sport that constantly pushes back at you, in and outside of the ring. “In boxing, there’s place for a boy to grow into a man, but barely any room for a girl to grow into a woman. I constantly had to make my own way.” Natalie explained. “I needed to take time off to make sense of it all and battle my own demons”.
So here we are at the end of 2012. What’s changed? “I spent a lot of time fighting with myself. Coaching Agency Wars has helped push me to get back into the ring”, says Natalie. “Boxing is generally a lonely sport, but having the team with me, to feed off of each other’s energy is amazing. We all share the same heart”.
The Agency Wars competitors seemed to reciprocate these feelings as they walked and cheered their leader to the ring during her comeback bout. “It’s really motivating to have a female coach – she’s a great teacher” says Ruth Cagara.
Natalie now has her eyes locked on becoming champion. Her recent win over Tammie Johnson puts her one step closer to achieving her dream. The Mississauga local is one of very few female Canadian boxers that shows real promise. Together with her husband and coach, Chris Johnson, she’s supercharged to face the competition.
Natalie put it plainly, “I’m ready to beast it out”.
Follow Natalie’s journey and give your support by visiting her Facebook Page here.