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Exclusive Boxing Interview: Maureen Shea

In today's news, boxing is almost always put on the back burner. Most championship fights tend to happen without much coverage from many sports networks and papers. The only press boxing does seem to get is if there is a death in the ring, or Mike Tyson happens to make an appearance, or even when boxing might put on a good fight in spite of itself. Even though professional boxing is struggling now, there is some light
Maureen Shea Exclusive Boxing Interview: Maureen Shea
© www.sheaboxing.com

at the end of this dark tunnel. Hopefully the heavyweight enigma will be solved soon but the smaller weight divisions are putting together some great fights. We have just witnessed unification bouts in the super middleweight and cruiserweight divisions, and there is always the human highlight reel, Arturo Gatti.

But if you think that the pros are having a tough time, imagine for a second how it must be to become a successful women's boxer in the professional ranks. Right now the only recognizable women’s boxers seem to be Mia St. John, Christy Martin and Laila Ali. While these women have certainly made a name for themselves, none have really been able to transcend the entire sports world or even make the casual male boxing fan care. Female boxer Maureen Shea, 5-0 (3), just might be the woman to break the stereotypes.

Shea's most recent fight was at the sold out Theater in Madison Square Garden, on the Irish Express Card on St. Patrick's Day eve. Shea briefly touched upon the experience of fighting on such an occasion. "The energy from the crowd was truly amazing and I was just glad I could represent my Irish roots," she said. During that very fight, which by the way happened to be more exiting than a couple of the male fights that evening, Shea threw a non stop barrage of punches. In the second round alone, Shea threw ninety five punches in only two minutes, battering her opponent for her fifth win as a professional

Although this Bronx Bombshell, as she has affectingly been called by her hometown supporters, seems to be going through her opponents with certain ease, life did not always come so easily for Maureen Shea. "Growing up I hung out in the streets of the Bronx a lot, and at an early age I was kicked out of school," Maureen explained. "My father was a former marine and a retired NYPD detective; he was very strict with me and treated me as another son, which is really how I grew up."

As fate would have it, Shea eventually found her way off the rough streets of the Bronx. Boxing gave Shea literally a second chance at life. "I was having a real tough time in my personal life. I had been involved in an abusive relationship were I was beaten almost nearly to death," Shea revealed. "I came to a fork in the road in my life were I could go down the path of destruction or salvation. And by the grace of God boxing came into my life."

While boxing was becoming Shea's salvation, she still had the uphill battle to prove the mostly male skeptics wrong. "People would come into Gleason's Gym and laugh when they saw me; I would just tell them come see me fight, I'll change your mind." Shea also added that, 'I let my hands do my talking, not my mouth."

In the ring, Shea continues to break down many stereotypes, but her achievement does not stop in the ring. Outside of boxing, Shea is a senior at Iona College in New York and is current maintaining a 3.4 GPA. After graduating Shea looks forward to attending law school. But when asked what she wants to accomplish in boxing, Shea thought about the question for a bit and then simply said, "I want to leave an impact on young girls and even young men's lives, if I could touch one person's life that would mean a lot."

Check out Maureen Shea at www.sheaboxing.com

Thanks to Luigi Olcese and Maureen Shea for making this article possible.

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