Best Local Boxer (2008)

Christina Swanson

Don't tell Christina you liked Million Dollar Baby. She's heard it before, and if that's your only reference for women's boxing, she knows you don't know anything. The number one amateur female boxer in the United States trains at the South Florida Boxing gym, where she sometimes spars with men, including her boyfriend, though she says they can't forget she is a girl; they just don't hit hard enough. Not a problem when she's fighting other women. In 2007, she was the National Golden Gloves Champion, and she's hungry for more titles. Christina dreamed of going to the Olympics when she was a girl, and she thought swimming might take her there. But during her senior year on the Hurricanes swim team, she suffered a shoulder injury. That was four years ago. After college, she craved the competition of her life in the pool, and she found boxing. As a leader in the sport, she might have made it to the Olympics in 2008, but a motion to add women's boxing to the games was denied. She was disappointed, but she's already looking forward to the next national championship. Don't feel bad for her: She's tough.

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