Elizabeth ?“Liz” Leddy: “We can all achieve our dreams”

Elizabeth ?“Liz” Leddy: “We can all achieve our dreams”

Elizabeth ?“Liz” Leddy

Lives in: Portland

Sport: Boxing

Age: 30

Liz Leddy was once a homeless, alcoholic, high school dropout. Today, she’s a tough, muscled boxing champion with Olympic aspirations.

Boxing has been her salvation, giving her direction, goals and providing her with remarkable triumphs – including, this summer, her first national title, the Women’s National Golden Gloves Featherweight Championship.

Q:

How did you get involved with, and how long have you been involved with, boxing?

A:

I have been involved with boxing since 1999, with my first bout in 2000. (Prior to that), I had lost my direction in life as my family separated, and my life choices became more and more chaotic. I had been an equestrian, and I was a natural, consistent athlete. (I got my GED) at 16 and got a job at a horse stable in Massachusetts. I had been heavily drinking for three or four years, and it was starting to become an obvious problem. On my return to Maine, I was working in construction and drinking, moving further and further away from any life I may have had before. The older, wilder crowd I was hanging out with was noticing. They suggested that I look into boxing or kickboxing. (Now) I am finding that boxing is more and more a career of present and future for me.

Q:

What fuels your passion?

A:

To this day, the inner work I had to do over the years, and the surrender of my over-sized ego, still fuels my passion to grow, lead, perform to my fullest as an athlete, and show through faith and action that we can all achieve our dreams if we do not put time limits on them.

Q:

Who has inspired you?

A:

I’ve been inspired by Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, Marco Antonio Barrera, Juan Diaz, Angel Manfredy, Sugar Ray Leonard, Roberto Duran, Mickey Ward and Manny Pacquiao. After I was introduced to the Portland Boxing Club, I began to learn from my new role models, who continue to fuel my passion: Bob Russo, Skip Neales, and all the boxers alongside whom I sweat and strive, week after week. As far as female athletes, I was inspired early on by Christy Martin and Lucia Rijker, whose performances continue to inspire me today. The young up-and-comers continue to fuel my passion and drive me to become the best role model I can be.

Q:

What are your goals?

A:

After achieving my goal of becoming the national champion in the Golden Gloves, I seek the championship at the U.S.A. Boxing Nationals. I will have a chance to make a lifelong dream come true by qualifying for the U.S. World Championship Team at the upcoming Police Athletic League championships in Toledo, Ohio, this October. I believe I have a very good chance of attaining this goal, which would give me the opportunity to qualify for the Olympic Team Trials on this Olympic year – the first to include a female boxing team in the Olympic Games. To be on the Olympic Team and represent the U.S. would be the single most satisfying moment in my life.

Q:

What advice do you have for a woman taking up boxing?

A:

Set up goals based on your athletic aspirations – such as running three miles four times a week, and training boxing skills three or four times a week – and then add to that long-term competition goals. This type of structure will teach you so much about yourself and your character. It is also important to pay close attention to the gym you choose – don’t be afraid to try a few before you decide to commit to one. It is important to commit to a club and develop trust with your coaches. This will teach you loyalty and good character. Become a helpful team player and take it upon yourself to work hard reading, studying, and becoming fit outside the gym. This will help you out in the ring, but will also show honor and respect to those who take the time to bring you along in the sport. Many young boxers get burned out from the intensity of the sport; rest is also very important. Mostly, have fun. It is impossible to be successful at something you don’t enjoy doing.

Elizabeth “Liz” Leddy

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