BY KEVIN WOODRUFF
A Susquehanna Community High School senior is working towards her goal of becoming a professional boxer.
Kim Aldrich, 17, of Susquehanna, has been training at being a boxer for the past five months and recently won her first match by knockout.
Aldrich won with a defeat over Danielle Pierano of Rochester at Syracuse Golden Gloves Boxing Club on Dec. 18.
She boxes out of the Carmen Basilo Club in Windsor, N.Y., and was pitted in her first match against Pierano of Rochester Hard Rock Boxing Club.
Referee Mark Irwin halted the bout 53 seconds into the second round, stepping in to save Peirano from further punishment.
Aldrich is coached by former local pro fighter Ron “Maxie” Decker, of Hallstead, and is exquisitely trained by former international amateur star and current pro, Shafi Mumin of Deposit, N.Y.
The Carmen Basilio Club has a great team consisting of Bob Neil, head coach, Mark Saunders, club director, both of Windsor, N.Y., and Shafi and Decker.
Adrich said that her foray into the sport has gone well
so far, and that she looks forward to what the future may bring.
“I work with my coaches a lot,” Aldrich said. “We train six days a week, and I rest on Sunday.”
She said she became interested in the sport after previously competing in track and basketball.
“I love this sport because you have to be good at it,” Aldrich said. “You can’t just decide to “play” boxing.”
Aldrich said that she enjoys the training component of being a boxer, but also found it difficult at first.
“It was definitely difficult building up my cardio,” Aldrich said. “But now I’m in phenomenal shape.”
Prior to her first fight, Aldrich said that she was so pumped up she couldn’t stand still.
“As soon as I heard the bell ring, the only things I saw were my opponent, the ref and my corner,” Aldrich said. “And when the ref stopped the fight, it felt awesome. I couldn’t stop jumping around.”
As far as what she’s looking for in the future as a competitive boxer. The sky’s the limit.
“I just heard that they’re adding women’s boxing to the 2012 Olympic Games,” Aldrich said. “My ultimate goal is to be a gold medal boxer for the United States.”
However, being that she’s only had one fight, Aldrich understands that she has a way to go.
And she’s not wasting any time.
Decker, her coach, said that she has four fights lined up in the next few months.
Aldrich will next travel to Syracuse, N.Y., on Jan. 22 to fight, followed by a fight in Cortland, N.Y., on Feb. 12, another at Lock Haven on Feb. 19 and a fourth at Mansfield University on Feb. 22.
Decker, now 63, said that he got involved in training Aldrich because he is good friends with her father.
“I was a little reluctant to train her at first, but she was so adamant that I gave in,” Decker said.
In his career, Decker fought as an amateur and a professional in the light heavyweight class, competing out of Binghamton, N.Y.
Since then he has worked with boxers at gyms in the southern tier of New York, and has amassed more than 40 years of experience in the sport.
He said that training Aldrich has been a joy.
“Seeing the joy she had in her face after winning her fight was amazing,” Decker said. “For me, boxing is all about the betterment of one’s person.”
Decker said that even throughout his boxing career he never took joy in beating someone.
“I like to win, but for me I never took joy in beating someone up,” Decker said. “For me it was the satisfaction of all of the training.”
He said that boxing can be a positive life experience for someone who competes in it.
“The goal is to teach that through discipline and hard work a person can achieve,” Decker said.
Aldrich said what she most enjoys about boxing is the camaraderie and friendships.
“My favorite part about boxing is being at the gym and being able to laugh while working really hard with my coaches,” Aldrich said.