“I have to box, it’s my religion.”
Sometimes it’s as simple as that. Boxing is more than a fleeting pastime, it’s a compulsion for the 17-year-old, Turner Boxing Academy 2016 Golden Gloves Champion, Missy Fitzwater.
Fitzwater’s path to the ring started at home throwing jabs at her dad’s heavy bag in the basement.
Since that time, Fitzwater’s passion for boxing has evolved. She is making a name for herself in the Kansas City boxing scene and the journey doesn’t stop there. The young boxer hopes to one day participate on an international level and become an advocate for women’s boxing.
“My main motivation is to be a better version of myself today than I was yesterday. This drives me every morning to pick up where I left off yesterday and attempt to push myself to a new level.”
Fitzwater’s rise to the top has not been without helping hands from her family, coaches and KC Golden Gloves.
KC Golden Gloves offers help in finding a boxing gym and provides opportunities for newcomers to break into the boxing scene as well sponsoring athletes in the National Golden Gloves Championships and offering academic scholarships.
“They are giving kids a safe, positive boxing experience that teaches respect, discipline and goal-oriented achievement,” Fitzwater said.
Fitzwater advises those new to boxing to seek out the lessons in every loss and every win. She attributes this mental exercise as a valuable tool in propelling her forward in boxing.
Outlets for stress, anxiety and anger come in many forms, but Fitzwater has found her relief through boxing.
“There is a peace that comes over me when I’m in that ring,” she said. “When my work is done, I feel like I was just baptized, freed and forgiven.”