NINETEEN-year-old Alina Lazareva spends six days a week at the Armidale PCYC gym as the only girl and is happy to help lead the charge in breaking the stereotype of female boxers.
Lazareva is a nursing student at The University of New England and took up the sport of boxing only a year ago.
“I took the sport up and with the wonderful support of my coach I get to train really hard with a great group of people who push me to be the best athlete I can be,” she said.
“I even reckon I could give some of the boys a bit of a run for their money.”
She has gone from strength-to-strength under the watchful eye of Peter Jacobsen, who has been the boxing coach at the Armidale PCYC for the last 26 years.
Lazareva is gearing up for the NSW state championships in the novice division at the end of the year and Jacobson said she needs at least three fights to be ready to shake up some of the competition at the state titles.
“She (Lazareva) has had a number of exhibition fights including one in Tamworth a few weeks ago against professional Arlene Blancko,” he said.
“If she can get a bit more experience with a few more fights under her belt , she will be unbeatable in NSW.”
Her career as a boxer is just starting and Lazareva is set to travel around the country to find opponents to fight if that is what isneeded to cement her place as the top contender in the state.
Earlier this month Lazareva travelled to Sydney expecting to compete, but was left waiting almost 10 hours before her opposition informed her she would no longer be taking part.
“It was really disappointing to be so prepared and then unable to compete, but I will live to fight another day,” she said.
“It has just made me more determined to find people I can compete against and it has fired me up to do well.”
Jacobson is preparing Lazareva to head to Western Australia where she has been offered a number of opportunities to compete.
“We are going to take things to WA as number of opportunities have come up for us to go there,” Jacobson said.
“ She is a very determined young lady so we are going to make sure that we make the most of the opportunities presented to us.”
Lazareva has immersed herself in the world of boxing and Jacobson thinks the Armidale youngster has a huge future ahead of her.
“She is so committed to everything that she does and she is so humble in her approach to it all,” Jacobsen said.
“I don’t want to get too big about it, but I think she will have a very successful career as a boxer.”
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