MANHATTAN, Kan. (WIBW) -- A Kansas boxing coach makes champions and, as a female coach in a male dominated sport, beats the odds.
Boxing is in the blood of K.O. Boxing Owner and Coach Lorissa Belcher.
“My great grandfather, my great uncle, and my grandfather were all champion boxers. Luckily, my grandfather was alive when I started teaching boxing in Manhattan, Kansas,” explained Belcher.
She opened the gym in 1999 and in 2007 she had her first team ready to compete.
“It’s very hard as a woman to prove yourself in this sport as a coach and that’s been a long road but with our trophy's and our wins and our golden glove wins and all of our boxers,” said Belcher. It probably helps when our boxers beat their boxers.
K-State student Pedro Marquez started off in Belcher’s boxing 101 class. Now he’s the Kansas State Golden Gloves Champion with just two fights under his belt.
“It just really tests your limits cause you’re in their by yourself and someone else is in there not trying to be very nice to you and you got to see what your made out of,” said Marquez.
He wants to get as many fights in before he graduates in the spring.
“Your coaches and your friends can tell you, ‘hey hit harder hit them back’ but at the end of the day it’s what are you going to do whenever the lights come on and you get punched in the face,” explained Marquez. “Everyone just wants to punch, punch, punch, punch, punch, but you also got to think the other guy is thinking the same thing. You got to focus on not getting hit as well.”
Belcher has high hopes for her team and believes she has boxers with the potential to make it to nationals and beyond.
“I tell everybody they more you put into it the more you’re going to get out of it. So your showing up to practice and you’re showing up and doing 100% it’s going to show and the reward is getting to go to the fight and win,” said Belcher.