Some fight and train for years before winning a boxing championship. For Jamaica resident Monay Mincy, it happened in her first amateur competition.
The 19-year-old light flyweight captured the Golden Gloves championship at Madison Square Garden in April after never having fought before. Last month Mincy also won the gold medal at the Empire State Games in Binghamton despite not even fighting. She was the only woman in her weight class. Mincy said the Sweet Science was a quick learn.
"I was always into sports, I ran track in high school and played basketball in junior high school, but that's all," she said. "[Boxing] just came naturally. It's a hard sport to learn, don't get me wrong, but I was comfortable with it."
Mincy went to Prospect Heights High School in Brooklyn and often went to the Bed-Stuy boxing club with her mother Karima Jenkins, who is a boxing official and her god brother, who trained there.
"I would go in there and watch and I just started working out just to get in shape," she said. "Then everybody said, 'Try out for the Golden Gloves.' So I went to the gloves and won and I've been going ever since."
Mincy said fighting in the same ring as Mohammed Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard and Marvin Hagler was a thrill.
"It was great, being in Madison Square Garden and with all the people excited, yelling, TV cameras, media, it was beautiful," she said. "It was my first competition and to work so hard to accomplish that goal you set for yourself, it was great."
Mincy, who trains with former world champion Juan LaPorte at the legendary Gleason's gym in Brooklyn, said working on the basics of the sport has helped her succeed in such a short time.
"My jab and my right hand I've been told are good," she said. "When I get into the ring, it just comes out."
Mincy said boxing has also helped her in her life outside the ring.
"When I was in school with my schoolwork sometimes I feel like I'm getting lazy, then I said that in boxing when I train I have to give my all so when I'm in school I have to give my all too," she said. "Boxing gives me a lot of discipline."
While she was disappointed she didn't get to fight at the Empire State Games, Mincy said she loved the atmosphere in Binghamton.
"Everyone's vibe is good," she said. "You can watch any other sport, all the teams come together and talk. It's great. It's like a mini Olympics."
While speaking to some of the other athletes in Binghamton last month, Mincy said there was a bit of surprise because of her small stature (she stands about 5-foot-5) that she is a pugilist.
"I've been hearing that ever since I got up here," she said. "The girls from other sports ask me, 'So what sport are you?' And when I say boxing, they're like, 'For real, you're a boxer?' They are really shocked because I'm so little, but in my weight class I'm tall and I have a good reach."
With two titles already on her resume, Mincy is hoping to continue as far as she can in the sport.
"I'm aiming for the Olympics and next year they have the World [Championships], so I'm going as far as I can take it," Mincy said. "I want to be a World Champion. I have to keep on giving it all I got, keep training hard.
"I'm young so if all this is happening now, imagine what can happen years from now," she said. "I'm young so I'm just going to keep on going."
©2000 Community News Group
By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:
You agree that you, and not TimesLedger.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to TimesLedger.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.