Kariya, a former All-American in field hockey at the University of Maine, knew she was going to be a boxer from the first time she stepped through the ropes to spar. It was the typical trial by fire for a fighter at the KO Boxing Gym in Toronto, but with an added twist – since she was a female, she wasn’t particularly welcome in the club.
“They didn’t want me in the gym,” she remembered. “They wanted me to have a try at it and go. I got punched right in my face and I just wanted to get right back at him. Ever since then I knew that I loved it. I’ve always been intrigued by watching boxing and I’ve always been a boxing fan, so going in there, trying it, and understanding the discipline it takes and how difficult of a sport it really is, I wanted to really be the best at it.”
And yea, they’ve got a mention about her looks (sigh). But let’s be happy it was a half-sentence throw-away line, and not the subject of the whole damn article.