Zinnat Ferdous

Mon Nov 15 2021 05:00:00 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)


My partner first introduced me to boxing four years ago, as he was an avid fan and amateur boxer. I found the sport to be intriguing. Fighters possessed character, passion and heart, both inside and outside the ring. Building up to fight night, fighters worked tirelessly with their camp of trainers, sparring partners, conditioning coaches, and nutritionists. I admired this hard work and level of preparation.

It wasn’t until two years later that I put on my first pair of gloves and tried out a class at the highly regarded Mendez Boxing Gym in New York City. There I met Danny Nicholas. Danny was a master of his craft—25 years seasoned, having trained both amateur and professional fighters. At the end of our first meeting, he said, ‘I only train fighters.’ Not knowing what I was about to sign up for, I countered back with, ‘when can we start?’ He later admitted he knew I was ‘game’ after our first interaction.

My training schedule varied as it had to line up with my day job at Google. Typically, I would train four to five times a week, mixing in bag work, sparring, drills and conditioning. I always thought training was fun. I pushed my body to surprising measures and was excited to see growth.

After months of consistent training, we agreed I was fight ready and had my first amateur fight lined up for early 2020. Then the pandemic hit. Training was halted, my fight was cancelled, and Mendez Boxing Gym shut down permanently after the passing of Mr. Mendez from COVID-19. I faced several injuries from over training, a torn TFC, a lisfranc sprain, two neuromas and three stress fractures. Fear crept in—would I still be able to box?