Photo by Wilf Thorne
Boxing has seen its share of amateurs pummel their way from out of the proverbial mud and transcend to a baptism of fire glittered with gold medals and adulation. Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard and the Golden Boy himself, Oscar De La Hoya, are just a few examples of fighter who were anointed.
There is no bigger accomplishment for a prospect amateur than winning gold at the Olympics. The preparation and dedication needed to compete at the international level is enough to steer doubt into the minds of a young fighter. To the ones who battle this doubt and power through, the journey is long and demanding both on their body and mind.
Every now and then boxing comes across a special talent. This talented individual may not always be the favorite to win it all, or the person who’s been training since they were three years old. Sometimes, wanting it more than the person across the ring is more than enough. Take up-and-coming female amateur, Virginia “Ginny” Fuchs.
Fuchs, a Houston native, is currently en route to qualifying for the 2016 Olympics in Rio. Should Fuchs win her next tournament, which would be the 2016 AIBA Women’s Continental Olympic qualifying event in Buenos Aires, Argentina, then she will lock in a spot for Rio. Prior to being in this position, the road to Rio has been nothing short of demanding.
So how did it all get started for the 27-year-old Fuchs? One could say she sort of stumbled upon the sweet science.
“I always tell people that boxing found me,” said Fuchs during a recent interview with Round By Round Boxing.
During her time at LSU while studying kinesiology, Fuchs also ran cross country. While searching for alternative ways to stay in shape during off seasons, Fuchs met a pro boxer whom she would drop off at a local boxing gym.
“I asked him to take me one day to work out at this gym and I just picked up the technique really quick and one of the trainers asked if I would consider competing and once I started I liked it and started getting fights,” stated Fuchs.
Since then, her stock has grown dramatically.
2015 may be Fuchs’ most rewarding year as an amateur boxer as she defeated 2012 bronze medal Olympian and rival Marlen Esparza, who at the time was the top rated fighter at the 112-pound Flyweight division, followed by Fuchs. Fuchs describes this moment as one of the more fulfilling wins of her life.
Photo by AP
“I went in as the No. 2 ranked fighter at the Olympic trials facing a girl I had been trying to beat over the past three years and came close every time but lost all five times. First time I saw her, I beat her easily and then I had to face her again in the finals and beat her once more,” said Fuchs.
One thing that makes Ginny unique as a fighter is her relaxed demeanor. 10 minutes into chatting with her and you may forget she beats people up for sport. Try questioning Fuchs on a woman’s place in boxing and her answer is simple.
“Why not? If men can do it why can’t women? I see boxing as a sport not as a street brawl so it most definitely has room for women in it,” said Fuchs.
Fuchs also can’t be pigeonholed to just boxing. As mentioned before, she has taken part in cross country as well as volleyball, club basketball, club soccer and jet skiing, with the latter being one of her favorite past times.
So what keeps this young fighter motivated? Could it be the opportunity to visit countries across the globe? Or perhaps it’s the opportunity to have lunch and get advice from hall of fame fighters like Oscar De La Hoya? To Fuchs, all of these things are just bonuses as she remains self motivated.
“Honestly, my biggest motivation is myself,” said Fuchs. “I’ve gotten so close to winning nationals or other tournaments and now I have a shot at the Olympics. Having that drive and perseverance in myself is what keeps me going.”
Now, just weeks away from her trip to Argentina, Fuchs remains fixated on the chance of a lifetime and will stop at nothing to accomplish her goals.
“I always take it one fight at a time. I focus on the moment and not what may or may not happen later on in a tournament. I stick to my game plan and never lose focus,” said a determined Fuchs.
Ginny Fuchs is a young, attractive and fascinating athlete, so naturally asking her if she has a significant other had to come up at some point during our conversation.
When asked if guys ever seem intimidated to approach the No. 1 ranked fighter, Fuchs laughs. “I think guys are mostly fascinated that I’m a fighter,” said Fuchs. “Most of the time they find it hard to believe that I box, actually.”
“I honestly don’t have too much time to really meet guys or go on dates all that often at the moment because of my busy schedule, but I do get the occasional guy that will ask me to hit them to see how hard I hit though,” said Fuchs while laughing.
Fuchs’ next stage will be between March 8 and March 20 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. If Fuchs triumphs there, a dream will become a reality and she will have the opportunity compete on the grand stage in Rio and prove to herself and her country that she is the best in the world.