I entered the boxing scene as a bitter 23-year-old with a broken hand and fresh fear in my heart. At the time, I was bartending at a club to put myself through college when a local prospective gang member in a club full of onlookers sexually attacked me.
This moment changed everything for me.
I kept my bartending job a secret from friends and family, as well as the story of how I broke my hand. However, when my cover-up story raised eyebrows among some friends, they were quick to play detective. Next thing I knew I was being approached by a man at my bar, regarding taking up boxing. He told me he could teach me some things, at least how to defend myself, but I had such a chip on my shoulder and was skeptic of everyone. I agreed to stop by his club because it was the only way to get him to stop pestering me about boxing. That’s how I met my coach – Egerton Marcus, Canadian Olympic silver medalist. He was the man who approached me at the bar.
A year and some months later, I moved to Korea to teach English but it wasn’t until my third year in Korea that I found a boxing club to call my home gym – UP Boxing Club – and resumed boxing.
Being a foreigner in Korea means I definitely stand out. This is not my home country and too often I feel like I’m certainly on the outside looking in on life – on a life I often felt would never really include me. Consequently, the boxing club in Korea was quick to become my safe haven from all of this. Although the other boxers didn’t speak English and couldn’t relate to being a foreigner, we all shared a common passion – boxing. I was now a part of something, a community, and it was big.
I no longer get a chill down my back when I think of that miserable Sunday attack and how nobody helped me. I am a proud survivor. I am a strong believer that things happen for a reason and now the reason is definitely unfolding itself. That one isolated incident has had a great domino effect on my life; it’s incredible.
I’m no longer that fear driven young girl nervous to step out of the crowd and instead I write this article to you as Korea’s first ever foreign female to turn pro in Korea, as a proud Canadian boxer who has fought in Japan on behalf of Korea and as the founder of a fitness company – Flipside Fitness.
Boxing was never actually a sport to me but instead a tool – a tool I used to gain self-empowerment and confidence. My company takes great pride and eagerly strives to share this awesome tool via boxercise classes, personal training and other fitness-related social events with the ladies it touches so that they too may be empowered.
The following is cool video footage of Amy receiving professional boxing status in 2007.
This Sunday, October 14th, Amy fights for the Korean Light Flyweight Champion title. She anticipates being the first foreign female in Korea to earn Korean Champion status.
Featured photo credit: Andrew Weber/USA TODAY Sports
Photos and video of Amy Berezowski-Kim provided by Amy
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