Courage is defined as: “The ability to do something that frightens one. Strength in the face of pain or grief.”
Would you have the courage to leave your native country at age 20, travel 4,716 miles to another country not knowing a single person or family member with only $300 in your pocket? I, for one, would not!
Please allow me the opportunity to introduce to you female boxing sensation Elvina ‘The Warrior’ White (2-0), who did exactly that.
I had a chance to sit down with Elvina for nearly two hours and am excited to share with you her story. Elvina is a courageous, wonderful, kind and caring person…not to mention one helluva fighter!
In 2016 Elvina left her native country of Austria to pursue her dream of becoming a boxing star and world champion. She had exactly $300 in her pocket and landed in New York on a quest to further her boxing career and bestow on a journey to make her dreams come true.
She shared an apartment with six strangers and began the process of getting the proper training she needed to further her trade. She began training at The Mendez Boxing Gym and after a short time showed enough talent and promise to be asked to train at the acclaimed New York Athletic Club. The New York Athletic Club has not only helped produce local and national champions but also future Olympic boxers.
..shared with me that she wanted to find a trainer that would give her the time, coaching and attention that would allow her to become one of the best boxers in female boxing. While the opportunity to be part of the New York Athletic Club and train to become an Olympic boxer was appealing, she simply wanted more. She went back to her native country; Austria, after a short time in New York, to get her visa and made her way to California to train at the well-known Wild Card Boxing Gym. She trained there for two months without a trainer and was just simply trying to get someone to coach her full time. Things changed when a close friend put her on the phone with Lucia Rijker, the former most “dangerous woman in boxing,” trainer and actress who appeared in the Oscar winning movie Million Dollar Baby. Rijker linked her up with trainer Stan Ward at Pullman’s Gym in Burbank, Ca. Elvina was finally getting the training and attention she wanted. However, Elvina noticed acclaimed trainer and former champion James ‘Buddy’ McGirt (who is also a trainer at Pullman’s Gym). She told McGirt… “You’re going to train me one day”, and Buddy just smiled.
Elvina went to the gym every day and would watch closely what McGirt was telling male boxers. She would mimic their every move. Finally, Buddy saw enough talent and desire and for two years now has trained Elvina.
In an effort to get to know Elvina better I came up with a series of question and even got some questions from her fans:
Q: At what age did you start boxing? Did you start with mixed martial arts? Did you have a long amateur career?
A: I started kick boxing at age 14 as the police thought it would be a way to “stay out of trouble” so I began kick boxing in a gym downstairs at the police station. I loved it immediately- the action, the smell, the electricity. I had a short amateur career but was 26-0 with 22 KO’s.
Q: You currently fight at super lightweight- do you feel that is a good weight or do you see yourself moving up?
A: I can fight at 135 or 145. My goal is to be champion in multiple weight classes.
Q: How did it feel to be praised by Cecilia Brækhus and Lucia Rijker? Does it add pressure?
A: I was blown away. It’s no added pressure, its motivation. Timing is everything and I have huge respect for them both. It’s the best compliment I have every received.
Q: How long do you want to fight and life after boxing?
A: I want to box a maximum of 10 years, achieve all my goals of winning multiple titles. Then, I would like to work with children, woman in boxing and be a motivational speaker. I work in a health food store now as a manager and after boxing I would like to still be part of that industry at a higher level.
Q: How do you feel about articles or tweets that refer to you as “The Hot” Elvina White Boxer? Do you feel that takes away from you being seen as an athlete versus your looks?
A: (Big smile) Thanks for the reminder. It doesn’t bother me at all. I can’t relate to it but it happens all the time. I never judge anyone on their looks, language etc.
Question from boxing fans:
Q: (Abe Gonzalez) What brought you to California specifically and was that the first choice? Also, are there any immediate plans for a fight in the summer?
A: I wanted to get a full time trainer and while NY was nice, I just needed to be at a gym where I could further my career. I hope to have news soon on my next fight.
Q: (Colin Morrison) Who were you boxing heroes growing up?
A: Ali, James Toney, Aaron Pryor, Pernell Whitaker, Marvin Hagler, Tyson (I love and watch his training videos) and Mayweather to name a few.
Q: (Lisa Johnson) Being that Elvina steps in the ring with opponents and has to be focused and has to take a punch, what is your biggest fear? I would also like to know what your pet-peeve is.
A: My biggest fear would be not being able to perform at the level I know I can and let myself and fans down. My pet-peeve is unkind people and liars. I don’t understand these types of people!
Q: (Michael Charles) What is your daily motivation?
A: To simply be the very best I can be with hard work and dedication.
Finish this sentence section:
Elvina, please finish these sentences:
When I am not working, boxing or training you would most likely find me doing? Working, reading and watching old fights.
My absolute favorite meal is? Lasagna!
The worst habit I have is? My room has to be neat and I have to organized.
If I could meet one person in the boxing world it would be? Floyd Mayweather.
My all-time favorite movie is? Fight Club.
People would be most surprised to learn that I am? Very kind.
The moment right before the bell rings in round one I am thinking about? Winning.
If I could I could change one thing about myself it would be? To be honest, nothing as I like who I am.
In summary, I have interviewed and spoken to many fighters from Holyfield, Tyson, Kostya Tsyzu and Pernell Whitaker to name only a few but this was by far my favorite interview. Elvina has an overwhelming kindness, innocence and sincerity to her that came to the forefront when I met her for the first time at Hollywood Fight Nights, minutes after she secured her second professional win over Annette Pabello on June 6th. However, don’t let the kindness and innocence fool you! Once Elvina is in the ring, she is a focused assassin that will be a household name in women’s boxing for years to come. Stay tuned….