Female Boxer Nicole Woods Splits Time Fighting Fires and Fighting in the Ring

After finishing her basketball career at South Carolina State University, Nicole Woods wanted to remain physically active. Taking the advice from a family member, Woods decided to visit a boxing gym and instantly fell in love with the sport. She is currently a rising welterweight who serves as a Fulton County firefighter when she is not in the boxing ring. Woods recently spoke with rolling out about her boxing career and upcoming fight. –amir shaw

Take me back to the first day you stepped into a boxing gym. What do you remember the most?

My first day in the gym was weird. I remember smelling a lot of musk, and it was sweat everywhere. But there were a lot of good fighters in the gym at the time. I was excited to get in the ring and get to their position.

What was your first fight like?

I lost my first amateur fight. I fought a girl who had come back from the nationals, but I gained a lot of experience. After my first fight, I was determined not to do the same thing again. In my second fight, I beat a girl who made the first U.S. National boxing team.

What have you enjoyed most about your boxing career?

I’ve had 50 amateur fights and 20 professional fights. It can be difficult for women at times, but the sport is thriving. You see more women on TV now. I’ve been able to travel around the globe. I’ve been to Argentina, Germany, Uruguay, Canada and other places. I have fought around the world, and it’s been a great experience.

How do you balance life as a boxer and firefighter?

Firefighters work 24 hours on and have 48 hours off. The two days that I’m off, I’m at the gym swimming and running. It balances out good when it’s time to fight. My co-workers all support what I’m doing and are 100 percent behind me.

What advice do you have for females who want to get into boxing?

Boxing is a wonderful sport. You don’t see a lot of women doing it, but we all stick together and work together so that we all can be successful.

On July 15, Notorious Nicole Woods will fight Elisa Moreno at the Buckhead Theater in Atlanta. http://www.georgiaboxingchampionship.com/

A.R. Shaw is an author and journalist who documents culture, politics, and entertainment. He has covered The Obama White House, the summer Olympics in London, and currently serves as Lifestyle Editor for Rolling Out magazine. Follow his journey on Twitter @arshaw and Instagram @arshaw23.

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