Ava Knight has built herself to be one of the greatest fighters in the world, even though she does not get the recognition she deserves in her home country, America. In her home town, she is a hero, but for majority of the country she is an unknown. Her story is remarkable, on how she came from having so little, living in a small town, and making something of herself the honest way.
When I look at Ava Knight, I see a lot of myself. Yes, I am not a woman, nor am I a professional boxer but we both came from the same area of California, the 707. We had both parents at home, still grew up in poverty, and it seemed impossible to come out of poverty, because there is not much work in the areas that we came from. The biggest thing to date is the passion for boxing that both of us share. Me of course I write for a boxing website, my goals are to become a trainer, but Ava, she rose to the top.
Ava started as many do in the United States, as an amateur. Coming from a small area, she had a good record, 28 wins with 4 losses. But the amateurs in the area weren’t always filled with much competition. “I became more known in my region, it became harder to find fights and I started to fight the same girls two or three times,” stated Ava who was also unable to attend tournaments due to financial reasons. She was also unable to participate in the Olympics since women’s boxing was not allowed at the time. So at the age of 18, she turned pro.
Turning pro is not always for money and fame as what many fans conceive it to be. The state of women’s boxing in the United States is nothing compared to pretty much anywhere else in the world, where women are allowed to compete in sports. “I am saddened by it (the state of women’s boxing). We are treated like second class citizens and we have a hard times not only getting paid, but finding promoters to put us on the cards to prove ourselves. Women’s boxing doesn’t seem to be getting any better in the United States, and the girls here seem to be finding better treatment in other countries. We struggle to fight for the girls who are coming up and hopefully some kind of change will happen within the next ten years.”
As true as it is, it makes no sense. The United States is one of the biggest, if not the biggest country in the world, that is tolerant to almost everything including, race, religion and gender. “I think all countries seem to be more supportive, except the U.S. Lots of women are having an easier time in the Latin countries, as well as European and Asian countries. So the United States is the only one not offering us equal opportunities.”
Ava has spent a lot of time fighting in Mexico as well, so she knows from experience of the differences between the two places. “The people love the women fighters in Mexico. They get respect and are praised for what they do. They aren’t seen as a side show, but the main attraction. I have never felt so much love from so many people for being a Champion. Coming back to the US is like coming back to a place where I am no one. I’m a champion to the people who know me, but to the boxing world, I’m just another girl that fights with no credibility and that is mainly because we can’t get television to showcase our skills.”
Ava last fought on May 11, 2013 against Linda Soto in Toluca, Mexico, winning the fight and retaining her WBC Silver Women’s Flyweight Championship. Soto doesn’t have that many fights, only 7 but then again Ava only has 16. “Linda was a tough girl and the one thing I know is we were both fighting the altitude. I feel I went 10 smart rounds, winning every round but Linda stood her ground, and stayed on her feet besides the one knock down. She has a lot of respect from me and I hope she goes on to fight more girls.”
So what is next for Ava Knight? Better yet, who is next? “There is no opponent picked, but some names of women I’d like to fight are Melissa McMorrow, Carina Moreno, and Ana Maria Torres. I feel these are the top girls in my class. We should get a shot at it and with Ana I’d like my rematch. If not those women, I’d like to stay within the top ten girls. I know in reality that I get what I can take and fight whoever they put in front of me.”
Ava is a calm person. She does not feel pressure for anything as she has already made it to the top and feels to have nothing to prove to anyone. “People talk about me and my opponents and who I should be fighting, but at the end of the day no one is making anything happen and I have to fight who I can get. Women are available and women should step up and until then, I will stand my ground as #1 and possibly the best female fighter in the world.”
Ava believes in herself which is a key element to success for anyone. “I think I am a great fighter with great skill. I don’t doubt my abilities and I think I’m just as good as or not better than some male champions, but all I really want is to see change. Boxing is becoming a hassle and I’m just not seeing results in the treatment which may push me into retirement.”