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Vashon Living: Female Boxing & Breaking Boundaries

Exclusive Interview by Marc Anthony

“I don’t hate my opponents. We are going in there and going to entertain everyone.” – Vashon Living

Vashon Living, 5-2 1 KO, or as many know her as “Lady V,” is ready for yet another world title shot against the undefeated Tori Nelson, 5-0-1, who on July 29 ,2011 won the vacant WBC Female Middleweight title at Port-of-Spain Trinidad.

Vashon recently came back from a 10 round decision loss to Christiana Hammer, but that fight proved that she has the conditioning and the heart to go the distance. This time around, both ladies will be fighting for the vacant Women’s International Boxing Association middleweight title at the Patriot Center on Saturday, on the Jimmy Lange Boxing and Ice Promotions undercard.

Vashon sits with RSR to keep us up to date on her road in becoming a world champion.

MA: Could you talk a little bit on the underground boxing story?

I did get into that world for a second. I never really planned on it. I was living on campus at the university and I needed some money. I never was an individual who grew up fighting or anything like that. I was there as a spectator. At the time, the DJ at the event said they needed some women to get up in there. I don’t know where it came from, but I said I will get in there. Me and this girl that I knew said she would get in there with me and said let’s go. But when I found out that you could go to jail for fighting in those things I quit. I only did two fights.

MA: Is boxing your full time gig?

I do a little bit of waitressing on the side when I am in town. But I am a full time college student. My Major is Kinesiology, and I am currently taking care of my mom. Training and boxing, I don’t know how I do it. I just do it.

MA: How hard is it going to school and having to travel during fights?

It’s crazy. I communicate with my professors. I do some online classes, that kind of helps. But I did get behind. I had three full time classes last semester and I made straight B’s. I don’t know how it did it. After the fight, I come back home and got on it. I had no life for a week or two. I just dug in and got it done.

MA: Did you grow up watching boxing?

I never grew up watching boxing too much. Every now and then, when we could afford cable, we would watch the Tyson fights back when I was a kid. I never grew up with a lot of knowledge about boxing. I am still learning to this day. I look at it as a mission that God gave me to fulfill and I am just doing that.

MA: Could you tell us about your last fight in Germany?

I fought for two World titles in Germany on October 23rd. I was out there for a week. I thought that it was a hoax because they contacted me through Facebook, and I called my coach and told him about it. I thought it was probably a hoax, because you do have crazy people that will contact you. I thought this Germany thing was a hoax. I literally went overnight from fighting regular 4 rounds to fighting a 10 round title fight. I didn’t really have enough time to really prep as best as I could. I didn’t have anyone to help me with my strength and conditioning. I did most of that on my own. I went in there and fought a 10 round title fight that I have never done my whole life. People told me I have guts!

I looked at it that I would be stupid to pass up this opportunity so I trained as hard as I know. I don’t have the money to pay a nutritionist or a conditioning coach that could tell me if I need to push myself hard. I don’t know if I need too. I just push myself as hard as I can till I fall out.

Before that Germany fight, I remember sitting in the aerobics room at 24 Hour Fitness. I cried because I was alone in my training. At least that is how I felt. All I can do is work with my boxing coach, but there are so many clients that they have and so many people that they help out from the kids as well that they can only do so much. I took control of my conditioning and my strength training and had to assume I was doing well. But it would show when we would spar and things like that. I don’t do a lot of trash talking because there will always be someone bigger and stronger. I look up to my opponent Christina Hammer for holding two belts. I was not disappointed for losing my fight to a decision. Most people thought I wouldn’t be able to make it cardio wise.

MA: Is it hard to find sparring partners that are women?

I mainly spar with guys. They help me a lot. There are not a lot of women in the heavier weight classes. After Laila Ali and Ann Wolfe, women boxing in the heavier weight classes are going down. It’s already tough because media is skeptical in putting female fights on television. It’s a United States thing. When I went to Germany, I learned a lot. Everything is based around the male here in the US. In Germany, the fight that I had with Hammer, we were the co-main event. There was another female fight that was the main event. The way that they had our weigh-ins was like a press conference. We were on German television and everything. Over there, it’s completely different. It’s just amazing when I got out of that ring. The Germans grabbed my hand and they shook my hand.

MA: It sounds like you come out learning a lot from that Germany fight.

It made me into a whole different fighter. I know what it’s like to fight for a World Title fight.

MA: What are your thoughts on female boxing in the Olympics?

I look up to these women going to the Olympics. I had a chance to spar with Franchon Crews, she is pretty major. She is like the number one amateur in the world in the middleweight division. I had an opportunity to spar with her and I told her “thank you so much”. She told me “no thank you”. The US Olympic team was in town so I was able to do that.

MA: What do you know about your current opponent?

There are some positive things about her. Tori Nelson, she has a lot on her plate as well. She is mother and has like three jobs. She is a struggling female boxer as well. I look up to her from what I have seen. I don’t hate my opponents. We are going in there and going to entertain everyone.

MA: Final Message to the RSR readers?

One thing that I wanted to say is that I never really started boxing through underground fighting because that is just not true. The way I got into boxing is on my website on my bio page .

I got into a fight with a guy hanging out with my friends at a lounge. The guy stole my purse and I ended up whooping him and I surprised myself in the process because I never had a fight my whole life but all I knew was something my father told me. He passed away when I was 18… but he would always tell me: “Baby, if you ever get into a fight with anybody, you never let up. You never get off of them. There is no time to be talking trash. You just stay on them, because you don’t want to talk trash and let them come back to hit you back. You stay on him.”

I beat this grown man up. I was about 20 at the time and they pulled me off him and I went back to that same spot some months later and some dude said to me: “Hey you are that chick that beat up some guy,” and he asked me if I ever thought about boxing. That’s really how I got into it.

Vashon Living
Division: Middleweight
Nickname: Lady V
Professional Record: 5-2-0, 1 KO’s

2011-10-21 Christina Hammer 10-0-0 Frankfurt, DE L UD 10
WBO female Middleweight Title /World Boxing Federation female Middleweight Title
2011-03-12 Latashia Burton 0-0-0 Texas City, US W SD 4

2010-11-20 Lisa Noel Garland 3-3-0 Galveston, US W UD 4
2010-10-28 Tammy Franks 2-13-1 Houston, US W MD 4
2010-07-22 Tammy Franks 2-10-1 Houston, US W UD 4

2009-07-11 April Richards 0-2-0 Houston, US W TKO 2

2005-08-19 Crystal Davis 1-1-0 El Paso, US L TKO 3

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