By: Romesha Ensley
Today was the finals. I was more than ready to fight. My whole team was fighting today. We woke up and had to go to weigh-ins at 6 o’clock in the morning. When we made it back from weigh-ins, our coaches ordered us a big breakfast. We all had super size omelets, french toast, oatmeal, fruit, and a drink. We were now resting until it was time to fight.
It was no longer two sessions for fighting, the finals were combined into one session in the afternoon. This made the day feel very long because I was so anxious.
When it was finally time to fight, I was nervous. This was weird because I don’t usually get nervous before a fight. I didn’t like this feeling because I didn’t know how I would perform being nervous for the first time.
The pressure was in the air. I don’t know if I was the only one nervous or not, but I wasn’t about to stay like this. I had to shake this feeling. I went to one of my coaches, Coach O, and told him how I was feeling. He told me it was okay to feel like that because I’ve never been here before, and that I’d be fine.
“You got down to 125 to win. These girls can’t beat you on your worst day. Calm down and follow the game plan, and I guarantee you’ll win with no problem,” said Coach O.
This is exactly what I did. I was nervous all the way up to my fight. I couldn’t figure out why. I didn’t think she was better than me or anything, so I didn’t know why I was nervous.
My opponent, Arlette Vega, was short just like my opponent in the semi-finals. My coaches told me to use the exact same game plan, except that I should be a little bit more aggressive. This was fine, I knew it was going to be easy, but I still couldn’t shake this nervous feeling.
I got in the ring and the nervous feeling began to go away, but not fully. When the bell rang for the first round, the feeling was completely gone. She wasn’t as aggressive as the first girl I fought, but she had very good defense. In order to win, you need to have good defense, as she did and good offense, as I did.
I was still fighting very defensively responsibly. I was counter-punching and capitalizing on all of her mistakes. I was looking and feeling very sharp. I was in a good zone. I was very focused. At this point, there was nothing she could do to beat me.
After the second round, when I was in the corner, I was tired. I wanted some water, and my Coach Ron was talking to me and not giving me any. I only get 60 seconds in the corner so I was very impatient and upset. My throat and mouth were dry, but instead of letting this distract me, it made me turn my anger into focus.
When the 3rd round bell rang, I sprinted out and threw six punches to her face and two punches to her body. All of these punches landed perfectly. She wasn’t throwing as many punches as me. She was barely punching anymore. I was tired though, so I went back to boxing and staying long. When there was 30 seconds left in the round, my coach, Roshawn, told me to “bite down,” so this is what I did.
In those last 30 seconds, I think we were both feeling dead tired, but it was about who wanted to win this championship more. I most definitely did. I worked too hard to make it all the way to the finals and then lose. I wasn’t about to lose under any circumstances. So for the last moments of the fight, I just punched non-stop.
With all judges voting in my favor, I won scoring a unanimous decision. This win wasn’t just any win. I won gold. I am now number one in the nation fighting at 125 pounds.