As boxing is slowly regaining popularity in Italy, in the US it is the most popular sport, bearing new champions on the scene each year. New York is the cradle for all such champions and aspiring ones. Training in a corner with coach Tony, I get to meet Elisa Collaro, whose dream is already unraveling.
Elisa when and how did you discover your love for boxing?
On my 14th birthday my dad took me to a gym. A friend who had been boxing talked me into trying; he said he thought it was fitting for me, given some past experiences of mine. By that he was referring to some small fights I’d had with other girls; there’s no denying back then I used to be a bit of a bully and wouldn’t hold back from a fight. When I won my very first match I was as happy as a kid on Christmas morning!
What’s your day like when you’re training?
Each day is different; I have days when I work on technique, the bag, shadowboxing, sparring, strength and conditioning, running, yoga and days of rest. A typical day always begins with working out at the gym, warming up with the jump rope, bag, pad work with my coach, abs and sit-ups and that’s just the first session. I go home to get some rest, then get ready for the second part of training, which depends on the day like I said before. I have a fixed schedule each week.
How did you come up with the name THE BOMB on your boxer’s license?
My coach picked it. I was shadowboxing in the ring as my coach was telling a guy about me. He was like “she’s my new fighter, she can fight and she is cute too. She’s The Bomb!”. So that’s how I got it and it stuck with me.
Is there a boxer in particular that inspires you?
My favorite boxer is Floyd Mayweather, the absolute best in this era, but it’d be totally unrealistic for me to think of becoming like him. Some qualities and abilities he has can only come naturally. My favorite female boxer is Belinda Laraquente. Her style is envied by many men too, she’s incredible! Definitely the best woman in boxing!
It’s always been my dream place. I would see it in movies and fantasize about coming even if just on vacation. When I started checking into it, I found out the most famous boxing gym in the world was here, so I decided I should try to make my dream come true and it just felt incredible when I first walked into that gym, it just felt like home.
Boxing is a noble sport that takes a toll on your life. What are you willing to sacrifice for your American dream?
Being right here right now means a lot to me. I’ve had to sacrifice family, friends, my city and traditions, my habits and much more. What they say about boxing, that it’s a dream no one can see other than you, is so true. Nobody can comprehend what lies behind a simple sport. We each have our motivation, our dream, our sacrifice.
There’s the saying about New York: “if you can make it here you can make it anywhere”. Is it really so to you?
Absolutely. New York is a city that never sleeps, it’s so fast, doesn’t stop for anyone. As my mom would say “you pedal or you get left behind”. It’s a very tough city, always evolving around work. Family and friends get second place, so as an Italian it wasn’t easy to come here and be completely alone.
When are we going to see you in the ring next?
I still haven’t scheduled my next match, but my manager says most likely around the end of July. Whoever wants to follow me on my journey and get updates can like my page Elisa ‘The Bomb’ Collaro.
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