Tired of being bullied, deaf student turns to boxing


By AGENCY

For many, boxing is a way to let off steam as well as get a good workout in. Photo: ATTENTIE ATTENTIE/Unsplashunsplash

Boxing helped Andrea Moore overcome a lot of obstacles in her life – and that’s why she loves the sweet science.

The 29-year-old fighter, who resides in Rossville in Staten Island, New York was born deaf and was bullied growing up.

She turned to boxing at the age of 14 as a way to channel her anger from constantly being picked on.

“I had anger problems and my parents saw me hold my own whenever I played rough with the boys so they heard about this gym and brought me there,” explained Moore. “It instantly lit up a soul I didn’t know I had. Letting it all out by hitting the bag.

“The timing of the double-end bag was (messing) me up so bad. How quickly I had to learn the pressure to be able to keep up on the speed bag. The physical challenges I knew I was going to have to face. I wanted to be worthy and prove it to people and to myself that I can take this on. Disability or not, I knew it was going to help me forget about everything bad and remember what I still got. I needed that. I knew i needed that to get by in life. That’s why I always say boxing is my first and forever love and my saviour.”

But despite being in the gym for so many years, Moore never got the chance to actually fight anyone until recently when she lost a close decision to United States Marine Corps Boxing Team member Lisa Kilmer of North Carolina.

The fight was one of the many on the card of the “First Responders Unite For Fight Night” at Staten Island University Hospital Community Park in St. George.

“It was a very close call but unfortunately I lost,” Moore said of fight with Kilmer. “I was excited because after all these years of trying to compete I had multiple opponents back out on me and this was my first real boxing fight and it was a pretty memorable experience. The support from my people was amazing and (I’m) forever grateful for that part of the experience.”

As it turns out, the fight will be Moore’s last – as per doctors orders – as she is scheduled to have an operation to enable her to hear.

“Once I do the surgery, I can’t risk any more head trauma as it is extremely sensitive,” she explained. “I realised the capability of whatever hearing I have left is more important to me than fighting/sparring/rolling. And let’s be real, getting hit in the head is not always that fun either.

“So for the last year, I have been hard on myself to get more comfortable with coaching, putting myself out there and share the love and passion I have of fighting and to help others with what I know best.

“It was a mental battle for a while, and trust me, I did a lot of research, but as much as I love my combat sports and being able to physically engage with one another, is it really worth it to continue to lose my hearing and have a harder quality of life (when) I’m not even 30 yet?”

The surgery, called Cochlear Implant (CI) – will take place in mid-October. Moore said a wire will be implanted directly to whatever working nerves she has left in her inner ear area and stimulate it directly to help her hear again and hear clearer, too. The wire will be connected to a magnetic plate above her skull, underneath the skin and that’s how it’ll be activated.

“I am looking forward to getting a new outlook on life and adjust to it,” said Moore, whose brand name is “Never against the ropes”.

“Life’s hard enough to keep up with the real world – a.k.a the hearing world. I worked very hard in speech therapy during my school years. I wanted to show that I can keep up with the hearing people.”

When asked how she has conquered so much in her life, she said: “Remember when you face hardships, you can allow yourself to get stuck on the ropes or in a funk but at some point, you got to find a way to get out. Cut angles and get back in the game. Get back in the fight.” – Staten Island Advance/Tribune News Service

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gender , bullying , boxing , family

   

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