BALTIMORE, Md. — Even though boxer Amelia Moore has been fighting her way to the Olympics for the past 10 months – and came one step closer last week – she believes she’s opened Pandora’s Box and this is beginning of her journey.
The 25-year-old Norway native took the bronze at last week’s Olympic qualifiers in Baltimore, Md., just down the road from her current home of Columbia. The 132-pound fighter beat out Moisha Wagoner of Kansas on Friday, Sept. 11, N’Yteeyah Sherman of Ohio on Wednesday, Sept. 9, and Wendy Casey of New York on Tuesday, Sept. 8. Moore lost to Tiara Brown of Maryland on Thursday, Sept. 10, and her chance to grab silver or gold in the tournament.
While Moore knocked Wagoner to fourth place so she could move on, she feels they became friends because of their fight. Moore went up to her the night before, shook her hand and said, ‘Let’s finish off with strength and honor. Let’s bring everything we got, no regrets.’”
Moore said it was weird because she’s never done that with an opponent before and felt a connection with Wagoner.
“Between she and I, it was like we were having a whole conversation with every exchange,” Moore said, noting it was emotional fight for both of them because this was their last chance to get one step closer to their Olympics dreams. “At the end of the fight when the bell rang, she grabbed me and hugged me. She kept saying, ‘Thank you so much. Thank you for finishing this off with me.’”
While she was pleased with the bronze, she noted her disappointment in losing to Brown, who’s a world champion and her toughest opponent to date. Moore knows she has what it takes to bring home gold next month at the Olympic trials in Memphis, Tenn.
“This sport is a battle of wills, it really is… . My heart is so strong. This is what I set out to do,” Moore said about at least placing third last week to move onto the next round. “I don’t think I would be in this sport if I doubted myself.”
And the 2014 Maryland Novice Golden Gloves champion had plenty to doubt this past year. She battled dairy and gluten allergies that contributed to her two bouts of pneumonia — one of which forced her to miss the first Olympic qualifiers in January — lost her longtime coach Thomas Langley Sr. in February and battled altitude sickness after returning from Colorado qualifiers where she placed fourth. But these set backs couldn’t keep the self-proclaimed perfectionist down.
“It seems like every time (I fight), the confidence continues to build and I start believing in myself more,” Moore said, adding she has close to 25 fights under her belt. “This time this was mine.”
Her coaching staff gave her the week off to let her body recoup, but she began running on Tuesday and will resume full-time training come Monday, Sept. 21. Now she’ll be able to fine tune things to make her an overall better fighter.
“I have the technical part, the quickness and enough experience where I can start reading my opponents in the ring instead of going out there and throwing some punches in your face,” she said, laughing. “There’s less room for error as you go on.”
While her friends, family and supporters are riding high off her bronze win, Moore knows she has more work to do. She has to place in the top three at next month’s trials to be able to represent the U.S. in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
“I know I will be excited when it’s all over. This is the beginning and this is opening Pandora’s Box. It’s a whole other world,” Moore said.