Norway native fights her way to the Olympics

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Amelia Moore hits the ring in Portland on Saturday

By Erin Place

COLUMBIA, Md.—Norway native and the 2014 Maryland Novice Golden Gloves champion Amelia Moore is going for the one-two punch when she fights in Portland this weekend—she’ll further her boxing career and her local friends and family get to see her compete.

Norway native Amelia Moore and her coach and trainer ,Thomas Langley Sr., snap a post-win photo after the South Atlantic Regional Golden Gloves Novice Finals at Sugar Ray Gym in Palmer Park, Md.
Norway native Amelia Moore and her coach and trainer ,Thomas Langley Sr., snap a post-win photo after the South Atlantic Regional Golden Gloves Novice Finals at Sugar Ray Gym in Palmer Park, Md.

The 24-year-old will fight Lindsay Kyajohnian as part of the event put on by the Portland Boxing Club at the Portland Expo, 239 Park Ave., on Saturday, Nov. 15. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the event kicks off at 7:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased by calling 210-6655 or visiting www.tickets.porttix.com/public/.

In addition to having adrenaline pumping through her veins from the match, she’s excited her friends from Norway will be there since she’s been living in Maryland since graduating from high school.

“For people to see the real you, it’s such a powerful thing. The energy is so different when you’re there in person,” she says about attending a live boxing match.

Moore has always been competitive and enjoyed contact sports. She started taking karate and jiu jitsu at age seven and attended a kickboxing class with her mom as a teen. In 2008, she graduated from Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School, where she played a plethora of sports, served as varsity track captain and went to states her senior year. She began learning how to box at a gym in Lewiston before being drafted to the Naval Academy for her high jump on its D1 team. She was also the first female goalie for the Naval Academy.

“It was pretty cool. I got to pioneer a little bit,” she says.

John Meyer photo Norway native and 2014 Maryland Novice Golden Gloves champion Amelia Moore trains at Club One Fitness in Millersville, Md.
John Meyer photo
Norway native and 2014 Maryland Novice Golden Gloves champion Amelia Moore trains at Club One Fitness in Millersville, Md.

And that pioneering streak continued for Moore. She wanted to keep training for boxing but the program at the Naval Academy doesn’t train women competitively, something she calls “super sexist.” Moore says fate brought her to her head coach, Thomas Langley Sr., and now his son, Thomas Langley Jr. She began training with them before leaving the military academy and competed in July at the Womens Golden Gloves Championships in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Moore’s current fighting record standing at 11-3 with four technical knock outs (TKO), which means she completely stopped four of her opponents. One of the biggest fights in her career was fighting the 125-pound class world champion Tiara Brown, who’s got 80-plus fights under her belt, in Maryland. Though she didn’t win, Moore and her coaches were proud of her performance.

“She is so amazing. She will usually stop her opponents the first round,” Moore says, noting she completed four rounds with Brown. “It went the distance, it was close. I wasn’t outclassed. It was a phenomenal experience. … If you want to be the best, you got the fight the best.”

She says she’s had a lot of little victories during her career thus far, including being the first person and woman in her gym to go to nationals. But one of her proudest moments was making it to the championships in the first place and, with it, all the training and fundraising that was needed to make it happen.

Now she has her eyes set on the 2016 Olympics.

The first qualifying tournament for the summer Olympics is in the middle of January in Spokane, Wash. And the stakes are high. There’s three weight classes for the Olympics and the only top 12 women in each class will be selected for Team USA.

With this in mind, this past year Moore has ramped up her work out regiment, often training six and sometimes seven days a week. This includes running three to five miles a day, sometimes with sprints, calisthenics, plyometrics, bag work, 20 minutes of jump rope, five rounds of shadow boxing and weight lifting, totaling around three hours each day. On Sunday she practices Bikram, or hot yoga, before going for a run.

This year was the first time where she used a sauna suit, which consists of piling on layers of clothing to make her sweat profusely to get her to lose some pounds for her weight class since she’s put on so much muscle mass with her intense training. It’s difficult to learn to deal with that stress brought on by putting your body through such physical extremes, Moore says.

“Mentally, there’s so many times you’re like, ‘I don’t know if I can go on.’ Even if you have an opponent in front of you, every step you take, every person you’re fighting is yourself,” she says. “You push through it and not break down. Your mind will break down first. I promise your body will take you a lot farther than your mind.”

Norway native Amelia Moore, right, is named the winner during a boxing match against Nerissa Turner at the Jeter Promotions show at Club One Fitness in Millersville, Md. Moore returns to Maine this weekend to fight at the Portland Expo.
Norway native Amelia Moore, right, is named the winner during a boxing match against Nerissa Turner at the Jeter Promotions show at Club One Fitness in Millersville, Md. Moore returns to Maine this weekend to fight at the Portland Expo.

One of the hurdles Moore has overcome as a fighter, especially as a woman fighter, is finding consistent training partners. There’s an ebb and flow to the sport, she says, which takes a lot of time and dedication. Sometimes guys are afraid to hit her, though she assures them she can take a hit, and the younger ones sometimes hit too hard. Moore adds you’re not supposed to hurt your training partner. Another challenge is training with different people so she doesn’t get comfortable and lazy and will keep pushing herself, allowing the the adrenaline to flow.

But at the end of the day, it’s not about gender when it comes to boxing for Moore.

“I don’t ever want to be seen as a woman or man. I want someone to look at me and say, ‘That’s a fighter,’” she says.

For more information on Moore and/or to purchase her newly released fan T-shirts, which will help with fundraising for her boxing career, visit www.ameliamooreboxing.com/.

eplace@advertiserdemocrat.com