Alleigh Fine ’20 finishes second at national boxing tournament
Carthage doesn’t have a boxing team, but that doesn’t mean it’s not well represented in the sport. Alleigh Fine ’20, a political science and psychology double major from Wentzville, Missouri, finished second in the country’s premier women’s collegiate boxing competition, the United States Intercollegiate Boxing Association National Tournament held March 16-18 at the University of Illinois. It was her first time competing in a tournament at the national level after boxing for three years.
Boxing isn’t a sport that a ton of people pick up, so how did Alleigh find her way into the ring?
“My grandpa was a golden glove boxer, so it’s always been something that I’ve been interested in,” she said. “I tore both of my ACLs in high school playing lacrosse, so I picked up boxing during my time rehabbing and instantly fell in love with the sport. Boxing felt so natural. It felt right. I felt like I had found the exact place where I was meant to be. The ring became my new home.”
Alleigh spends so much time training that the ring may as well be her actual home. She trains two to three hours every weeknight in Milwaukee with Israel “Izzy” Acosta, a former national champion and assistant coach for the 2000 and 2012 U.S. Olympic boxing teams. In addition to sparring, she drills technique, footwork, new combos, and other essential skills for any aspiring pugilist. And that’s just inside the ring. She also conditions and weight trains six days a week and will spend five weeks this summer training at the Mayweather Gym in Las Vegas, the boxing capital of the world.
“Training is the hard part,” Alleigh said. “You spend endless hours a week working on your game. It’s tough, but stepping into the ring with your opponent makes it all worth it. It’s your time to showcase all your hard work and dedication.”
Alleigh challenges her opponents in the ring, but she’s also helping to challenge gender norms.
“I want to inspire others, especially young girls,” she said. “We grow up in such a mean society of standards for girls and around the idea of what constitutes femininity. I want to be someone to show them that strength is beautiful and that it’s okay to pursue all your dreams even if it isn’t a ‘feminine’ one.”
Alleigh’s dream? Boxing in the 2024 or 2028 Olympics. She admits it won’t be easy, but she’ll get there the way she’s accomplished her other goals in the ring – with the support of loved ones.
“If it weren’t for my team, family, friends, coaches, and the big man upstairs, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”