Boxing Keeps Dad’s Memory Alive

by  Youth Reporter

Editor’s Note: The following story was written by a student in the Urban Youth International Journalism Program:

Karla Roldan wants to keep her father’s memory alive, so she boxes.

Karla is an 18-year-old senior at Prosser Career Academy. She is known as a varsity soccer player, born in Cuba, whose mother is Mexican and whose father was Dominican and Cuban. Her father was a pro boxer, which was exciting for her when she was growing up. Then she reached seventh grade and her father entered depression. He had to retire from boxing. Slowly, he became addicted to medication and then he accidentally overdosed.

“My dad didn’t take his life away. His addiction did,” Karla said. “He was a great man that wouldn’t ever do that.
“It was very sad for me to lose my dad because we were so close.”
But she keeps her head up.
“I’m always happy,” she said. “What makes me me are all the people around me. All the bad experiences I’ve had in my past made me stronger.”

Karla started boxing a few months after her father passed away. She now trains in Rockford. Her training involves a lot of effort and energy.
“You have to do tons of push-ups, sit-ups and have a lot of strength,” she said.
“I am very competitive and when I’m boxing, I take all my anger out on those poor people,” she said with a giggle.
Being in a sport that’s mostly dominated by males can be a tough engagement.
“They get surprised and they’re curious to actually see a girl box in front of a lot of people, but I’m not afraid to show them what I’ve got,” she said. Boxing can make a person stronger and confident. Because she dominates in the arena, she intimidates the opposite gender.

Even though she boxes, soccer is another sport she enjoys.
“Soccer is for me. Boxing is to keep my dad’s memory alive,” she said. “When I box, instead of using my name as my introduction to the arena, I use my dad’s name, and when I win, I dedicate all my victories to him.”

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