Studying in business and working in the Real Estate, Andrea has a passion for boxing. See how she started Fights for Hope and how boxing changed her viewpoint of life.
“I trained for her enjoyment and for her hope.”
Can you tell me about your background?
I am from Dunstable, Massachusetts which is about 40 minutes north of Boston. I received a Bachelors Degree in Business Management with a Minor in Psych from Bryant University, Smithfield Rhode Island in 2005. Since my undergrad, I have received my National Paralegal Certification from Boston University and Massachusetts Real Estate Salespersons License. I currently reside in the North End Neighborhood of Boston, MA where I practice Luxury Real Estate Sales full time in the surrounding neighborhoods. I love doing Real Estate in Boston, it is such a truly unique and thriving market! My family resides all over Massachusetts with the exception of my eldest nephew being a Freshmen at UNH this year (Go Wildcats!). My parents also work within the city themselves. Boston is home to me. Central to Eastern Massachusetts is home to me. It’s where I feel comfortable, challenged & loved.
When and why did you start boxing? Any story behind it?
I know everyone wants this great Fairy Tale story behind why I started boxing, but there isn’t one. I loved the sport. I grew up a town over from Lowell, MA and my Father used to take me as a child to see the Golden Gloves Tournament at the Memorial Auditorium. He’s in the phone union so of course, he knew a bunch of people there and my Great Uncle Angelo was a fighter in the Army and fought a little locally when he came home. It was a social event for us, but I didn’t grow up saying I wanted to be a fighter, but I grew up thinking it was something I could try if I wanted too. My Father never put a limitation on what sports girls could and couldn’t do. I did the local boys T-ball and skated on the pond with the rest of them during the winters.
I started out just taking fitness “boxing” classes around the age of 23 and I loved it. Got to put on real gloves hit a real bag and get a great workout in without ever having the stress of an opponent. I did it for several years for fitness and stress relief. It didn’t really hit me until around 28 or so that I wanted to maybe have a real fight. I didn’t have any friends that were current amateur fighters so I was pretty clueless on how to get into it, and I was a little embarrassed since I knew I obviously wouldn’t be great at first. I decided to join a new gym, a Southie favorite, Peter Welch’s over on Dot Ave.
Who introduced you to the idea of fighting?
I was introduced to the idea of a fighting for a Cancer Charity Association by the name of Haymakers for Hope. This came in the same month that one of my Best Friend’s Mother had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. It was at that point where I decided to put aside my doubts and do something selfless for someone else. I fought for Bunny Hayes, I trained for her enjoyment and for her hope. It was a fun topic of conversation to have instead of treatments and symptoms and medication. It was something for her to look forward too. It was something for her family to get distracted by. It wasn’t about me and it wasn’t about what weight class I was in or the opponent I was fighting. It was about her through to the day she passed, one month prior to the actual fight. Some people take these types of charity events and make it about themselves, created self-logos and fan hype etc, but that wasn’t us. It was a great distraction and a great way to personally raise over 12K for cancer research.
During this time, I confirmed my love in the sport of Boxing. Later on that year I decided I would enter the Lowell Golden Gloves for me. I had three consecutive fights within the tournament making it as a finalist. Summer of 2016 I fought again in Western MA.
Do you think that boxing changes you?
Boxing has changed the way I look at nutrition and exercise. I believe you have to have some sort of self-discipline to enter the game, so for me, it has enhanced how I take care of myself. Doesn’t mean I don’t eat at Monica’s on Salem once a week though. Also, I’ve met such a diverse group of people, some of which are my best friends whom I see daily. The generosity and selflessness they display every day is inspiring. I’m able to easily identify opportunities to help out others in need without feeling like “just one” from being around these people. My eyes are so much wider than they’ve ever been.
What is the most difficult part of being a woman fighter?
Well, most of the struggles in fighting for male and females are extremely similar. But I know where your head was at when asking me this question so to be frank, with females it’s the misconception of the stereotype that we are all masculine and aggressive by nature. The one line zingers from random guys can be entertaining though. “Watch what you say, she’ll beat you up” or “would you spare me?” Sigh, I’m laughing inside, honest.
Who/what was inspired you to become the person you are today?
The simplest answer, my parents. My mother is the female I look up to the most. She’s one of the strongest hardworking, fullhearted, tell you how it is, no BS type of Lady and she’ll love you as much as the day is long without judgment. My Father is that guy everyone wants to be friends with. He’d give you the shirt off his back even if it was his last. He enjoys the simple things in life and has taught me to pay no mind to anything that doesn’t better me or accept me.
What are your passions in life?
Such a loaded question. Haha. I’m passionate about a lot. I love my three nephews and family, true quality friends, athletics like boxing and running, I’m a horrible painter, but I love painting, Cooking traditional Polish and Greek meals (my nationalities), listening to Classical music (love the Violin & Cello), pretending I can golf, getting lost in my city, getting lost in a foreign city, being by the Ocean. There’s a lot… really.
What does Boston mean to you?