Hit like a girl: 10-year-old boxer busting down barriers

Published: Jan. 21, 2020 at 4:48 PM EST
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While winter packs a punch across Michiana, many athletes are forced inside to avoid a knockout.

But one boxer is breaking down barriers, one hit at a time.

"Boxing is not looked at upon as a female sport," South Bend Police Department Capt. David Herron said.

But don't tell that to Sherlyn Resendiz. She's breaking the status quo.

"You can get in the ring and show them what you're made of," Sherlyn said.

At just 10 years old, she's already making a name for herself in the ring.

"You can see it in her work that she is dedicated," Herron said. "She's focused and she's well-disciplined and she loves what she does."

Three years ago, Sherlyn started participating the South Bend Police Athletic League boxing program.

"When I first got in the ring, I was nervous. I was like thinking, 'Am I going to fail?'" Sherlyn said.

"Sherlyn has done a fantastic job. She follows our instructions, and that is you don't give up," Herron said. "You give 110%. No matter how hard it gets, you can make it through hard work."

But last year, she wanted to take her training a step further.

"I wanted to start fighting and winning and getting trophies," Sherlyn said.

Now she competes against other girls from across Michiana and has already collected some hardware.

Sherlyn practices three hours a day, three times a week. With her dad as her coach and community members as her trainers, she's got a full army of supporters.

"I love it so much because it feels like I'm not lonely, like I'm here with my dad," she said. "It's like their family to me. I won't do nothing to let them down. Like, I will try my hardest and try my best. "

And she's got big dreams for herself.

"I want to be a really good fighter," she said. "I really want to be a professional boxer."

She's also inspiring other young girls in the Police Athletic League.

"The other young ladies, they see this and it motivates them to want to come and participate," Herron said. "Now, these young ladies, they sit up here, as you can see, they will hit that bag. Hit those mitts pretty hard. Punch hard. They're focused. They're dedicated, and it's all through hard work. A lot of other young girls, they see that and they just want to, they gravitate toward it and they just want to be a part of it."

Sherlyn says all it takes is the courage to get in the ring.

"Because then you know that you're not going to fail, you're not going to fall down or fall out of the ring, you're just going to stay in that ring and keep going," she said.

And girls can hit just as hard.

"Try to accomplish your dreams," Sherlyn concluded. "Like, don't give up. Just keep on going."