Jailene De La Cruz
UpperKuts Boxing Club wants to introduce one of our most bad ass, middleweight, female boxing prospects Jailene De La Cruz. She recently participated in her first boxing event at Boston Boxing in Brighton, MA. Jai (for short) is a 24 year old, Marine veteran. We caught up with Jai to talk about boxing and her day to day life.
Hi Jai! We are excited to hear you participated in your first boxing event. It's not often that you hear a lot about females who are into boxing. Can you tell us what got you into this sport?
Boxing has always sort of been around me. I grew up with my father watching boxing matches on television, which he still does to this day. I have had friends that boxed as well. What really got me into wanting to box though were the other fighters at UpperKuts Boxing Club. They have such determination and drive and a fierceness that makes them a force to be reckoned with. They make it look effortless and fun and so that's what made me want to commit to boxing. What also got me to be an UpperKuts Boxing Club fighter is that my elder brother, Hector, had introduced me to the club on his birthday, Tuesday, January 12th. I was psyched because it had been a while since we hung out and he is also training to become a fighter as well. So for him to have opened up and let me come and see what he was up to was big for me
What were you feeling before your fight at the boxing event at Boston Boxing?
My feelings before the fight were actually pretty normal—if you can call them that. I was not anxious, but excited. I mean, I was REALLY excited for the first fight. When we got to the gym, I just did my best to zone out and not get ahead of myself or think that whoever my competition was could get the best of me. A few minutes before I was up to fight was when I did start feeling a little anxious, but not anything crazy. Once I was in the ring though, it was a done deal..
So you train with one of the best coaches in New England. Tell us about working with your coach, AJ.
Working with AJ is an experience I am truly grateful for each and every day that we train. By no means is it easy and we have days where we do not see eye to eye, but he cares about his boxers. AJ pushes me constantly, correcting my technique, a move, or a combination whenever I get it wrong. At the end of the day, all of the hard work he makes me put in is definitely visible. He helps me to overcome the challenges I am met with, and then proceeds to give out more challenges in return.
To get where you are now, it must have taken a lot of discipline and hard work. What is your daily routine like? From eating and sleeping to exercise?
My daily routine is simple: Work, train, eat and sleep. I try to get as much rest as possible, but it sometimes does not work out that way. I can get anywhere from 4 to 8 hours of sleep before starting out a new day. As far as eating habits go, I try to stay away from carbs. I depend on fruits such as strawberries and blueberries, as well as mixed greens, broccoli, eggs and chicken. Tuna is also good. My big workouts happen in the evening from around 5 to 8:00pm, where I focus on cardio and strength.
Boxing can be a bit more male dominated. It's great to see UpperKuts Boxing has a female boxer. Tell us what it means for you to be a female fighter.
I have to push myself harder than the rest. I know that sounds cliché, but only because it is the truth. Most men are automatically stronger and more adept at boxing, and I want to be up there in the ranks with the greatest. It means the world to me to be a female fighter because not every female is cut out for this or would want to do it. So I guess you could say it takes a special kind of woman to make it happen.
How do you see your future in boxing?
I want to become a professional that will eventually make it to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. I will fight for as long as I can.
Do you have any advice for any young and upcoming female fighters?
Do not give up on yourself. Actually, you are NOT allowed to give up on yourself. When going into boxing, realize that it will be tough and may put a strain on you in some ways, but it will always be worth it when you gain that respect in the ring and show them what you are made of.
Tell us something about you that we don't know, unrelated to boxing.
I love "the Arts", from reading to writing, acting, drawing and photography. I grew up in a somewhat artistic household and it rubbed off on me. I also love watching anime even though I haven't watched it in a while. One of my goals is to make it to a Comic Con full decked out as a character. Haha!