KEMAH — Fresh off a gold medal win at the Olympic Cup in Puerto Rico, Kemah boxer Ginny Fuchs is gearing up for the Houston Open Ring Nationals in September while keeping one eye on a goal further down the road — Rio in 2016.
Fuchs, who narrowly missed making the 2012 Olympic team after finishing fourth the trials, went undefeated in two June tournaments in Puerto Rico.
In her first international competition, Fuchs fought in the 112-pound flyweight division, winning all five fights by technical knockout and taking home the gold in the Cheo Aponte Tournament and Olympic Cup.
Fuchs was one of two women invited to Puerto Rico to train with the U.S. National Team and coach Pedro Roque.
Representing Team USA for the first time further fueled her desire to make it to the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil, Fuchs said.
“I’m just looking to Brazil,” she said. “I really don’t think anything can stop me.”
It’s a dream Fuchs has held since at least 2012, when women’s boxing made its Olympic debut at the Summer Games in London.
“That made me decide, ‘OK, now I’m really going to take this serious,’” she said. “After that, it was train, train, train.”
Fuchs, 25, has always been an athlete. Growing up, she played a little bit of everything, including basketball and softball.
While studying kinesiology and running cross country at Louisiana State University, Fuchs met a professional boxer who convinced her to start working out at his gym.
Fuchs initially just wanted to stay in shape. Sparring with a partner one day, Fuchs “put it on her pretty good,” she said, and a coach noted Fuchs’ natural talent in the ring.
As an amateur, Fuchs began racking up wins, taking two Louisiana Golden Gloves titles and medals at national tournaments.
In 2011, she graduated from LSU and shortly after qualified for the 2012 Olympic Trials. She fell just short of a trip to London, but now having completed school, Fuchs’ path ahead seemed clear.
Fuchs, who works as a trainer and lives in Kemah, can now devote herself to boxing.
She was the runner-up at the U.S. Nationals in April, losing a split decision to Pasadena native Marlen Esparza, the first women’s boxer to represent Team USA at the Olympics.
The decision was booed by the crowd, and Fuchs is “knocking at the door” to become the top amateur female boxer in the U.S., her coach, Roy Alvarado, said.
“She’s got a drive that is just beyond anything I’ve seen,” he said.
Fuchs’ speed, footwork and surprising bursts of strength make her a dominating force in the ring, Alvarado said, noting how quickly she won her last few fights in Puerto Rico. Fuchs has gone 33-9 in her career and can more than hold her own when sparring against male boxers.
With the inclusion of women’s boxing in the Olympics, Fuchs is happy to see the sport grow in popularity and acceptance.
She has her job and enjoys fishing in her free time, but Fuchs puts in long hours every day to train for the future: The Houston Open Ring Nationals in two months and the Olympics in three years.