Cincinnati’s next boxing superstar is a 13-year-old girl who spars with the boys

Published: Nov. 24, 2021 at 11:35 PM EST
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - In the corner of a downtown boxing gym, you’ll often find a quiet, softspoken 13-year-old girl wearing pink boxing gloves working away at her craft.

For the most part, Kashia “Special K” Collins lets her right hook do the talking—and it’s plenty loud.

Pink gloves and all.

“She’s got a right hand that’s second to none,” said Collins’ trainer, Mike Stafford. “For a girl, that’s extremely important.”

Collins, of Cincinnati, is preparing for a national title run at 106 lbs. in the USA Boxing 2021 National Championships.

It wouldn’t be her first title. She dreams of still larger prizes, too.

But all that’s in the future. Right now, she’s training nearly every day—and she trains with the boys.

“She’s the princess of the gym, but also the king, too,” Stafford said.

It’s something Collins doesn’t bat an eye at, according to Cincinnati Golden Gloves Executive Director Christina LaRosa.

“She’s completely fine in a gym full of boys and men,” LaRosa said. “She’s just a fighter.”

A fighter at first sight, Collins boxes like she was born for it. In fact, she picked up boxing from her brother, Greg, around two years ago.

“My brother made me do it,” she said. “I see him running, and I was like, ‘I want to do it.’”

A girl in a boy’s sport that she fell in love with because of big bro... probably explains why losing her first fight hurt so much.

“Se cried, and she’s supposed to cry,” Stafford said. “We all cry. She knows now she wants to be a fighter.”

Collins got back in the ring in Philadelphia earlier this year. After winning her match, she posed for a picture with the Rocky statue, knowing that every champion was once a contender who refused to give up.

“It’s a switch,” she said. “When you’re in that ring, you’ve got to turn it on.”

Just one month later in Missouri, she was declared Silver Gloves National Champion.

“The minute Kashia steps in the ring, she’s still softspoken, but she talks with her fists,” said LaRosa. “She’s a competitor.”

Collins has dreams of boxing in the Olympics and becoming the main event in women’s boxing.

“There was a main event on ESPN with two female boxers the other night,” LaRosa said. “This is the perfect time for her to blaze her trail.”

The USA Boxing 2021 National Championships will be held Dec. 5-11 in Shreveport, Louisiana.

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