Impruv U Ep. 1 Interview with Maureen Shea, two time world champion boxer.
Welcome to Impruv-U. I'm your host, Christina Davis. I've been in the cosmetic enhancement industry for close to 30 years now, helping both men and women improve their appearances through treatments and procedures. I'm a medical aesthetician, a medical micro-pigmentation specialist, and I'm also the owner of Impruv-U health and wellness med spa in Boca Raton Florida.
In my med spa, we provide dozens of services, such as IV trips, fat loss, full red light led therapy, compression therapy. And of course, cosmetic facial services. My show features both clients and others that I've had the pleasure of knowing along my professional path with some very incredible stories of how they not only improve their lives, but also the lives of others.
My guest today is an extraordinary woman athlete who has done just that -not only improved her life, but impacting the lives of others in a big. She is a two time world champion boxer, and she has worked with Oscar award-winning Hillary Swank to prepare for her role in million dollar baby. She is also a domestic violence survivor and she finds the time to work with young adults, helping to enrich their lives.
She is the ultimate of femininity in a male dominated sport. And is she is a hero to many, including myself, please welcome Maureen Shea.
Maureen: thank you. That means so much to me. Like, I can't tell you how much that means woman to woman. It's such, I mean, we've only met like, you know, we only met once. I mean, we had an amazing, but you know, like it's like we talked about the connect. You know, you meet people that are like, it's almost like soulmates, you know, I know it's people say soulmates a little romantic.
It's not always like that. You know what I mean? When you meet somebody that you can, you can feel their spirit, they feel their soul, and then you can connect in that way. So thank you. That was a beautiful intro.
CD: Oh, you're welcome. I've had the honor to have made her acquaintance when she chose our med spa to be her place of recovery and retreat after her rigorous workouts that she trains, uh, she is now training for her third world title.
And one of the ways that she is recovering is through red light therapy and compression therapy.
Maureen: And it's always great. And facials as part of my recovery. That's my sanity. Okay. That's like when I'm with you guys all day long, I'm sweating and I'm today I was training and I'm doing a, I was strength training.
And it's funny because I had always like, we have, you know, these floors, they'll just like, it's, uh, you know, it's a gym floor. So there was a female training there today done athlete. She was just a, you know, an, a client, a regular client. And they put the mat down and the mat was there and they cleaned it and they left.
I said, I get to lay on a mat to do a floor press because I'm so used to being the guys and I'm laying like a puddle of sweat, you know? So you understand. Going to going to a spa and getting a facial is like, oh, if you don't mind me saying,
CD: I don't think a lot of people think of boxers as somebody that wants to be, you know, feminine and beautiful and, and your gorgeous. Absolutely beautiful.
Maureen: Thank you. Well, you know, it's, it's changed a lot. Female boxing is now coming to the forefront. Um, you know, I started boxing when I was 17 years old, so that was long time ago. I'm 41 now, and I'm still, I'm still actively fighting with people. Are you you're actively fighting still. I don't have to, but I can.
And I'm physically there. And I, and I want to, you know what I mean, because, uh, I just, I've been a pioneer in the sport. There was amazing women that came before me that paved the way for women like myself. And then I came along and paved the way for Olympians, uh, myself and many other women who women's boxing.
I wasn't introduced to the Olympics until 2012. So I turned professional in 2005. And so you got understand just to give everybody a little bit of a background, um, boxing there's, amateur boxing, there's professional boxing and amateur boxing. They don't, they wear a head gear. The gloves are 10 ounces. They fight four rounds in professional boxing.
The head gear comes off. The weight classes are a little bit different and you're wearing eight ounce gloves. Uh, and if you fight over, I believe it's one forty seven, a hundred forty seven pounds. You wear 10 ounce gloves. So, and men's boxing. Women's boxing is the same. The only difference is that women fight 10, two minute rounds for world title fights and men fight 12, three minute rounds for world title fights and then all the rounds.
I mean, we always fight two minute rounds. The men fight three minute rounds. That's the difference just to give the audience a little bit of a background, because some people don't know, but now that women's boxing is in the forefront, it's coming up behind MMA. You know, the UFC, um, Bella tore a lot of these, uh, Invicta was really started for the, so the women's MMA, but Dana white had, did a huge push for female MMA.
And that really helped female boxing as well because now people see that there's a market for female combat sports, especially to that degree. So now women's boxing beans used to the Olympics in 2012. Um, you know, women like myself, you know, my record, I have over 30 fights, 29 and two with 13 knockouts.
So it's a big, it's a big, there's a big gap between women today and women like myself. Cause a lot of the women that started when I started, they kind of felt. You know, because not that they fell off on purpose, they just got tired of waiting for their time. I mean, the pay is horrible. You know, the pay was just atrocious for us.
It's getting better now because now we're getting, you know, and I believe platforms like podcasts, like Instagram, like Facebook gave us this opportunity to kind of self. And now we don't have to wait for promoted or promote us, you know, we're kind of doing it ourselves. Yeah. So what's interesting to me is as we, you know, as I said in the introduction about you is that you're in a male dominated sport.
CD: So what made you want to even venture into something like this?
Maureen: God. You know, I always say boxing chose me, I didn't choose it. Um, and I say, you know, boxing was a gift from God. And what I do with it is my gift back to him. I'm very strong in my faith in the Lord. You know, that's the reason that I'm here today.
And for me, you know, being a domestic violence survivor, that's actually how I got into boxing. Um, I went to the gym to better myself from my abuser. I felt that I was fat and ugly. I was at an all low self-esteem. And, um, I went to the gym and there was a boxing ring in the back and I walked back there.
Now I'm, I'm Mexican and Irish and I speak fluent Spanish. So I saw an opportunity to kind of connect with, you know, the Latin fighters in the Latin coaches that were back there. And a Puerto Rican coach actually came up to me, Willy Soto, and he saw me looking and he said, oh, do you want to try? And I was like, yeah, But the reason most women wouldn't do that.
CD: So people say like, oh, you just went to the back of a boxing ring, you went back and you just saw a boxing ring. You wanted to try it?
Maureen: I'm like, not really what happened to me. Rewind a couple of years when I was 15 years old. And, uh, and you may remember this, um, when Tyson and Evander Holyfield fought and Mike Tyson, bit of Andrew Holyfield's.
CD: Oh, by the way we have a guest. We have, we have Ken Kraft here from long island, New York that I know for many, many years. And he says, I can see him chuckling, listening to the story and ready to chime in.
I said he could ask any questions if he's gotten. You'll you'll hear, hopefully you'll leave you there. I'm trying to chime in.
Maureen: Well, if you remember that fight, a lot of people say yes, the most people that, that have watched boxing or even that haven't because that was a huge thing. That a Vanderhall is so bit my Tyson's.
I mean, I'm sorry, Mike Tyson bit of it or Holyfield's ear. And I remember I was at a friend's house and we were in the kitchen, just hanging out with, it was a group of us and his father was having a fight. In the living room. So when that happened, there was like an uproar in the living room. So we all went running in and I remember sitting on a futon.
I'll never forget. I can visualize it right now. And I'm sitting there. What is this? I'm like, this is, this is insane. Like this guy and the punching and the, my issues when I was younger, I had a lot of, of, um, anger issues. Um, you know, I just had a lot. Wwouldn't you sort of in that arena? Well, even before.
And, but for me it was more just like, um, a misplaced rage. I'd say, you know, growing up in, in, in a Mexican Irish home, my father was a retired detective. He was very strict. I was a very free spirit. Um, I didn't do what I was told when I was told, I didn't really do well to, you know, my father was a Marine also.
So yes, I have. I had that, um, that discipline and I just wasn't that person, I like to do what I want when I want. So that caused a lot of challenges and a lot of, of, of struggle, you know, emotionally. So when I saw that happen with my Tyson, I was like, man, not that I've wanted to go bite somebody's ear, but I felt that rate, you know what I mean?
Like people like. I'm like, no, no, no, no, no. Don't, don't, don't get it twisted. I'm not, you know, but I, I don't do the year. I mean, maybe the shoulder. No, no, but I just, I just like, I felt that that anger, you know what I mean? I've been there and I'm sure people can relate. Some people can relate. Some people may not want to admit it to themselves.
But what I learned, there you go. I think just a little one of them don't want to admit that they've had that anger and as we all have anger and what, but what I learned when I went into the gym, I can release this. Like I found the boxing, so I was go, Mike Tyson released it. Not that I want it, but I saw the punching and the physical release.
And I think I always needed that. Um, I asked my mom when I was younger for a joke. you remember the ones that used to hit me? So I wanted like a, like something that I could hit like that, you know, and my mother didn't have.
CD: Uh, probably she tried to steer you away from that thinking you shouldn't express, right?
Maureen: Yeah. But she also let she let me, because I just always had a lot of energy as a kid. So I would like, for example, like after dinner I would just run around the table. Like she would just let me, cause I had this energy and I didn't know what to do with it, you know? And then with the energy, when it was stifled, it turned into anger because, I didn't know how to release it. There was just a lot of struggles and a lot of them won't and I'm sure like a lot of people today with, even with their kids, you're like, oh my gosh, I don't know what to do. Like my mother used to tell me she put me in the bathtub. She was like, I didn't want, I didn't know what to do with you.
I put it in the bathtub. Like, we'll just, okay, it's a full day. It was cold. We're in New York. So it was cold outside. She's like, we can't go in the pool. We'll put you, you know, but she always had me doing. You know, it was very active as a kid. So when I found the boxing, when I walked into the boxing, uh, the back and the boxing and I was like, man, like, I, I want to try this now.
CD: It's interesting because a lot of people were like, you came from an abusive relationship and you want to go into a boxing arena.
Maureen: Like you want to be around men who are punching things, but he was different. And that's why I feel that the God played a role because I felt safe. Safe. I felt safe and it was something that I don't really know how to explain even till this day, but I felt like I was supposed to be there.
And I felt, I mean, I'm here, we are at 23 years later and I'm still doing it and I love it. So a little up close and personal.
CD: Can I ask you when you, when you started, was there, um, I don't know, in your thought, in your imagination of who you were punching in, what you were getting out of your system?
Maureen: No, but it's, it's a great question because there wasn't, when I was like hitting the bag, like my father would say, oh, you probably picture my face, which I never did.
CD: And you get along great with your dad.
Maureen: Well, yeah, I mean, we did it back then, you know, after, after time, probably after my boxing career and he realized like a fight, he, uh, he went out, but we, we know we do, we did now, you know, but, um, now it's more, I mean, then it was more a feeling. It was like, Battling. I was punching out a feeling, if that makes sense, I wasn't hitting a person or like, I wasn't visualizing anything. I was feeling everything as I was fighting. Yeah.
CD: And you're reminding me, I think one time I said, Because I know you're you have a very strong religious faith as I do. And you know, the whole, I, I guess, premise of religion and God is to love one another and care for one another. And I remember her saying to you, it must be hard for you to punch somebody when you're religious and you said, oh no, I'm out there.
Maureen: I remember my answer. Remember the antsy. It's agreed upon. I'm not just finding some random person in the street and punching them.
CD: You said to me, they're not human at that point.
Maureen: Yes. They become an object to me. Um, I take the human element out of it, uh, because I can't feel I have to go in there and I have a job and that's where it becomes.
And, you know, I mean, I always say a prayer before every fight me and my team. And I have said a prayer that myself, my opponent come out safe. Um, you know, there's no ill will that I wish on anybody in there, but I'm going there. You know, that's it. So it's just, who's going to win and you're a winner and I have to punch with bad intentions.
I mean, that's a big thing that you have, he said to me, um, I'm trying to knock them out. I want to take them out. Yeah. I want to end it. I mean, you get paid for the same for one round as you do for 10, so might as well, right. Like, wait if I can, I will. Uh, dynamo right there. Yeah. But you don't really, you don't really focus on the knockouts.
You know, there's a lot of skill that goes into it, but what people don't realize is boxers, are you gotta be, there's a, there's a certain level of intelligence, you know, because it's not just go in there and it's brute force. You know, some people have that knockout power. Some people have that, you know, divine athleticism with a natural athleticism, you know, for me, my natural, my gift was my rhythm, my ability to dance and move.
CD: You know, I was going to say, when I look at you, um, um, in your, in your, uh, what do we call it? I see you on, uh, Instagram and the videos of you look like you're dancing, like, like an actual, like synchronized, you know. layed out know exactly where your steps are and I'm a former dancer.
Maureen: So you understand that?
CD: I do. And Kenny, you're a former dancer and there is a way to move around people and I've, I've never thought of it in that way, but I suppose you have to have a, what is, what is it that Ali used to say? The butterfly sting, like a bee. Yeah. And that's really look like that.
Maureen: That's a huge compliment. Thank you. It's something that I've, I've developed. I mean, I always knew how to do. You know, being, um, you know, Latina, you know, my mother, we always danced, you know, and I grew up at half a Mexican Spanish. Yeah. And so we always had rhythm and we always danced and my mother loves to dance. Even now she's 78 years old and she's still dancing, but, um, I actually started dancing salsa, traditional salsa.
I learned how to, I competed in a salsa tournament, which goes into a little bit of, of my giving back. Um, I, it was in Oxnard, California, where I lived for eight years and trained. Um, I was asked by my pastor to join to dance in the salsa festival. To compete, to win, to raise money for a non-government funded, transitional living facility for homeless families.
Amazing. And my church in the city center, the city center is the name of the facility. And, uh, you know, the church was so beautiful. The River Community Church that I love so much. And pastor Jim and Pam, this wonderful people. And, um, I really felt at home because mind you, I lived, you know, how many miles, thousands of miles away from my family who was in New York and then in Florida. So I was really alone. But I had a church family, and I had a community.
CD: That's so fulfilling church families, and Kenny can share this with me too. Cause we've both been dancers for so long that, that whole dance community, there's something about physically moving with people that, you know, you literally are on their rhythm and you connect it's, it's such a beautiful, hopefully the connection.
Maureen: I think it's, I think myself and, and chewy my, my dance, my dance instructor. He was a professional salsa dancer and we connect. Really well, we had very similar energy and, um, we just had so much fun and learning and yeah, but he, I think I, I definitely kept him on his toes though, because I was the only professional athlete that was doing this.
And so I competed against, you know, there was like five other couples or four other couples. And I was, I looked at him. I was like, you better be ready because I said, I'm not boxing right now. I'm going to do just my cardio, my strength training and we're dancing. Like, so I couldn't cause boxing would take away and I get.
So I, you know, and, but the rhythm of the dance helped me to loosen up in my boxing. So it helped me stay out my punches better. It helped my foot placement. I recommend that people boxers or anybody in combat sport dance, because you learn how to move with your body in a different rhythm than fighting sports.
Okay. It was funny because the guys would always ask me like, you're so stiff, loosen up. I said, this is loose. This is I'm going to get, give me a chance. You know, I'm like, this is not comfortable for me right now. You're like really invading my personal space.
CD: Kenny, what do you think would take her out?
Kenny: Salsa dancing. Oh, I love it. Let's do that. My second favorite dance. Oh, I love it. I love, I really do. I'm sorry. Oh, is it?
Maureen: Yeah. My mom danced the Lindy. She did the one that was back in the day. My mom and dad, they danced a lot. They loved it. You know? So I mean, my dad wasn't really, he would just sit back and let my mom do it.
He would do it a little bit.
CD: That's typical.
Maureen: Yeah. But my mom, no, the men lead the women. Do the women lead, the men have to lead them. That's so funny. That's so true though. That's another problem I had with the guys when I was learning how to dance, they kept telling me stop trying to lead. I was just like, sorry.
I'm a control freak. And when I'm in the ring, I'm in control. Yeah. It makes sense. Right? Struggle. Yeah. Trying to fight you that yeah. Yeah. Then you're, it's hard to, then the rhythm goes out the window. You feel the tension? I need a strong lead. Okay. That's what I've learned. I need a strong lead. So I always tell the guys.
Don't they be a strong lead, you know, but then as I danced, I had dancing partners in California cause I started doing really dancing salsa a lot. After the tournament I won, I raised $35,000 for the, it was wonderful and it was such a celebration, but everybody celebrated, you know? And so. It was just great.
And, and, you know, we went out dancing and then we'd see everybody that we, I met such a great community out there. And, uh, then when I started loosening up and everything, then I was like, okay, okay. You can leave me. I trust you. I trust you.
CD: So now you bring that into your training, right? Dancing around your opponent.
Maureen: Yep, exactly. But as also I tap into my femininity, you know, I always will tap into being led and being, feeling vulnerable because in the ring, you know, you don't really want to be vulnerable. You know, you can't be vulnerable. You really have to be on point at all times. It's difficult sometimes because I'm, uh, I'm very much a nurturer.
It's a, it's, it's a balance. It's really a ying and a yang with both. And, um, I know that I'm a strong personality, that I'm a strong female, but I also have, I'm also very tradition. You know, I, I believe in family, I like to nurture, I like to cook. I like to clean. I like to have a home, you know, I like to make a house, a home.
Those things are very important, beautiful thing. And I think people would get a different idea when they met me, you know, they would, I, I really like to meet people that don't know that I box. They get a chance to know me because sometimes when they have like, uh, my stereotype, a little bit of a stereotype, I think about the boxing, even in the beginning way back when females, first of all, there weren't a lot of females.
And if there were, I mean, anybody that you saw, they weren't that many that were seen. And then there was a lot of, you know, um, a lot of, of lesbian, uh, fighters, which people would ask me, how are you gay? And I'm like, not that any of your business, but no, like, why am I being stereotyped as that? Like, it was unfair to me because, oh, if you're boxing, you're gay.
Really. So I can't be a good fighter and be, it'd be heterosexual. I didn't understand that people do a lot of judging. Wouldn't you say? So that was back then. You know what I mean? And now there's just such, it's so different now, you know, because there's, there's just, it's just now we're accepted. We're just accepted as fighters.
You know, people ask me, how does it feel to fight like a girl I'm like, I don't felt like a girl. I felt like an athlete. There you go on. They're like, oh, I'm like, yeah. Like, and then they look at you cause they don't know what to say to that. You know what I mean? I can't get mad cause people just don't know.
And it's my job. I feel to educate people like I did today with the audience. A lot of people listening to this podcast may not watch women's boxing. They may. And they may not care too, but my goal is always to educate and then hope the people become fans of mine and supporters of mine. I think. So you couldn't.
So, so now you have this nurturing side, you know, all jokes aside, I'm like, do you ever feel like if you punch someone out, you want to go take care of him after he did it? Definitely not. Like I want to celebrate My self. There you go. Definitely self time. That's where I go get my facials. After that, I was just about to say,
CD: so what does self care look like to you?
Maureen: So for me, I mean, daily self care, you know, getting up from me, getting up in the morning, making my bed is part of my self care. And that's a big, that's a Marine thing too. You know what I mean? The first, my father had taught me that and you know, it's the first fee of the day that you have to do, you have to conquer, you know, and making your bed.
Developing a schedule. And my father really implemented a lot of, uh, of scheduling and having goals and accomplishing small goals daily, you know? And so that for me helps me out a lot. So that's, self-care, to me, that's the, I guess like there's the mental, the physical and the spiritual and the emotional, you know, and for me, you know, my, my, my daily devotion to the Lord and just reading my daily devotion and just saying.
The Lord is carrying me because, you know, as humans, we, we, we stray, you know, it's, it's, it's natural, it's normal. And then we're, we're feel lost. And then we're like, okay. And then we have to go, we go back and we're like, okay, now I feel, I feel better. Again. We have to remember. He never goes anywhere we do.
And so that piece is so important. So I think that's part of that. Well, that's definitely part of my self-care. Um, I'm in therapy. I go to therapy twice a month. I tell people, listen, I punch people in the face for a living. I definitely need that. That's not normal. I don't think it's normal. I mean, you could tell me what you think about that, but it's, it's not.
Yeah, exactly. I think let's just say it's different. It's different. It's different. But I always say that to people and they just laugh. They're like, oh, like, I'm very, I'm very like honest with, you know, with, with my love that about you, you know, I've been in therapy since I was seven struggled with depression overcoming.
Eating disorders. I overcame seasonal affective disorder. Um, it was, I mean, I've been on multiple medications throughout my life and I realized it was really what I needed with sunlight. And, uh, you know, it was, that was my, my depression. It was seasonal effective. So it was from being they winter months in New York, I would really dip and the serotonin levels in my brain would drop.
And it was really bad. Now I still struggle with depression. Definitely have a chemical imbalance, but it's not as bad because number one, I've developed tools to learn how to deal with it. And I also. I can get outside here in Florida and in California when I lived there.
CD: And I know you, you know, a little bit about this, but one of the things that we do at the spa is we have full body led lights. Yes, yes. And that actually does build serotonin levels, not only right afterwards, but it continually, and it also actually builds melatonin, which helps you sleep, which I think is what helps you relax a little bit. I loved it when I do it. I love it. I felt like. Like when I come out, I'm just like, oh, like I just feel so.
Maureen: And I'm a high energy person. So for me to be able to come down after, you know, for the night, sometimes it's hard to shut my brain off. We all need to decompress. Right. Yeah. And I think that's part of your self-care, but it's your time to take care of you. That's right. And so I think sometimes people get wrapped up taking care of others or not wanting to look at their issues and healing themselves that they just keep themselves too busy.
So, and I've been guilty of that, but I try to stop and, you know, I have a little dog that I love to death, Jody, so is his name. So he's a doxy pu I love him to death. He's got a little Mohawk and I rescued him three years ago. And he's, he's my piece. And I go home and I'm just, I talked to him, you know, we have full conversations.
I just, I never had my own, my own dog before. So it's just, I love it. You know, and he's my little roommate like a baby. He is, he is, you know, and, and, and I, I love going home to him and just, you know, just nurturing. You know, and then taking care of myself and, um, you know, those things are important. I think that just for anybody, I don't say, oh, as a woman, I think men need to do it and take care of themselves and figure it out.
I think a lot of men don't know. Well, I see a lot of do because I'm in the business. We, I do have a lot of men that come in well, I'm in the boxing. So it's a little bit, my bit is a little different, you know, I don't know if they, I think that in my sport, you know, the men I feel are so. You know, there, it's more of like, they have to feel that they have to be the alpha and they have to be this, you know, especially the younger guys that are coming up, they feel that they have to be like that.
And I'm like telling them, sometimes I tell them, I'm like, it's okay to just, oh, well it's because you're a female. And I'm like, no, it's your human. Like you got to remember, you can't always be that alpha guy. You have to have the balance. And I'm not saying it's a feminine and masculine, but it's the balance of, you know, the self care, which is people seem to think that's feminine.
Sometimes. I think it's changing now. But I feel like in my sport at least like, oh, a guy. So off the thing is facial products or something like that, which I think is crazy. You know, what's funny is when I look at you, I see a beautiful face and I can't imagine that it's been punched. Look at my nose.
Would you agree? She's beautiful. You'd never know. I remember when you told me you. Yeah, there you go. Daily skincare. I just put on my SPF here in Florida, as my mom always told me SPF. Cause you don't want the liver spots as I get older.
CD: no one would think that you box because your face is so attractive and so everything is so perfect.
Maureen: Thank you. It's just, you know, it's, it's takes obviously a lot of. A lot of hits, right? You've you've been, oh yeah. Oh, I mean over 30 fights, 12 amateur, 29 to 13 knockouts as a professional. I mean, it's broke. They broken your nose. Oh yeah. I've had my, I had to broke my nose at least five times.
I actually went for a, I'm going for a consult, another consult in June. But I had gone to one consult to see about my nose getting fixed after my career's over. And he was like, so your septum is just located. And like my, I have a little lump on the tip of my nose, which my cartilage slipped down and all these things I'm like, okay.
CD: So is it fixable? That's my question.
Maureen: Yeah. He's like, oh yeah, for sure. I was like, I just want to breathe. So like, I'm going to do something and I hope this isn't gross anybody out. So that's one nostril. I have 20% breathing capacity in the common. This is common for sure. Oh yeah. You look at box. Most, I mean, I don't know anybody that has doesn't have a deviated septum or hasn't broken their nose.
It's very rare that you don't break your nose. Are you going for the nose when you're? No, I mean, it happens. I mean, you're going for the face and you're the nose is going to get hit and there's headbutts so we get too close to each other. I actually, the first time I broke my nose was by a headbutt. So the girl came in with a punch, but she kind of spearheaded me.
CD: Oh boy.
Maureen: But she didn't do it on purpose and it was sparring. It was during training. And my nose broke. So, and in funny, cause in the movie million dollar baby, for those that have seen it, um, you know, and that's what happens when Hillary breaks her nose. And then, um, Clint fixes that he cracks it in the corner during a fight.
And it happened to me actually, while I was sparring with Hillary, I had broken my nose already from that girl who spearheaded my nose. And then a couple weeks later, her and I were sparring and she hit me with a decent shot. You know, she hit me with a good shot and it doesn't take much if your nose was broke once it doesn't take much to break it again.
So she kind of hit me with. And, um, I went to the corner and my coach like, had to, like, he did a correct. He did a little bit of a crack and I was like, okay, did it hurt? Did it hurt a lot? So I have a ridiculously high pain tolerance. Like I was, when I was first boxing, I was, I went through anorexia. I had it, like I said, I had an eating disorder.
I was taking diet pills. Yes. So, well, for me, it was more, I passed gallstones and I thought they were menstrual cramps. Oh, that just gives an idea of my pain tolerance. I had no idea that I was having gallstone passing. I had emergency surgery and they had to take out my gallbladder.
Wow. Cause they said it was fully infected, loaded with stones. The doctors could not, the surgeon couldn't believe that. I didn't know that I was passing gallstone's wow. My mom's got a similar, I mean, when I had the surgery don't get me wrong. I was literally, I was like, I was praying, “God send me a sign.”
I felt like I was getting stabbed in my spine. I've had a global. Okay. So, you know, so I went right to the hospital, but I was passing the stones and had no idea. So, I mean, it's, it's high. I fought with a broken hand. I thought my wrist was sprained and I ended up tearing a ligament in my wrist.
I fought with a torn ligament and a broken hand and I went eight rounds. I went five rounds like that. I won the. I guess your adrenaline and your that's it. So what happens? It's funny. I watched the fights, you know, and I, I know because I've been through it, but then I'll see the girls fight or the guys thought I was like, oh, he's going to feel that.
Or she's going to feel that in the morning because you don't feel it that night. You're on a high. I mean, even when you're on a low, you don't really feel it because you're just on adrenaline, whether it's win, lose, or draw, your adrenaline's going. And you know, after, in the morning you wake up you feel like I hit by drunk?
You're like, oh my God, this is, I would assume the after effect. That's where the question comes in. The red light therapy. You know, I use arnica on my face. I make sure that I get, you know, even massage, I get massage on my face just for the blood flow. I take liquid collagen as well, just to take care of my skin, my bones, my joints, you know, um, uh, supplementation.
I take a lot of stuff. People always ask me about my diet. You know, I eat whole foods, you know, I'm very big on that. I mean, you know, it's, it's really the fuel that keeps me going. So, but going back to the self care, I think it's everything that I do. And I know when I'm not taking care of myself, like, but it's choice.
If I know it's not in my best interest to do what I'm going to do. I think that as humans, like, okay, you're making this choice and owning your choice and then dealing with the consequences of whatever it is. So when you're younger, you're taking more risks and you're doing probably stupid things like, oh, I can do this.
And then you're like, oh, okay. Now, are you learning? Are you going to continue? What's the definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results. So that's why sometimes I laugh at the younger guys when they're just like, oh God, my legs are tired. And I'm like, well, what did you do?
You know? Like, why are your legs hard? Why are you? You know what I mean? They're just, they don't want to think about that. They just want to complain about what they're feeling instead of like, okay, but what, what led you to that? How can you not. The solution minded, not problem focused, but if there's a problem, okay.
Figure out what to do. Cause I'm like, I don't want to keep hearing that you're tired. Well then sleep. Like, I don't know what to tell you. You're not getting sleep. Tell him to come get red light and compressor you go. It's true. No, but it's funny because even in boxing today, like a lot of things have changed.
Um, I work with Derek Santos is my boxing coach and, and Phil Daru is my strength and conditioning coach. Um, he works with Dustin. worked with top UFC fighters and boxers like myself, and he works with Kevin, James Timberland, the record producer. He works a lot of celebrities too, that sought him out because of his training methods.
And I think like people now are more keen to do strength and conditioning where back in the old school, it was really with boxing. It was like, you don't need that because, you know, that's why, you know, S Muhammad Ali, he didn’t do any type of strength training. No, you know, he was running miles and miles. You know what I mean?
Like it wasn't, it wasn't a thing back then. You know, the sport's evolved. Science has come in and there's proven we have more data now that there's a lot of proof of what that does. And for me, that's, that's also been a huge thing of self care is I understand the importance of being strong and feeling strong.
It's not just being good at my sport. It's also taking care of the armor that allows me to perform. Of course it's mental, but the physical part of it, I think is, is feeling like the mind, the mind muscle connection. And it's hard to feel the mind muscle connection when you're boxing. So think about it.
You and I are about to fight. I'm thinking about hitting you in the face. Now you're hitting me. I'm getting emotional. I'm trying to control the money. There's just a lot going on. So when I strength, train, I have, it's a slower there's nobody punching me. There's nobody doing anything, but it's more of a mind muscle.
You know, where I can focus on the muscle that's firing, what is it used for? How can I translate that into the ring? You isolate it. And I'm just so like, I'm such a, like I just geek out on that stuff. I love translating what I do in the weight room to the ring. And I see the benefits. And especially as an older woman now, I'm, you know, we lose muscle and, you know, I wanna maintain my muscle.
I wanna make sure that I keep what I have. I have mature muscle and I want to keep it worried about the aging process and bones getting a little weak. Not really because I've never broken a bone. I mean, I know why I broke my hand. That was the only boy, I mean, besides my nose, but I know why it happened with my hand.
I, you know, I threw a punch with an open fist, which is like the worst thing you can do what you're hitting a heavy bag. Okay. You know, so that, that's why I knew how I knew him when it happened. Um, but not really. I really I'm really good with my supplementation and also my genetics, my mother and my father, both of them, no injuries.
They've never, you know, They never broke any bones. You know, my mother, like I said, 78 years old and impeccable shape. And I believe it's how I take care of myself. You know, I get my blood work done every six months. I just literally just got my blood work done. I get my hormone levels checked. I get all my blood work done to make sure that I'm, you know, my body is metabolizing everything.
Well, then I'm absorbing my vitamins. Well, My vitamin D my C my B all that stuff. I have a diet coach. I mean, there's a lot, it's like it takes a village, but just T that's another reason why, you know, having met you and having moved out here and now, you know, also being part of, you know, having you as a part of my village, because you're monitored.
Believe me, it helps, you know what I mean? Like I know that you don't have to say, like, even the girl. I don't really get that in the gym. It's a very lonely sport in boxing. So for a woman. Yeah. I mean, well, for the guys, it's a lonely for anybody, I guess, but the guys have more of a comradery, you know? I mean, they love me.
They're like my brothers and I love them to death, but I get to stock drone overload, heard of estrogen overload. So I tell them I'm like, so I'm like, so guys, cause I'm like, I was literally in my office one day and I'm sitting there and cause I I'm filled a ruse executive assistant. So I helped him with the Jim and his digital side and everything.
I mean, he's very, very successful. Um, starting the conditioning coach and I'm sitting there and there's like at least several men in my office and there's boxers, there's coaches, there's training, there's everybody and they're all talking. So I took a video. People complain about women. There was like five different conversations going on at the same time.
And I was just sitting there and I was just like, you know, but again, how about this example? You and I are talking away and nice and quiet. I think he's enjoying that. He's like, you're learning, I'm giving you a little bit of lesson. Thank you. Yeah, but I get that. Like, it's funny because I, I tell them, I tell them like, think about it.
If you were with a room full of women. And they're like, oh, I'm like, okay, exactly. Put yourself in my position now. But they don't think like, oh no, you don't. Cause I don't say anything. You know what I mean? I just sit there and I, but I'm able to adapt, you know, you learn, listen, coming up in the sport. I had to learn to adapt.
I had to learn to just go in and just work because I didn't want to stand out because I was one of the only females. Um, I didn't want to be an issue. I didn't want there to be, be a distraction. I just wanted to go in and do my work and I want it to show that I belong. So the best way to do that was to just be the hardest worker in the room.
And I've been able to train in some high level training camps, you know, um, Victor Ortiz's camp, I was in facility, Wilma Chanco, who was one of the best fighters in the world, um, where they're all from. Well, I mean, ironically, speaking of what's going on today, which is terrible with Ukraine and Russia. So I trained with, with Olympians, from the Ukraine and that's what hurts my heart too, with what's going on, because I know a lot of those boxers, I mean, I know it affects everybody, but there's a lot of those fighters that I I've trained with from the.
CD: Um, that are, that are going through it right now. And so I'm half Ukrainian, so, oh yeah. I'm sorry.
Maureen: Yeah. So yeah, it's a, it's a hard time. Yeah. Without a doubt. Yeah. But I've had the, the, the honor of training around the Olympians and it's a different culture, you know, you know, it's very different than American.
And so I got to experience that and be the only female that's ever trained with that team. So for me, it's such an honor. And to be accepted and respected, but the reason why is because I showed up and I worked and that's it. And that's what it comes down to. Yeah. So you do some work with, is it young adults that you help them through things I have, I've done a lot of work with, um, I have, I have people that helped me through things.
I think it's more just sharing my story. Like I am right now and connecting with people. Um, I'm very active on social media. My Instagram is Maureen _ Shay, and I, and people reach out to me a lot. Um, I work with actually three young females right now that I love working with. I work with a Seven-year-old a nine-year-old and a ten-year-old.
CD: Amen. Isn't that wonderful?
Maureen: This is a new, a new, um, journey for me doing boxing. So it's a new journey. Um, it's something that I, I love it. It's something that I choose to take on. I really don't have time. Like, I didn't really have time because my training with my work schedule and everything, but, you know, that's where I sit back and I'm like, you know, something when their mothers reached out to me, you know, I.
That takes a lot, because I don't know, like I don't have children, but I was like, so I felt so honored that the mother trusted me to teach their daughter and you know, and they know my story. So I feel like sharing my story and then getting to know me and then me being able to kind of, you know, and whatever it is, whether they fight or they don't fight, I don't care.
I want to show them and teach them life lessons and not giving up on themselves and, you know, rewarding them when they do well. And just saying, and that they don't and keep. You know. Yeah. And they're at a different time where these things, as you just said, you know, you went through the ultimate of being in a male world, male dominant sport, and you didn't have these women figures to look up to and to guide you and help you through the processes.
And I had the women, they were there, but they weren't. Like, I couldn't just reach out. Christy Martin for me is one of one of those women. And actually now we're friends and I have her number in my phone, which I wish I had that when I was 17 years old. Cause I was watching her fight and I was like, oh my gosh, like, this is amazing, but we didn't have that.
And I'm sure Kristi would have been absolutely accessible. Do we just didn't have those means that, you know, we didn't have the social media platforms. So, but now knowing her and having been able to tell her how she's impacted my career, I know that that means a lot to, to women like her and Alicia, Ashley who's and people don't, even some people don't know these names because these women.
I didn't get the credit that they deserved. Some of that's always nice, isn't it? Yeah. And so now, but I feel like a responsibility on my part to share them, you know, to celebrate them and, um, because of, of what they've impacted and paved the road for myself. So these young women, what's their ideas of where they want to go with it.
Um, I think, I think right now, one of them is a baseball player. I still have a player and she's really, really good. She trains one. So, I mean, she just, her mother loves it. She loves it. She loves training with me. So we're learning, we're growing. I'd like to get us some sparring. It's really tough to get sparring, especially with her schedule and getting other young girls, you know?
So at some point I'd like to give a little bit more time and effort into getting her some work, um, with Cleo, um, another young girl she's in. For her, um, her family just super athletic. Um, they're very much into, you know, bodybuilding. They're not really bodybuilding, powerlifting type stuff, functional training.
They mostly male or female in her. Well, it's her mother and father and one's Greek and one's Russian. So her genes are insane. I mean her and her brother, they're both like super like they're, they're great. So she's built just like her mom and her mom's little powerhouse. And I run with her mom on Saturdays.
Um, Tatiana. She pushes me when I do my sprinting and I'm so grateful to have her there, you know, just another strong female. It doesn't matter that she's, if she's, she's not a professional. You know, but she trains like one, you know, but she loves it since she takes care of herself. You know? So, um, I think Cleopatra, I think she's just, she's training to train, you know, maybe one day she'll wanna fight, who knows?
I may plant a seed, you know, I don't know. And the same thing with Raelynn and impactful to be able to work with someone like you, you know, you're the hero and you know, it, it's just a beautiful thing that you spend the time with them and show them all the things you've learned and. Build their self esteem....
And I'm very blunt. I'm a very honest. Um, some people like it, some people don't, I always tell people, like, if you're going to talk about somebody, make sure you've saved their face. So anything that I have to say, I'm very opinionated. I tell bill, I'm not judgmental. I'm opinionated. They might not want to say to the face of a boxer, believe it or not.
I'd respect somebody. If somebody didn't like me and they said, Hey, I don't like you I'd be like, okay. Like, I don't really get bothered. I'm saying, you know, I know, I know, but it's like, but it's funny is that I'm the last person to want to fight. Like, I really don't want to fight. I may get a little hot sometimes I'll get all your aggression.
Exactly. It came up to release and I'm like, I mean, when I was younger, I grew up in the Bronx when I was younger. I mean, oh, I fight, oh, I didn't. I had that rage. I'm like, oh, I didn't look for the fights. But if they came, I had no problem fighting, not a problem. My dad grew up in the Bronx too, when he was running.
And I think just having some type of physical movement, whether it's dancing, whether it's gymnastics, it doesn't have to be combat sport, but doing something that total body, you know, running, um, anything like that, rowing, um, you know, tennis, those things. I think it's so important for, for the kids, especially to have some kind of a foundation of, of activity.
And my mom had me in like every sport cause my energy level, I mean, and I'm Mexican and Irish. So I had to play. If you're playing soccer, talk about stereotyping. Yeah. It was like, you're playing soccer. I'm like, but Mexican, Irish, they boxed too. I'm like, I'll go wait a box. She's like, yeah. She's like, I didn't know about that then.
But, um, yeah. Soccer, softball, tennis. Um, I played an instrument. I played two instruments. Yeah. They had me in everything. What did you play? I played the flute and the. Oh, it went instruments. I thought of something big, you know, I wanted to play the guitar drums. I wanted the guitar, but she, my mother was like, no, we're not, we, she didn't think I'd stick to it.
Okay. So, but my, so I was in a colonial marching band when I was younger. I was just like the fact about me unknown fact about me. My godfather was the head of the band, but it was more of, it was a military band, so it was very disciplined. And so it was, yeah, it was tough. And, um, I. Yeah, I just wanted, I just liked to be the best at whatever I did.
And I liked the individualistic sports and playing an instrument. I competed individuals. I did duets and I won a lot of competitions when I was, I was like 15, 16, 15, 14, 14, and 15. And I won a lot of competitions with that, but I really liked just the individual aspect of it. So I found that, you know, some kids like team.
Not me. I just like team sports. I like the sticks. Yeah, me too. So I think that there's, and that's what I try to tell parents. Cause they come to me. I get a lot of people ask me about advice. They get asked me advice about, you know, what do you think about? Or, and I tell them, I'm like, well, listen, just, you have them try.
Doesn't mean they have to fight. I really encourage parents to have their daughters and their sons learn. Uh, like some type of self-defense, whether it's jujitsu, whether it's, um, boxing, whether it's kickboxing, like learn how to just use your body in a defense in a defensive way, just so you have that doesn't mean that they have to fight, you know, but I feel like, I think a lot of parents get nervous with that.
Um, but it's not just for God forbid something happens of course, but it's such a self-esteem builder. Absolutely. And as a self confidence builder, because I'll tell you coming from an abusive relationship. Getting through the boxing. Like it literally saved my life and not just with boxing, but I ended up going to college.
I had gotten kicked out of high school. You know, I went to get kicked out of an all girl Catholic school. I ended up going to a public school, you know, like I've got, I mean, I could be here for days, but like, I've got a, I got a story, but I've been through a lot, you know? And that's why I'm speaking just from experience survivor.
Yeah. And I don't know everything. Just trying to figure things out. But, you know, I think that just, you know, being vulnerable and even now, you know, like moving to different states and you know.
CD: That was my next question. Did you travel a lot?
Maureen: Oh yeah. Yeah, I did. I trained in Panama. Um, I was in Panama city, Panama in cologne, Panama, and then I train, I was in Mexico.
I was in Chiapas, Mexico. I've done a lot of TV stuff. I did a reality show in Mexico. I was the host of reality show out there. I did a commentating for ESPN in Spanish. I've done. Pay-per-view top rank. Pay-per-view compensating in English, uh, Madison square garden TV. I compensated for them. I had my own talk show in the Bronx that is called Shay's corner, where I interviewed different local community people and had them come in and tell their stories.
And then I did a podcast. Well, right now we're on hiatus, but, uh, I have a podcast called the camp. So nice. No, yeah, you're very good at this for sure. And now I can see why you're comfortable. Like I don't, I try not to, just to be transparent and to be authentic, I try not to overthink things.
I just, and I pray, you know what I mean? I'm just like, okay, whatever it is that I'm saying, I hope that somebody can connect and reach and just be genuine and honest, and people can sense that.
CD: Yeah, for sure. And I, and I hope a lot of people are listening because your story is really amazing. And I you're, you're so inspiring to me every time I talk to you and I just love everything about who you are and your essence. And again, you talked about that femininity and masculinity at the same time, you know, it'd be really strong and yet still very you're in touch with your femininity, you know, and how to nurture yourself. And it's tough. Sometimes I'll be honest. I forget. And sometimes I fight, I fight battles that I don't need to fight with my self.
Maureen: And I think it's a, it's a, it's a constant, like a self-esteem thing. Uh, yeah. It's, it's, it's uh, yeah, I mean, I'm not, I don't know if it's a self-esteem thing because I'm confident, but sometimes you feel like you lose yourself a little bit because maybe you give too much of yourself away. That's a typical, I think it's that with of course, an empath and a nurturer, you know, I tend to, I feel like, I think I give it a lot of myself away and I just, you know, and, and then I forget like, wait a minute, you know, when I come back.
CD: I meet people like you, I meet women like you, that I can, that they, you remind me of who I am. Oh. And I think that that's very, I mean, that's vulnerable, you know, and it's very honest and I think a lot of us need to accepted that it happens sometimes and be okay. You know, and, but just don't unpack and live there, but people would never assume, or, you know, imagine that a boxer, even though you're a female boxer would be so empathetic and, and have this, a lot of Riverside, boxers are super nice.
I mean, I will add majority. That's true. Very nice. Very kind. I mean, you know, and they're very, it takes a lot. And look, I mean, if you watch fights at the end of the. You see the human side of the fighter leading up to the fight. You see the, the, the, the whole RA, the, the screaming at each other, the, the, the talk and all that.
I mean, I don't personally do that, but I've always embraced my opponents after. I've always cause it's a, it's a respect, you know, it's a respect of what you just did. And I, I love that. Like I love there was to fight. It was a fighter that just fought Amir Khan, fought Kell Brook, and it was a fight in the making.
And I'm like, oh, what does that feel? Because I don't know I've been doing it stuff at 17. I have no idea, no idea. I mean, I guess the only the Tyson Holyfield fight, that's the only one. Oh, God, I can say I've seen as civilian.
CD: So now you're 41 years old. Where are you going from here? If you said you're trying for your third title.
Yeah. So there was a lot it'll obviously, I mean, anybody who's listening and knows, Paul knows boxing understands a lot of politics. And, um, so I was actually ranked number one. I have to, I'm a former two-time world champion. Um, I fought for every sanctioning body. Well, the major sanctioning bodies, um, I had a draw on one fight, which means that nobody won.
Um, I wanted the rematch, but I unfortunately got injured. And then the, the girl that I was gonna rematch with got pregnant. So we never got to rematch each other. Um, that belt right now is actually the one that I'm really going for. It's the IBF 1 22 pound belt. I'm 122 pound champion. I've won the belt at 1 22 and 1 26.
Um, I fought as high as one 30, but it's funny, like people say, as you get older, it's harder to lose weight. I'm like, not for me. Like I found my true weight class as I got older because I understood my body. I understood my menstruation. I understood, you know, I learned a lot and I studied a lot about how I work and got really in tune with my body.
And, um, so that's where we're at now. I'm just training. I've been off. I've been out of the ring for two years and COVID played a huge role in that. And then my father passed away actually. And that's been, that's been a really thank you. It's funny because like, I, I was thinking about the podcast and I was like, man, I feel like people don't talk about acceptance.
And I didn't realize like the meaning of acceptance until I went through this grieving process. Oh yeah. And that's the, that's the hardest thing to take. So I posted it. I don't really, I didn't post much about my most celebrated my father on Facebook when my father was passing. And then when he passed, I never, I didn't remember, but I didn't see.
Oh, my father passed away. You know, I mean, number one, I don't think, I think I was in denial. Like, you know, and then I almost, I just felt like I didn't want the pity and I didn't want anybody to feel bad for me and I wasn't ready to hear the stories. And so last week I actually posted on my Facebook attribute to my father and I was very raw and real about what I'm going through right now.
And people were so loving. Like I get like 278 comments or something like that. I mean, you know, I was just so like, and people call them. And I didn't realize and what I, what I really, I did it a lot so that people could relate, you know, there are people out there that may have just lost a parent and they don't understand what they're going through.
Maybe hearing somebody else say it would help them, because I think that that's, that helped me because then I got a bunch of comments from people that were saying that to me. And I was like saying like, I'm so sorry. Like there's nothing I can say, that'll make it better. I lost my parent and it's going to be this.
And it's getting, they give me advice. And I'm so grateful that I did that because. It helped me a bit, you know, it reminded me like, okay, like this is normal. What you're feeling is okay. And that's a big reason why I'm so open and honest when I speak about my story, you know, because I want people to know that they can reach out to me because I didn't have that.
So I'm very approachable without a doubt, socially. Yeah. Yeah, I try, I try to be that way, but, um, but yeah, so that's where I'm at now. I was dealing with my father's, my father's death and helping my mom and my brother, my, my brother's older than me, but my brother and I were helping my mom. They were together for 60 years, you know, they had never been with anybody else.
I mean, it's like, yeah, yeah. And my mom's 78, my dad was 80, so that was hard, you know? And so, but I'm glad I'm here. You know, I've lived in different places throughout my career. And I just knew, and that was God, I knew it was time to move to Florida. In 2019. I actually came here on vacation for Christmas and I saw my father's health deteriorating.
And I said, okay, it's time. It's time. It's time to move. And I, yeah. And I, and I did, and that's when I moved in 2018, he passed away in, um, April of 2021. Before I ask you again about maybe the more the details about your, um, going towards your third title. I have to say it was a little bit of a thrill for me when you came in and we did the photo shoot with you in the red light room.
And I got to actually hold both of the belts. Yeah. That was to hold a world champion. Bell was incredible for me. And it was extremely heavy to me. Yeah. Yeah. Barely. I think I lifted it up to my shoulder UVA belt. That was, yeah, that was lifted. Yeah. I don't even know. I don't even know my belt. It's so funny.
Cause people keep them in cases and things like that. I would bring them to the schools. I am the champion, you know what I mean? I let the belts, like whatever. I mean, I love the belts, but I just have them for people can hold them when they want to take pictures of them and things like that. Yeah, no, that was, that was all.
That was my little moment of honor, to be able to do that with you. And that means a lot, because that also inspires me. Like it pushes me to, you know, cause the training now it's tough. It's different, you know, I'm 41. I've been out of the ring. I've been out of the fighting. Um, you know, I haven't been in shape, but it's in great shape.
Thank you. It's just, it's different. I'm getting better, but I'm learning more about myself. So we're going to have a fight. Um, in April I'll have a, I'll have like a tune-up fight in April. Get me get myself in there. I think we're going to have two fights to get myself back in the rankings. You know, politically I was taken out of the rankings.
I shouldn't have been taken out of the rankings and they were girls fighting for titles that weren't supposed to fight for the titles that have, you know, less fights wait like seven fights. I've never, it's just weird. Cause I'm. I would've never fought for world title having seven or four fights....
CD: So, all right, so, so just wrapping it up. Um, how can people find you?
Most of my stuff's kind of all connected together, but people can reach out. You know, there's something about my story that you, you want me to talk a little bit about, or you have some questions about, feel free to reach out to me and, and I, you know, I'm there and I would love to have you back again for sure.
CD: Oh, absolutely. I would love to. Oh, yeah, I'll do a guest cohost. I love it. I love it. So thank you so much more. Thank you. It was really a pleasure having such an inspiration to me and everybody truly. Thank you. It's a gift, please remember to like share and follow us wherever you enjoy your podcasts. And if you're looking to schedule an appointment, you can reach at www.Impruv-U.com
Or call us at (561) 757-5814 for all your cosmetic needs. And again, this is Christina, and thank you for listening. .