A sore jaw, a black eye and the intense odour of sweat and leather – that’s a good work day for Edmonton boxer Brandy Badry. The 37-year-old single mom went pro two years ago, and is training full-time.
She trains six days a week, two to three times per day. In the day, a five- to 10-mile run. In the evening, up to six rounds in the ring with her five-time world champion sparring partner, Jelena Mrdjenovich. Badry’s mantra is “Train hard, fight easy.” She says, “The hope is that by doing it over and over, your body just knows what to do when you get in the ring.”
She started boxing when she was 26, itching for variety in her workout routine. An instructor at Gold’s Gym commended her coordination and natural ability and, a few months later, when the facility closed, he encouraged her to pursue training at Panther, a boxing gym. “I never knew it was in me physically or emotionally, to beat somebody down,” she says. “It’s primal.”
After a year of going four times per week, her coach, Rick Jamerson, said she should try boxing her first amateur match. “I was so nervous, scared, excited – and the adrenaline – but when the bell rang, it all went away. It was fight or flight,” she remembers. She fought. She won. She was hooked. “You really find out what you’re made of.”
In 2009, she represented Alberta at the nationals, winning bronze in the 57-kilogram weight class. With a few pro fights under her belt, she’s determined to win a world title in the next year. “The discipline and dedication has taught me so much about myself,” she says. “It’s very empowering. I wish more women could find that side of themselves they don’t know is there.”