By Raymond R. Beltran
A local boxing program nearly killed her because she was one of few female boxers who wasn’t going to back down in the ring, but Angela Isordia is a long way from the street fighter she once was.
So, the new boxing program she’s starting next week, So What, Now What, she says, is going to help youth sidestep the head-first approach that initially knocked her off her feet, in a bad way.
“Boxing is a sport and I was like … wildstyle when I first got in the ring,” Isordia says.
Safety will be at the core of the program. Her motto, “Speak softly and carry a shotgun.” Of course, not literally … at least she wasn’t armed at our interview. Isordia is referring to a humble attitude that preceeds the fire of true talent, talent that could be utilized if trained resonsibly.
A non-profit boxing group in National City, that she’d like to remain nameless, set her up for several fight nights but didn’t train her. There was a shortage of female fighters at the time, and it was her opportunity to learn the ropes. The catch, she was up against real contenders. The result, a shattered eye, nose, face, ego.
“They nearly killed me in the ring and it crushed my ego,” she says. “They used me … to throw events because there wasn’t too many female fighters.”
‘Crushed’ but not obliterated is more like it, for Isordia was born with a black eye she says, looking at a newborn photo where she actually does have a black eye while holding up a fist.
And she’s been a fighter all her life, on her own at thirteen-years old and living a hard knox life in the streets of San Diego. Life’s setbacks gave her the strength to never back down, essential to boxing she says.
But she was a late bloomer in the sport and, in fact, didn’t fight in a ring until thirty. And after all the bumps and bruises that come with being taken advantage of, she gained the training and license she needed to contend with the rest and has thrown fist in front of local audiences at places like Borona Casino.
Boxing mixed with bad times for youth equals unsafe results, she’s figured. So, guiding those living in her shoes is now her aim.
“If no one is looking out for these kids, then, they need to start looking out for themselves,” she says, something that she will incorporate into her lesson plan.
The name of the program, “So What Now What,” refers to her outlook on her life as well as those she’s trying to reach.
“So many people have a sad story,” she says. “So what? Okay, your life is sad … or life has been great, even? So what? Now, what are you gonna do?”
Hopefully, box it out … safely.
Angela Isordia is inviting the public to a meet-and-greet for the So What, Now What Boxing Program at the Spring Valley Rec Club (8735 Jamacha Blvd) on Wednesday, June 13, at 6 p.m. The program is free and open to all ages. For info, call 619-479-0312
Summer workshops for educators on Spanish Books for Children beginning Monday, June 11, through Wednesday, June 13. CSU San Marcos 333 S. Twin Oaks Valley Rd. For more info, call 760-591-0700. Admission fee.
Computing for Activists and Technical Support discussion. An open discussion on utilizing computers and the internet to further your activism. 4246 Wightman in City Heights. Monday, June 11, at 7 p.m. For info, call 619-528-8383.
The Movement, an evening of fresh new work that combines hig-energy hip hop dance and powerful urban poetry. Local choreographers Grace Shinhae Jun and Rebecca Bryant and poet Ant Black. June 14 16, 8 p.m. at the Wagner Dance Bldg on UCSD campus (9500 Gilman Dr). Cover. For more info, call 619-917-8595.
El escritor y periodista local Pablo Jaime Sainz está recaudando fondos para ayudar con la impresión y distribución de su primer libro de narrativa, Conjunto Norteño: narcocorridos, algunos plebes en la frontera y la música de Los Tigres del Norte y Chalino Sánchez. Para obtener más información de y para enviar su donativo, envíe un email a firstname.lastname@example.org.
A romper la frontera: Una Noche de Resistencia, featuring music by FUGA, El Chuco y Oakland, Son del Centro and other local specials. Voz Alta (1544 Broadway) on Sunday, June 17 at 7 p.m. Cover. Contact Guraca email@example.com.