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Undefeated Boxing Champion Michele Aboro on ‘China From All Angles’

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RADII’s podcast China From All Angles just dropped its third episode with Shanghai-based boxing and kickboxing legend Michele Aboro.

Born in the late 1960s, the British boxer will never forget the day she first set foot in a boxing gym in London: After all, she was flat-out denied any sort of training. It wasn’t until 1996 that women were finally allowed in the ring.

Instead of turning Aboro off, the sexism she experienced riled her up to reach her dreams. The boxing pioneer in England put her all into the sport from 1995 to 2001 and retired with seven world championships to her name.

A fighter in every sense of the word, Aboro’s career came to a close in 2001 after filing a lawsuit against her German manager, who deemed her “unmarketable” solely on the premise of her being gay.

After years of being embroiled in a draining legal battle, Aboro moved to China in 2010. She was diagnosed with cancer two short years later. Somewhat ironically, the diagnosis was the watershed moment that spurred her to co-found her own boxing gym, Aboro Academy.

“Sometimes, it’s not always in your country that you’re going to find what you need to bring your game to the level that you want (…) Sometimes you need to look afield in order to realize your dream,” she tells RADII.

The retired world champion is leveraging her experience and prestige to build the next generation of fighters.

“Being in China has made me feel like anything is possible,” Aboro tells RADII.

In this episode of China From All Angles, Aboro discusses the challenges faced by female fighters and weighs in on the differences between different boxing cultures. She also offers her insights into the industry as a whole and her opinions on the bizarre new phenomenon of YouTube boxers.

‘China From All Angles’ is brought to you by East-West Bank, the premier financial bridge between the US and China. Listen to the new podcast’s first episode on SpotifyApple PodcastsAmazon PodcastsSoundCloud, and 小宇宙.

Cover image designed by Haedi Yue

Inès Forman
    Inès Forman is a trilingual French Caribbean/Israeli who lived and taught in Beijing. She wrote and edited pieces for Black Livity China - a platform documenting Africa-China relations and the Black experience in China. She holds a Dual Master's in International Politics from Sciences Po Paris and Peking University (BeiDa). She is currently working on a novel set in Beijing and Guangzhou. She's also part of a rock/soul band (@thechouxfleur on IG).
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