On November 19, New Rochelle native Natalie Gonzalez of the Main Street Boxing Club capped her comeback to the squared circle by seizing the 2010 Metro Boxing title in the 106 lb division. In what was considered an upset by boxing cognoscenti, Gonzalez defeated Long Island’s seventeen year old rising star Brittney Delgado of the Heavy Hitters Boxing Club of Bohemia in a bout contested at the Elmcor Recreation Center in Queens.
Raised with some hardship by her single mother, Natalie admitted to being under considerable pressures and having to endure some “rough stuff” during her formative years. She had not participated in any sports previously when she enrolled in the Solar Gym in White Plains at age fourteen, discovering that hitting the heavy bag served as a good outlet for underlying anger. She quickly was noticed and given formal instruction by WBC female lightweight champion Ann-Marie Saccurato and her LA boxing Team. She earned a reputation as an emerging prospect and had engaged in over ten contests. Gonzalez’ fledgling career came to an abrupt halt at age seventeen when she became pregnant.
Six months after the successful delivery of her daughter, Natalie returned to her fistic routine with the new address of Main Street Boxing at 310 Main Street in New Rochelle. She had maintained her good physical condition during her sabbatical making things easier for co-trainers Ryan O’Leary, Angel Bovee, and Willie Soto. Her daily regimen at the gym includes a half-hour of running on the treadmill, two rounds of jumping rope, two rounds of shadow boxing, and then ‘hitting the mitts’ with Ryan mixed in with round on the heavy bag and speed bag. Three times a week she participates in sparring sessions with teammates Lindsay Tolpa and Michelle Herzl in addition to some of her male stablemates.
Trainer Ryan O’Leary speaks highly of his charge. “She’s busy, busy, busy. She’s very accurate and has tremendous footwork. She knows how to punch and move. She gives angles and is light on her feet. On a personal level, she is quiet and friendly. I embarrass her when I talk about her as she is very shy and modest. As well, she is very supportive of the other boxers, especially the females.”
Natalie describes herself as a quick and hard hitter. She notes that although she is not a southpaw, she carries a quite a wallop in her left hand. This is quite advantageous for her as she can switch stances effectively in the middle of an exchange a la Marvelous Marvin Hagler. In actuality, she feels she is far from a complete fighter and lately has been working to improve her straight right hand. She does not follow the professional ranks closely and does not model her style after any particular pugilist.
Gonzalez describes the Delgado fight as her best and hardest fight to date. Natalie states that “Brittney gave me a tough fight. We are similar fighters in style. My more powerful punches gave me the edge. It was a close fight.” On viewing a tape of the bout, this moderately impartial observer would agree with O’Leary; Natalie is very modest. The fight was competitive, but Gonzalez led from the start to the finish of the four two-minute rounds. All three judges agreed and gave her every round of the set-to.
Of Colombian and Puerto Rican ancestry, Natalie has lived her entire life in New Rochelle. She resides with her mother, Silvia, her daughter, Kaelynn, and her brother, Nene, and is greatly appreciative of her mother’s continuing sacrifices on her behalf. Natalie does not restrict herself to her mother’s Colombian entrees, as her youth allows her to sample the multiplicity of fast food options available in the Queen City without any adverse consequences.
A graduate of New Rochelle High School, Natalie has enrolled in the Nursing program at Bronx Community College. Warming up with two courses in math and psychology this semester, she aims to transition towards a full time schedule as she acclimates herself to the academic environment. She looks forward to her clinical rotations in the hospitals, although that eventuality remains a few years hence.
Natalie’s next major competition will be the New York Golden Gloves tournament beginning in late January. She will compete in the Open Class of the 106 lb division. She is considering a future professional career. Much depends on the results of the upcoming competition. Even at the highest levels, female professional boxing is not a particularly lucrative occupation, so boxing’s gain might not necessarily be nursing’s loss. There’s yet another reason why you should always be nice to the nurses.
To inquire about membership in Main Street Fitness and Boxing and its various exercise programs, please call 914-636-2811 or contact owner Michael Stellate at email@example.com or Ryan O’Leary at firstname.lastname@example.org.