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Lakes Area Boxing: Avila impresses in debut

When Lakes Area Boxing competitor Mikayla Avila of Detroit Lakes made her boxing debut in mid-March, all she knew was that she needed to fight and not back down.

The feisty 16-year-old fought hard in her first boxing match, which came in Duluth’s St. Patrick’s Bash, literally going toe-to-toe with the more experienced hometown fighter Amy Lomenager in the middleweight bout.

But the bigger Lomenager prevailed with a longer reach and greater size, as Avila dropped the fight due to the referee stopping the match in the second round.

Despite the loss, Avila made a big impression, as each fighter was awarded a trophy for putting on the “Fight of the Night.”

“She was like a Tasmanian Devil in there,” said LAB head trainer Chris Holt. “Her punches were blazing and she landed lots of punches.”

Avila used her high-energy approach to overcome her inexperience. The Detroit Lakes fighter joined LAB just four months ago, but she has caught on fast.

“Mikayla has grown up a lot since starting,” Holt said. “She may not have had any boxing experience, but she is a good athlete, works hard and she knows how to push back.”

Entering the fight, Avila had no idea what was to come, just that she needed to go in and not back down.

“I was nervous, since she was bigger than me and she also came out aggressive,” Avila said. “I was fine taking her punches and I know I could’ve kept on going.

“I just wanted to go in and work hard. I was a little bummed I lost, but it was a good confidence booster (winning the fight of the night trophy).”

Avila will continue her training with LAB and Holt, with her next bout coming Friday and Saturday in the Region IV tournament in Wadena.

Fights start at 7 p.m. each night inside the Wadena Armory.

Several other LAB fighters will also compete in the tournament, although will not be fighting in the advance portion of it.

“Mikayla’s hard work is already paying off,” Holt added. “She won in more ways than one that night.”

Brian Wierima
Detroit Lakes Newspapers Sports Editor for the last 15 years. St. Cloud State University graduate, who hails from Deer Creek, MN.