NCWB1 – An interview with Olivia Gerula
Olivia Gerula is an experience female Boxer who is set to fight Kaliesha West at Canada's first all-female boxing card, Nordic Coliseum Women Boxing 1 (NCWB1). She was born in Brampton, Ontario and now lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and will therefore be fighting with a home national crowd behind her. Although she has had 30 professional boxing fights, some might not be aware that she also had a successful Kickboxing career before switching to Boxing. At NCWB1, she'll be fighting as the main event with Kaliesha, and we are very pleased to have squeezed some time out of her for this interview!
Hi Olivia, thank you for chatting to us, we know that we've cut it fine with the show just a few days away!
Photo Credit: Phil Hossack for Winnipeg Free Press
We'll start with the NCWB1 questions first if we may. You step in at relatively late notice to replace Dayana Cordero, who unfortunately had visa issues. When you were approached to step in, how long did it give you to prepare? Do you keep yourself in good shape for such eventualities?
“I got the offer 4 weeks out. I always stay in shape but 'fighting weight' is a different story. Let's just say I was enjoying my summer until I answered that call.”
Photo Credit: Mary Ann Owen of Boxing Las Vegas
Ha, yes we understand! Your opponent is the much respected Kaliesha West from the States, what else does your team know about her?.. And how have you been preparing for this fight specifically?
“My team knows that if she stands toe to toe with me she is in trouble. No disrespect, she’s a very good fighter. I'm excited to step in the ring. No specific training. I train myself to be ready for anything and at the top of my game. 4 weeks doesn't allow for much wiggle room.”
How do you feel about giving fight predictions? Have you got one for us?
“Never give them. Too many variables. But I can say it is going to be an awesome action packed fight from bell to bell!”
Photo Credit: Winnipeg Free Press
You've been professionally competing in Boxing since 1997, are you surprised that it has taken this long for there to be an event such as this? How does it feel for you to be a part of such a historic event?
“Love it!! Yes I have had a very long and successful professional career and I am very proud to be part of this event. When I began boxing my only goal was to leave a lasting impression on the sport. This is another one of those occasions that I get the opportunity to do that.”
..and as an experienced Canadian boxer, we'd love to get your thoughts on this… Do you think Canada gets enough recognition for its history with female combat sports? We ask this partly due to this event, and also because (and we might have this wrong) the first ever sanctioned women's boxing bout was held in Nova Scotia in 1991 - making Canada the first country to sanction women's boxing. So the question is, does Canada get enough recognition for its forward thinking stance on combat sports, and as a second part to this question - how have you personally seen the climate for women change since 1997?
Photo Credit: Boris Minkevich for Winnipeg Free Press http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/
“In almost 20 years of fighting I've seen many changes from cat calls to cheers in the crowds to the higher quality of fighters coming up the ranks and everything in between. Women’s Boxing in Canada is not a prestigious sport. As a former WBC world champion I can tell u even thou it was the same title and claim to fame of legendary fighters like Tyson, Mayweather and Pacquiao. The hype is not. And I'm sad to know that my career will be done by the timeif ever it comes around.”
We believe the time is coming around, and you have to take credit for being one of the ladies that fought through the hard times and set the stage for what is to come for the next generation! Now to find a little more about you personally. How, when and why did you first get started in martial arts?
“Was a competitive gymnast and provincial soccer player. Tree trunk legs with great flexibility...figured I could kick boys in the head. I was 13.”
Photo Credit: Official Olivia Gerula Website
Ha that’s a funny answer 🙂 What made you make a transition from Kickboxing to Boxing? …and what is it about Boxing that keeps you in the sport?
“There was a lack of fights in Kickboxing at the time and someone offered me money to box - sold. I have fought this long because I love it and I'm good at it. And to do something u love, travel the world and get paid for it is the stuff dreams r made of.”
Are there any other female fighters that inspire you, or perhaps did so back in the early days?
You are a mother of two, both a boy and a girl. Do you have a secret to juggling your time between being a mother and a fighter? …and are your children old enough to know what you do, and if so what do they make of their mom?
“My kids r great and too old - one can drive!!! Yikes! To them I have always been a pro fighter. Just like other moms are teachers or lawyers. They r both proud of me and well behaved for much the same reasons Lol.”
Hehe yes! Well thank you so much for taking time to chat to us, we wish you all the best for the show and we can't wait to see you in action! As we mentioned when we first messaged you, one of the Awakening team (Ashley Mann) lives quite literally down the road from where you were born - she'll be very happy we managed to interview you, and with our little shout out. Do you have any shout outs or thank yous you’d like to make?
“My pleasure. It is so rewarding to have the privilege of representing ur country. I am a true Canadian thru n thru. August 15 I will enter that ring ready to take my place in history and make my family, my friends and my fans proud.”
Olivia Gerula Defeats Myriam Chomaz 2009
For tickets info, you can either contact NCWB at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 819 918 7847. Tickets cost 65$ each. There are group special discounts available. The event and weigh in will be also live online on GFL.TV for 15$.