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Boxing is more than just an escape from the chaos of the streets or the baggage of what’s behind to those who find their way into the gym, and ultimately, the ring. Boxing can be the road – and has been for many over the generations in hard scrabble America – to the way in life.
That’s the story shared by Ventura resident Alicia Doyle in her nonfiction memoir Fighting Chance, chronicling the young journalist’s unlikely emancipation from her life’s hardships through immersion into the “sweet science” of boxing.
“The book takes us back to the childhood and life that gave rise to her inner demons, through her amateur and brief pro boxing career, and the two decades since she hung up the gloves,” said Brent Weber, author of The Sports Guy: Scorecard Scribblings From An Ordinary Journalist.
Based on a true story, Fighting Chance is written by an award-winning journalist who discovered boxing at age twenty-eight in the late 1990s when she went on assignment at a boxing gym for at-risk youth called Kid Gloves. For two years, Doyle simultaneously worked as a newspaper reporter while training and competing as a boxer, making her one of only a few hundred women in America who infiltrated this male-dominated sport. During her boxing career, she won two Golden Gloves championship titles and earned three wins by knockout – and her pro debut at age thirty in the year 2000 was named The California Female Fight of the Year. Fighting Chance offers an inside look at what’s considered the toughest sport known to man.
Fighting Chance features “excellent dialogue and heartfelt memories, with a journalist’s passion for the hard, honest truth about life, and how boxing helped her through tough times,” Weber said.
“Fighting Chance is highly recommended to any adult or young adult,” said Weber, noting that there is profanity, just like you would hear in a boxing ring, so it’s not for tender ears. “Boxing fans will love it, but so will anyone, particularly any woman, who wonders which way to look when knocked down to the canvas.”
Doyle is a shining example of an individual who continues to fight to save herself from the dark side of life by mentoring troubled young children at Kid Gloves, said producer and director Rod Holcomb, adding that “she is their guiding light, a light that doesn’t often shine for them. Fighting Chance is exactly that, a chance to survive in the ring and in life. A must read.”
Layla McCarter, an eight-time, five-division Boxing World Champion and California Boxing Hall of Fame inductee, said that Fighting Chance is “absorbing and brilliant.”
“Over 22 years ago I shared the ring with Alicia Doyle…twice,” said McCarter, whose bouts against Doyle are featured in the novel. “Fighting Chance transported me back to relive those experiences from her perspective. It was amazing. I highly recommend this book.”