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'We train just as hard as men': KC-area pro boxer hopes to knockout stereotypes

Local pro boxer breaking barriers inside the square circle
Posted at 5:55 AM, Mar 20, 2024

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — In the often male-dominated world of boxing, Kate LaVigne is not just holding her own, she's breaking barriers and shattering stereotypes.

LaVigne has already carved out a name for herself as a force to be reckoned with in the ring.

"I started boxing just to work out and it just kind of progressed," she said.

Her hobby eventually turned into a passion, leading her to make her amateur boxing debut in 2017.

"I probably had no business being there, but I won. And I was like, oh, OK, this is fun," LaVigne said.

For LaVigne, boxing was never a thought growing up; she described herself as a lover rather than a fighter.

But she found a love for helping others, which led her to a Bachelor of Science in exercise science from the University of Kansas.

Her background as a chiropractor has helped her take care of herself to continue fighting inside the square circle.

“It teaches you so much about yourself, just like mentally, physically," LaVigne said.

Despite facing skepticism and doubt due to her gender, LaVigne remained undeterred, channeling any negativity into fuel for her ambition. Her determination has led LaVigne to lifetime achievements, including the National Golden Gloves, USA Boxing Olympic Trial Qualifiers and going professional in 2021.

“Every time I think I'm going to slow down, I'm like, no, not yet. I can't," she said. “I'm just like proud of every woman who does it right now because we're just making steps for the people who come after us and making it better and better so that eventually people don't think it's weird."

LaVigne is not only breaking barriers, she's also knocking out stereotypes in what many have seen as a male-dominated sport. When she steps inside the ring, she hopes others can see her talent rather than her gender.

“I think, kind of on a deeper level, just getting people to take it seriously, to know that we train just as hard as the men, want it just as bad as the men and want to be respected in the same way in the sport," LaVigne said.

She also said he hopes younger generations know anything is possible with a little bit of confidence and determination.

"You can literally do whatever you wanna do if you feel like doing it, and it doesn't matter if it's a male-dominated thing, traditionally," LaVigne said. "If you wanna do it, go do it. And you can be good at it, and you'll find other women who are doing it, too."