A boxing diva is putting her competition on the ropes and bringing more publicity to the sport in Augusta.
And one of Augusta’s hometown boxers is bringing ESPN to Augusta.
On April 19th Ray "Stingray" Whitfield will fight professionally for the first time in front of more than 85 million viewers.
But he's not the only one making a debut. The Augusta Boxing Club will also reveal its own secret weapon.
In just two years of fighting, this next boxer has already fought 12 matches and is training for another next month, all of it with less than three months of experience--an extremely rare case in the sport of boxing.
Some might call her Augusta’s million-dollar baby.
“I won a six round fight once just on my jab,” says Cristy “Code Red” Nickel.
But that's not all she's done.
Cristy broke through the professional boxing field by storm, after she fought her first fight with just three months of experience under her belt.
It wasn't too long afterwards that she made history in China, fighting in the first female bout.
But busting through the glass ceiling wasn't Cristy’s only great feat.
“I'd swallowed two quarts of blood and I couldn't see, I couldn't breathe, I fought ten rounds with my nose way over here,” she says.
But you won't catch this tough girl outside the ring without any makeup on...most likely you'd also find her in a dress and a pair of heels.
“Someone once said, ‘This is odd, you're bleeding from fighting and you're selling me makeup’,” says Cristy.
And when she's not training for a fight, running eight miles a day, acting as general manager of the Augusta Boxing Club and working as a personal trainer, you'll soon find her on MTV’s hit show, “Made”.
“We got a call here at the gym from a producer at MTV and they said, ‘We've been hearing about you’,” Cristy says.
She'll fly out to Tampa and teach a 16-year-old girl how to become a boxer in just six weeks.
And while Cristy's not sure if she can make the young woman into the next Laylana Ali, she knows she can turn her into a fighter.
“I don't know if she can win,” Cristy says. “You can't predict that ever as a boxer. But she will be tough when I’m done with her.”
But Cristy’s not just tough herself--she's also got a softer side, and a soft spot in her heart for those who need the most help with their own.
She's got a degree in Exercise Physiology, and Cristy says she'd like to work with heart patients someday.
“I don't know, I don't want to box all my life; I’ve got more to accomplish,” she says.
Cristy will be featured as a special attraction under Ray's card on April 19th.
The fight will be live at Augusta’s Civic Center at seven o'clock.
You can get your tickets at the box office or at TicketMaster.
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Augusta Civic Center