Photo by CSB photography of Federica Bianco in the ring.
Photo by CSB photography of Federica Bianco in the ring.

Women’s Boxing, with World Champion Alicia Ashley

Federica Bianco and Marcia Agripino in the ring. Credit: CSB photography.

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About This Episode

Ding, ding, ding! It’s time again for Playing with Science to strap on the gloves, step into the ring, and spar with the best of the best. It’s not our first time in the ring: we covered boxing before with a legend of the sport in our episode The Sweet Science of Boxing, with Sugar Ray Leonard. On this episode, we look at the sport through a different lens as we sit down with some of the more powerful women in the sport today. We’re joined by astrophysicist and boxer Federica Bianco, former Olympic-style boxer and Olympic-level boxing coach Cary Williams, and World Champion boxer Alicia Ashley. 

We start with Federica. You’ll hear about her background in astrophysics and whether or not it influences her performance in the ring. She shares how the problem-solving nature of science helps gain advantages in the puzzle-solving nature of a fight. Find out why she views fights as performances and “mind-clearing” experiences. Explore the difficulties of finding opportunities to spar with other women in the sport. Examine the overall difficulty of being successful in the women’s boxing scene, and the success of female fighters in MMA, and whether the business strategies used there can translate to women’s boxing. 

Up next, Cary Williams takes us on her journey to become a successful boxer and trainer. You’ll learn how Cary got involved in the sport and how she opened her first gym. Investigate the differences between being a fighter and being a trainer, as well as the differences between being a “brawler” and being a “boxer.” You’ll also hear about training your mind, specifically controlling your adrenaline. Plus, find out about Cary’s current philanthropic work, which empowers young women to conquer the world. 

Then, it’s time to get the inside scoop on what it takes to be a World Champion. Alicia Ashely tells us how she got her start as a professional dancer and then transitioned to boxing. Like Federica, she explains why she also views her fights as performances. Ponder the importance of being conditioned even when you’re not preparing for a fight. Alicia shares why it can be difficult to maintain interest in the sport when she’s only fighting once a year. Lastly, discover why placing less emphasis on winning and more emphasis on recovering from your losses can put you on your way to being a world champion. 

NOTE: All-Access subscribers can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free here: Women’s Boxing, with World Champion Alicia Ashley. 

In This Episode

  • Host

    Chuck Nice

    Chuck Nice
    Comedian
  • Host

    Gary O'Reilly

    Gary O'Reilly
    Broadcaster, Sport Analyst, former Professional Footballer
  • Guest

    Federica Bianco

    Federica Bianco
    Astrophysicist, Boxer
  • Guest

    Cary Williams

    Cary Williams
    Former Olympic-style boxer, Olympic level boxing coach, boxing club owner, cover model, speaker, creator of Too Pretty brand and #NEVERTOOPRETTY movement.
  • Guest

    Alicia Ashley

    Alicia Ashley
    World Champion Boxer

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