FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — A Fayetteville woman and military veteran is making a name for herself in the boxing world.
Deborah Grant has already won a national championship and her coaches believe she has what it takes to make it to the Olympics.
Grant knows what it takes to become a champion.
“I like to push myself and see where I can take myself,” she explained. “Every day I have a mindset that I want to be better than the next.”
As she grew up, her competitive spirit drove her to take up all kinds of sports, from track to flag football, but there’s one sport she didn’t get the chance to try as a child.
“As a little kid, I’d always play-fight with my cousins and my brother, and I even spoke with my mother, like, ‘Hey, I want to do boxing,” she recalled. “But, you know, boxing was seen as like a brutal sport for men.”
After high school, Grant joined the military. While stationed at Fort Liberty, she saw an opportunity to pursue her childhood ambition.
“I wanted to take the opportunity and do something I always wanted to do since a very young age,” she said.
She started training at Fonteneaux Boxing Academy (FBA), a family-owned boxing gym in Fayetteville. There, her coaches immediately saw her potential.
“She picked up things real fast,” said Coach Kenneth Monroe. “So, we took it to another level.”
Grant soon became a force in the boxing ring, winning national tournaments. In December she’ll head to the Olympic Trials in Lafayette, Louisiana. Her coaches believe she has the skill and the mindset to keep winning.
“I always tell her, ‘You know, you’re the best and you can be the best, nobody’s better than you,” said Coach Monroe.
With that kind of support and her determination, Grant knows she can take on any opponent.
“I have people who provide for me, who wish the best for me, so I thank them every day, and I thank God,” she said. “I’m excited for December, and I’m ready to show out.”