1-2 punch for success in the ring... and also in life
Boxing opens doors to family business and career for KC’s Elisa Moreno
by Ann Butenas
Little did Elisa Moreno, 22, know that one serendipitous afternoon six years ago when she took her two younger brothers to boxing practice that she was really taking the first steps towards a fulfilling and rewarding career. Of course, six years ago, Elisa was 16, all of five feet, three inches tall, and carrying 200 pounds on her frame. From all appearances that day, one would not assume that this engaging young woman with such a friendly demeanor would one day rally to become a professional boxer and gym owner. Thanks to one individual, however, Elisa began her amazing journey with a one-two punch and has never looked back.
“At the time, my two younger brothers were training at Turner Boxing Club,” said Elisa. “I would routinely take them to practice and just watch from the sidelines. One day, however, Dan Brayman, one of the coaches, approached me and encouraged me to take a try at the bag.”
Initially, Elisa all but scoffed at the suggestion. “No, thanks,” she replied. “I’m good.”
After more prodding, Dan pursued, “Why not give it a try? You’re here. Hit the bags. Enjoy a little work out.”
Putting one fist in front of the other, Elisa eventually took him up on the offer. Before she knew it, that afternoon led to several afternoons, and after two months, not only was her athletic prowess rearing its dynamic head, but she had shed 55 pounds in the process!
“By that time, I realized I absolutely loved boxing,” she smiled. “I felt great doing it.”
Dan, recognizing Elisa’s natural talents, told her shortly thereafter, “Hey! I found a fight for you.”
Imagine hysterical laughter coming from Elisa’s side.
“No, seriously,” the coach continued. “There are no other girls to fight this girl, and I think you’d be the perfect challenge for her.”
Elisa soon gravitated toward the art of sparring in an effort to prepare for the fight. Even though she lost that initial battle in the ring, her passion was further inspired.
“It was such a rush,” she emphasized.
To the bags and boxing ring Elisa furiously went. She practiced regularly, honing her skills until eventually her amateur status no longer served her. In August of 2010, she turned pro.
Fueled by her passion, Elisa longed to open her own gym, and with the help of her father, Leo, the two of them set out to create a business plan and build a gym. Elisa and Leo are now owners of RNE Boxing located at 7391 Quivira in Shawnee, Kansas.
When asked of the significance of the name of the gym, Elisa turns quiet and reflective. While she prefers to say it stands for “Rumble Never Ends” Boxing, it is apparent that there is some special tribute and significance to the name in honor of her goddaughter who tragically passed away in a car accident last summer.
“She was 15 years old,” noted Elisa. “She was also a boxer and I was her coach. Through our partnership, she became like a little sister to me. Her passing gave me the extra push and motivation I needed to pursue my dreams.”
Elisa gained great experience coaching young kids while working out at Turner Boxing Club and now lends those talents and skills to coaching children at RNE while her dad helps with the older kids and adults. It’s a great partnership.
Even though Elisa spends most of her days training others to box, she has realized five professional fights in her career, which includes three wins, one loss, and a tie. Her last event was just two days after Thanksgiving this past year at the National Guard Armory. She claimed victory in that one.
“Fighting is definitely my passion,” she beamed. “My dad is now my trainer. I also enjoy helping the kids learn, too.”
Leo and Elisa make a great team, but at RNE Boxing, it’s really about family. You see, not only do Leo and Elisa operate the gym, but mom Maria handles the administrative tasks; younger brother Esai, 13, boxes; brother Leo (aka Little Leo), 15, has since left the amateur ring to pursue his ambitions of becoming a rapper. Sister Maria, 16, is the head cheerleader, reminding Leo and Elisa as to why they love what they do. Finally, sister Adrianna, 19, is in the process of learning to box.
While Elisa does entertain thoughts of completing her college degree, she is currently in the process of becoming certified as a personal trainer. If she has her way, RNE Boxing will become a family tradition for generations to come.
Elisa is currently in training for the upcoming title fight, Authenticated II, to be held on June 16th at 7 p.m. at the Beaumont Club in Westport in Kansas City. Slated to compete against Melisenda Perez, this show-down between Kansan Elisa and Missourian Melisenda promises to be an exciting match as these two competitive women go for the Midwest Title.
Although she feels she has a bit more conditioning to accomplish, Elisa remains confident in her skill set and is prepared to bring “her all” for this celebrated professional fight.
“Melisenda has had two world title shots,” Elisa explained. “She is very aggressive in the ring and has the stamina, but I feel I have the better skill set.”
As one of several bouts that evening, Elisa and Melisenda are the main event, and with her ranking presently at #13 in the country for women’s welterweight boxing, Elisa is eager to rise up in those ranks.
“I am very excited and hope to make my fans proud,” she smiled.
For more information, visit them online at www.rneboxing.com or call them at 913-608-5747. Tickets for the June 16th showdown may also be purchased from RNE Boxing.
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