Sports

Road to a Champion

7913bf2d740411b0c81b_Alicia_Ashley_hea_shot.jpg
Champion boxer Alicia Ashley Credits: Courtesy of Yeti MMA
e5ac84d940721618b2ba_Alicia_Ashley_Slick_Strike_Club.jpg
Alicia Ashley will fight in Houton on Feb. 4, 2017. Credits: Courtesy of Yeti MMA
ca720f3556d80016fff2_DSC_0381.JPG
Slick Strike Club facility at Yeti MMA Credits: John Mooney
7913bf2d740411b0c81b_Alicia_Ashley_hea_shot.jpg

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- Everyone knows it takes hard work, discipline, dedication and perseverance to get to the top, or in my case, to become a world champion. People realize its tough but most think you just have to do it. Not that easy. Its extremely hard motivating yourself as I'm sure most can understand if you try to apply it to everyday challenges: trying to lose weight, quit smoking or drinking, or choosing a healthier lifestyle. You find out that you need some sort of support system to help you along. Here is my journey to winning the WBC super bantamweight world title on Feb 4, 2017, in Houston.

Both the easiest and most difficult decision I had to make was to go away to training camp which we've dubbed "Do The Right Thing!" Due to my daily commitment as a trainer it was imperative for me to focus totally on training. It would be almost impossible for me to immerse myself in training if I stayed in NY/NJ. My first support came in the shape of my husband Matthieu, Yeti MMA and Gleason's Gym. Everyone stepped up to ensure that I wouldn't have to worry about anything but getting ready for my title fight. This made my choice to go to training camp in Florida much easier. Florida was actually a perfect choice. Not only did I have family there (i.e. a free place to stay), it was warm. Something that was super important with running being a staple of training. I'm Jamaican! Warmth is of utmost importance to me.

My second move, was training staff. In order to be the best, you not only have to surround yourself with the best but make certain the chemistry of your team uplifts you and therefore create a conducive working environment. The encouragement and positive energy you receive will contribute to a promising outcome. My trainer Ada 'Ace' Velez was previously a multi-boxing world champion and her personality makes the rigorous training bearable. The 2-3 a day training sessions which included strength and conditioning, weight training, boxing, sparring and of course, running. Coach Ace's mantra? Even on your rest day, you have to run.

Sign Up for E-News

My first 10 days of training in the nutshell:

  • Thursday: arrived in FL.  Evening: Conditioning then run
  • Friday:   Morning: Conditioning, run  Afternoon: weights  Night: boxing drills
  • Saturday:  Morning:  6 rounds of sparring. Late afternoon: run 30 minutes
  • Sunday: Day off - run 30 minutes with weights
  • Monday: Morning: sprints conditioning. Afternoon: weights. Evening: boxing
  • Tuesday: Morning: boxing drills . Afternoon: run
  • Weds:  Morning: 10 rounds sparring - 4 opponents  Evening: leisurely run
  • Thursday:  Morning: running drills. Evening: boxing drills.
  • Friday: Afternoon: 10 rounds of sparring - 3 opponents. Evening: weights
  • Saturday: Morning: beach training including running 
  • Sunday: Morning: 30 minutes run. Afternoon: weights

Training is not glamorous and its without question draining. The one good thing about being in camp is it gives you time for much needed rest in between training. Something I definitely wouldn't be able to do if I wasn't in camp. But for me the prize is certainly worth the pain.

Alicia "Slick" Ashley

Editor's Note: Alicia Ashley, age 48, is training for her WBC super bantamweight world title on Feb 4, 2017, in Houston.  She is documenting her time in training camp and what it takes to become a champion in a series, “Road to a Champion,” that will run in TAPintoSPF. She will share her thoughts and provide inspiration. Alisha is an instructor at Yeti MMA in Scotch Plains. 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Scotch Plains/Fanwood

Three School Buses Involved in Crash at Clark's ALJ High School

June 21, 2018

CLARK, NJ — Three buses collided in the Arthur L. Johnson High School parking lot around noon on Thursday in a chain-reaction crash. 

Students were on board at the time, according to Police Chief Pedro Matos. One driver and two students had minor injuries, Matos said.   

According to a Honeywell alert issued by the Clark Public School District, ...

Let's Talk About Suicide

In our world today, it seems our children, no matter the town, state, education, family unit, socioeconomic background, ethnicity or religion are grappling with complex, confounding and complicated issues not even fit for a middle-aged adult. Sadly, one of these issues is suicide. With mental health gaining more attention, the stigma appears to be dissipating but when a mental health ...

Is Summer Camp the Right Choice for My Child?

Is your child attending camp this summer? Is it their first experience away?  If yes, it can be an experience causing anxiety for you, for the parent and the child. 

This experience can be frightening to your child if it is their first time and it is so important that they do not see your worry or anxiety about leaving home for the first time… especially if it is sleep ...

What Are The Warning Signs of Suicide

The recent passings of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain remind us to take mental illness seriously. 

Many of us feel uncomfortable to ask when someone in distress is suicidal for fear we are putting this thought in their minds. This is not true. It is a myth that asking about suicide increases the risk of suicide. The most common mental illness is depression. Some people are ...

Greatness

In honor of the Lubavitcher Rebbe's (of righteous memory) 24th  Yahrtzeit (anniversary of his passing) this coming Saturday the 16th.

Excerpts from an address given by Nobel-laureate Elie Wiesel on April 7, 1992, at a congressional dinner held in Washington on the occasion of the Rebbe's 90th birthday.

Some of you are aware of my admiration, not only ...

We Must Address The Unrealistic Affordable Housing Process Now

June 19, 2018

Dear Editor:

I would like to thank all the residents who attended and watched last Tuesday’s Town Hall meeting on over-development and legislative solutions with Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi and I. If you were unable to attend, I encourage you to watch the meeting on SPTV or the Township’s Facebook page at ().

The meeting was a real eye-opener for many of our residents. It ...

Shakespeare in the Park Returns to Union County, Sunday, July 8

June 25, 2018

LINDEN, NJ -- The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is pleased to announce the return of Shakespeare in the Park this summer. The first performance will be presented on Sunday, July 8 at 7:00 p.m. at the Raymond Wood Bauer Promenade in Linden.

The Shrew Mechanicals Troupe from The Shakespeare Theatre of New jersey will present an hour long performance of “Powerful Trouble,” ...