BELOW THE BELT‎ Magazine Issue 32 Fall 2014: Lita”Bad Ass” Button

Boxing is like your first kiss, first love and timeless.  Once you hit pads the love affair will never end.

For me that love affair was put on hold.  Fourteen years and three kids since I ventured out of my comfort zone. I had to shake it up. A couple months of intense training with Everton Mcqewan left me dreaming of sparring. The sights, sounds, smell of sweat and that fierce energy that is BOXING. During the fall of 2013, I  entered Grant’s Gym. In the midst of warm up a sporty girl in a purple bandana said, “I’m ready when ever you are.”

A mere three rounds later, this south paw reminded me why I loved boxing. She showed me exactly why “Bad Ass” is her nick name. A beautiful black eye was the perfect parting gift. Lita Mae and I chatted briefly. I learned she is passionate about two things- her son and boxing. Social media allowed me the privilege to watch her journey or rather her mission.

2014 brought big news. Nordic Coliseum Boxing’s inaugural event would be the first ever all women professional card in Canada. The nine bouts would showcase both American and Canadian fighters. This was big news for Women’s Boxing. Lita would be making her pro-debut.

August 15, 2014 Lita “BADASS” Button vs Maureen “BABYFACE” Riordo in Gattineau, Quebec.

Lita Mae and I sat down in April and she opened up about the road traveled so far.

Lita grew up an only child in Peterborough, Ontario. A natural athlete, her first competitive sport would be swimming.

After being “jumped” at eighteen years old she felt powerless and joined a kick boxing class for self-defense. Climbing in the ring for a couple amateur fights came easily.

Six years later she found herself a scared single mom. To complicate the situation Kia, her now four year old son was diagnosed with hemophilia. Through unconditional love and the endless support of her parents she was doing her best to raise Kia. Unfortunately, anger, resentment, bitterness and fear still remained. Once again she found an outlet within the ring.

A nurse by profession and now officially an amateur boxer. She was training with Scott Eccles  at BEL Boxing Club in Peterborough, Ontario. She relocated to Toronto and began building her amateur record with Adrian Teodorescu at ATLAS Boxing gym.

Her passion for boxing grew. Finding time to train, work, build an amateur record and be there for her son was a constant struggle. She had since “found her voice after the past” as she put it. Lita knows her purpose. She is very clear about being a great mom and her future as a professional boxer.  Lita has combined the two forces, raising money over the years for her son’s illness.  The place of hurt that brought her to the ring is what she uses to live an authentic life outside the ring.

She wants”To role model, empower, inspire, teach and support people to be healthy and do anything from within themselves to outside themselves”

With the overwhelming need for flexibility to train yet still earn a living she did what came naturally. Lita turned her passion into a full-time career, becoming a Certified Elite Trainer and a Level One Boxing Ontario Coach. She even completed her nutrition certificate with ISSA.

Three years ago Ryan Grant aka RG took over coaching. The fit is seemless. Lita loves all parts of boxing. Motivated by endless possibilities to learn and grow as a fighter, keeps her energized to train like a warrior.

Lita has an amateur record of 30-15. She is a 2x Canadian National Silver Medalist. She is a 6x Ontario champ and most recently won the silver in the Ringside International Tournament. She is excited about the next phase in her boxing career.

Lita is ready and it is “time to just do it,” he said. RG agrees. When asked about her opponent RG said, “He knows she will do well against her” and “believes in her skill”.

According to her opponent’s blog she “specifically asked for Button, not because of any personal grudge or vendetta against her but for quite the opposite reasons”. Maureen “Babyface”  Riordo goes on to state Lita is a “tough opponent.”  Babyface is coming “prepared, ” expecting Badass to give her “every second of the challenge ” she asked for.

Lita is eagerly anticipating her pro-debut. This has been the goal for a long time. Now it’s time to pick up the pace. She increased the intensity and duration of her roadwork. She threw in some weight training and plyometrics for fun. She also went back to her roots and can be seen in a neighborhood pool doing sprints. All that remained was minor alterations to her diet. She had months to drop the 12lbs.

The only obstacle is financing the dream. Being a single mom has most women juggling bills on the best days but to take time off work is a different story.

Blast Athletics was the perfect venue for a fundraiser. Dynamic  MC, great door prizes, bar and her swag for sale helps finance the dream. Friends and clients were able to bid on private training sessions with male and female fighters. UFC champion and reality show superstar Elias “The Spartan” Theodorou brought on quite the bidding war!

Lita spoke straight from the heart that night. She is a strong woman who has literally fought for her self, her son’s health and now August 15 she will put it all together.

Her entrance in purple to Missy Elliot’s “Mad Man” and with RG in her corner it will be something to remember. All the tank tops she sold that say “YOU’RE AWESOME” serve as inspiration to her friends and clients. From the ring. Lita will be able to look out and see the words mirrored back to her.

After learning more about Lita “BAD ASS” Button the evidence is clear. She is truly an AWESOME example of what women are bringing to the sport of boxing!!! A shiny star has left amateur and will soon light up professional.

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