BELOW THE BELT‎ Magazine Issue 34 Summer 2016: Bonnie “WARRIOR QUEEN” Hunter

Five years ago, Bonnie Cook wandered into Fitness 365, weighing 200 pounds and determined to get fit! Little did she know, stepping into the ring would deliver a happily ever after on every level!

Bonnie HunterTwo times a week, Bonnie religiously attended Horace Hunter’s grueling Box Fit class. Often she stayed late, watching Horace’s team of fighters in action! Bonnie was mesmerized and so ready to trade in classes for the real deal! Bonnie stepped out of her comfort zone but made it crystal clear to Horace, fighting was out of the question.

Roar of the crowd, admiration of Gideon teammate, whatever the catalyst, Bonnie had a change of heart. Sparring at Sully’s Boxing Gym soon followed. Bonnie didn’t waste a minute! As she says, “Whatever form it takes for you, whether recreational, for fitness, or for competition, boxing has so many benefits, you cannot lose by taking it up!”.

Bonnie couldn’t have been more right! Six months later, forty pounds lighter, she stepped into the ring. Not only did Bonnie win her first fight, she won the heart of her coach! The “Hunter” and the “Warrior Queen” were officially a couple sharing the love of boxing.

It’s no secret, lots of female fighters complain about the number of available opponents. That’s not an issue for Bonnie, a girl who always sees the glass as half full! As she says,” I came into this game late, I have a limited time to compete and put myself against the best competition available, so I simply use my own life as inspiration. I’ve found what I love doing, go and do it to my maximum ability.”

Bonnie trains hard, building her record one fight at a time. Win or lose, she wants to box! After an inspiring speech from her coach, Bonnie entered fight number eleven confident and ready. She was up against a 5x National Champion with over 110 fights. Backing out wasn’t an option. Bonnie didn’t win but as she proudly states, “I gave a performance that we were both super proud of and everyone saw I can really fight, so it was pretty memorable!”.

Looking back over the last 5 years, her life has been an unexpected adventure! It’s no wonder, Bonnie’s favorite quote is by Tyson. “Everyone has a plan ’till they get punched in the mouth!”

Bonnie Hunter 2

Whether Bonnie’s parents are ever on board with her boxing, life is beautiful! Two years ago, boxing and love merged, as she wed her long time coach, Horace Hunter. According to Bonnie, nothing has changed. “He has been my first and only coach. It’s probably the most rewarding and challenging aspect of our relationship. When you help each other work and push themselves to their fullest in the toughest sport in the world, it brings such a rewarding aspect that most people will never get to experience. It’s pretty awesome to be able to bring the best out of each other on a daily basis.”

Bonnie and Horace are not slowing down anytime soon. Opening Gideon Boxing Academy together was a dream brought to life. Empowering women to lose weight, get fit or fight, Bonnie leads by example.

Bonnie has lost over fifty pounds, racked up an impressive 45 fights and a Bronze medal at the National level. She has no regrets, well, maybe just one, “That I didn’t find boxing earlier in life!”

The new year is underway! Bonnie’s solid training, great coaching and clean eating mixed with lots of love and happiness is sure to make 2016 her best boxing year to date.

February has Bonnie fighting outside Ontario as she takes on Quebec National champ, Sara Kali. Just to keep February all about the ring, Bonnie entered the Bronze Gloves, National qualifier with Boxing Ontario.

With Horace by her side and in her corner whether red or blue, they will continue to change lives, empowering the next generation of boxers!