Northern Star: Amy “Hard Hands” Lemenager
For this week's segment, we talk with a local boxer who is making her pro debut next week.
DULUTH, Minn. – Amy “Hard Hands” Lemenager has always been a fighter.
“My grandparents are always like, “OK so when are you going to be done fighting?” and I’ll always be like, “Just one more.” And of course after the one more, there’s always another. I just can’t stop,” said Lemenager.
Growing up, Lemenager was a two–sport athlete. In high school, she was a star goalie for the Proctor/Hermantown Mirage. And in college, she played soccer at Wisconsin-Superior. But boxing was always in the back of her mind.
“When I was 12 years old, I kind of realized that I needed to get into better shape if I wanted to compete at that higher level. So I started boxing. My dad boxed in Texas when he was in college for a while. He knew it was a good workout. But I had no intentions of fighting,” Lemenager said.
When she was 19, the Duluth native was ranked 5th in North America in her weight class and recently began training at the Jungle Boy Boxing Gym.
“Prior to starting boxing, she came through and checked out our gym. She was looking for the right fit to start her boxing career. Her and her dad stopped through here. It wasn’t the right fit at that time. But now fast-forward eight or nine years later, she’s back and she’s in,” head trainer and gym owner Zach Walters said.
“I know he knows what he’s doing. I know my teammates are in the same boat as me. We’re all training together and making sure we’re all prepared,” said Lemenager.
And on October 11th, the 21–year–old will be making her pro debut in her hometown at Grandma’s Sports Garden in Duluth.
“My soccer team is coming from UWS. My dad’s friends, my mom’s friends and my family are driving up from the cities. I’m beyond excited to start this,” Lemenager said.
“Having your pro debut in your hometown in front of your friends and fans and the expectations of the world upon you, it’s a lot of pressure. Amy is unique, though. She’s got a good head on her shoulders. She’s got a very supportive family,” Walters said.
Although she loves about boxing, Lemanger’s true passion is in law enforcement. She recently graduated from the Duluth Police Academy and is hoping to get hired very soon.
“Throughout the years, I’ve always supported my community by coaching kids classes and by reaching out and doing different things, especially with the youth in the area. I really want to go into law enforcement to help our community, make Duluth a better place and hopefully I can do that,” Lemenager said.
Lemenager is set to take on Kayla Brady from North Dakota and she’s got her eyes set on a special debut as the first female pro boxer ever from Duluth.
“She becomes the instant standard because there’s no comparison currently so it’s important that she does a good job. I think she’s well aware of that pressure and she’s been training hard,” said Walters.
“I know there’s been so many other women that have led the way for me in all sports like hockey, boxing and soccer. But just to be able to show new girls who are coming up to be 12 years old, like when I started, that they can do the same thing and I’d like to see them in that ring or on the field or on the ice, no matter what they’re doing,” Lemenager said.
For tickets to the “Generation Next” boxing event, head to Benna Ford in Superior.