Merced County native, Lizandra Lopez, works as medical assistant during the day but her evenings are spent as a boxing coach. The 34-year-old mother of two boys believes there is a parallel between her career and her hobby, stating that both demand discipline.
After she wraps up her day as a medical assistant at MFA Medical Group, her evenings are spent at 51 Fifty Boxing Club where she works as an assistant coach. This summer she will be escorting six girls from Central Valley to Charleston, West Virginia to the U.S. Boxing Junior Olympics National Championship.
Her love for the sport began at a young age, but it wasn’t until she was 18 that she began to take part in boxing because her parents had prohibited it when she was growing up. Since then she couldn’t imagine boxing not being part of her life.
Her medical assistant skills also come in handy when she needs to check the vital signs of boxers while in the ring. She also loves being part of a sport that keeps kids off the street and promotes physical activity. It also teaches responsibility, respect and humility and gives hope to the youth, she said. She also says that boxing is a great place for kids to get their anger out in the ring “where they can get something good out of it.”
Rosey Mendoza has three children who box at the club, and she says it keeps them busy so that they don’t have time to hang out on the streets. She also thinks that female coaches like Lopez can inspire girls to try boxing and understand that it is not only for men.
Dennis Moniz, head coach at the club, says that Lopez is an asset to the club and is significant in training the young females enrolled in these programs.