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Bronx boxer captures 3rd world title belt

In a heated Las Vegas fight on Friday, September 5, Melissa “Huracan” Hernandez claimed her third world title, solidifying her place as New York’s finest female boxer.

Though the 28-year-old athlete has the International Female Boxing Association’s Super Bantamweight and Global Boxing Union’s Female Lightweight titles under her belt, she explained her career began for the most unlikely of reasons – weight loss.

At the age of 22, weighing in at 165 pounds, Hernandez said she joined the Police Athletic League in an attempt to gain control over her body.

Not knowing what she was getting into, she joined that summer’s sport – boxing.

After her first hit came from a 14-year-old youngster, the Puerto Rican born and south Bronx raised Hernandez said she knew she had to either get better or get out.

Though it took some time, “As funny as it sounds, I learned to love being punched in the face,” she said laughing.

It didn’t take long for Hernandez to notice she had more than a desire to win. She had talent to back it up.

For six months the boxing aspirant trained before entering her first Golden Gloves competition in 2003.

“I ended up fighting the three-time world champion,” the Prospect Avenue resident recalled of the event that acted as a catalyst for her future years.

“It would dictate the rest of my career to this point,” Hernandez explained.

A mere three months later, the motivated fighter made a journey south to compete in the Women’s Boxing National Competition in Hollywood, FL.

“That’s where I got to be the fan favorite, because I was playing into the crowd,” she commented on her comical fighting style, which, if fitting, included sticking out her tongue at her opponent.

It was at that fight that Hernandez was kicked out for showboating – a boxing term that signifies taunting an opponent or encouraging other risky behaviors while the match is in session.

“I didn’t know anything about boxing,” Hernandez explained about the armature knowledge that led to her disqualification.

Realizing her boxing future depended on more than moves she learned in Rocky movies, entertaining as they were, she moved to Miami for a year of extensive training.

Her newly-found focus led her to a professional career in October of 2005, followed by her first world championship in November of 2006 and second world title in April of 2007.

“It’s almost like a little miracle,” she said describing her success.

Hernandez attributes her vast achievements to her unique appreciation of the sport.

“I don’t see it as a fight,” she explained. “It’s an art form, almost like a dance.”

Dance or not, it’s working.

To learn more about this rising athlete, visit www.myspace.com/bestfemboxers.

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