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UF Boxing Champion to Compete Nationally For A Second Year

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After three days of fighting, the adrenaline kept her going long enough to celebrate her accomplishment.

“It was honestly one of the most fun experiences I’ve ever had,” said boxer Lara Drondoski. “Most people think it’s crazy – ‘Why would you want to fight three days in a row?’ –  but it’s great.”

In 2015, Lara Drondoski won the United States Intercollegiate Boxing Association National Championship  in California (University of California-Northridge), and on April 7, she’s headed back into the ring.

This year, however, Drondoski will be competing in the 132 pound novice category – a move up from the 125 pound beginner category she won last year.  Drondoksi says she has more fights under her belt and jokes about putting on a couple extra pounds.

“There is nothing that she faces in the ring that I don’t think she can conquer,” said Aaron King, Drondoski’s coach.

Drondoski originally started kickboxing when she was in middle school. During her freshman year of college, her coach thought she had enough knowledge to make the switch to regular boxing, he said.

“Her understanding of the sport is amazing for someone who has only been doing it for a couple years,” King said.

According to their website, the USIBA is trying to bring college boxing back after the removal from the NCAA in 1966. The USIBA holds women’s fights in 10 weight classes compared to its counterpart, the NCBA who only offers it in 5.

Thursday’s tournament is elimination style. The rules are simple: If you lose, you don’t move on.

“In regular single fights, you can look up your opponent ahead of time and maybe come up with a game plan,” Drondoski said. “But in a tournament style you find out a couple hours beforehand or maybe the night before who you’re going to fight, and you kind of got to roll with it.”

Drondoski’s record stands at 3-2 in the boxing ring and 1-1 in kick boxing.

Drondoski said she hasn’t participated in every fight this season because she is also studying applied physiology and kinesiology at the University of Florida. Despite schooling, she has trained every single day in the last month.

On Thursday, Drondoski expects to weigh in at 7 a.m. She’ll try to rehydrate and eat before her fight that will take place in the late afternoon or early evening. If she wins, she will workout to sweat out the weight. If she makes it past the first day, she will repeat this up to two more times.

Drondoski has three teammates heading to the championship with her.

“She’s an excellent training partner,” said teammate Ricardo Belisario. “It’s really wonderful working with her.”

Over the next few days, Drondoski said she will focus on adding a little more craft to her trade, keeping her attitude “confident but not cocky.”

About Ashlyn Reese

Ashlyn is a reporter for WUFT News and can be contacted by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news@wuft.org.

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