Detroit sisters training for Olympic boxing gold
DETROIT – Latonya Wingate and Monayah Patterson may jab at each other like all sisters do, but when they get in the ring, they kick it up a notch.
25-year-old LaTonya has been boxing for 14 years. Her 19-year-old sister has been boxing for six years. You could say it runs in the family.
"My grandfather boxed, my dad boxed," Patterson said.
The elder of the two sisters got into it as a way to protect herself from bullies. Now, opponents must consider how to protect themselves when either of these two enter the ring.
"I'm not worried about anyone in my weight class," Patterson said.
Confidence is certainly not lacking in either girl. Both have Ringside World Titles. LaTonya has 14 titles total.
Richard Phillips, the girls' trainer, said each has a different strength.
"Monayah is excellent at body shots, I call her 'the body snatcher,'" Phillips said. "LaTonya is quick and can easily make people look stupid."
Both girls are eying the 2016 Olympics in Rio. It will be just the 2nd time women's boxing will be recognized as an Olympic sport.
Each sister will fight in her own weight class, which is good they said, because they wouldn't want to fight each other... for real.
"That's my sister," LaTonya said. "Sometimes we play around, but I would never hit her hard."
Monayah and LaTonya are using 2014 as a tuneup. Beginning in January of next year, that's when the meaningful fights begin where they will try to qualify for the Olympic Trials.
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