Sophomore Leigh Cordisco has a unique passion: Boxing

Sophie Brams, Associate News Editor

Leigh Cordisco tried boxing for the first time at age 14 as a new form of fitness but soon realized it would be too expensive to continue in New York City.

After her freshman year at Tulane, she found a local gym and began training again — this time for free. After only two months of training six days a week, Cordisco entered her first fight in August 2018.

Cordisco said she was drawn to boxing not because of the violence, but because of the healthy lifestyle it promotes.

Courtesy of Leigh Cordisco

“I’ve never found something that I felt like I could be good at and it came really naturally to me,” Cordisco said. “I just generally feel better about myself.”

On Nov. 16, Cordisco participated in her second fight in a match called “Friday Night Lights.” Her opponent, a local New Orleanian, was the replacement for Cordisco’s original opponent, a MMA fighter. Though she lost, Cordisco said she was glad to see so many Tulane students in attendance supporting her.

“The biggest thing is watching progression from my last fight,” Cordisco said. “I’m 10 times better than I was before.”

Cordisco said she absolutely wants to continue boxing in the future and has hopes of becoming a professional boxer. The main goal on her mind, however, is the Olympics. In Olympic boxing, fighters still wear headgear so their safety is less at risk.

“You can make a lot of money being a pro boxer, but you have to decide between money and your health,” she said.

Cordisco said as a girl, she feels empowered because she can protect herself, even against someone much larger than herself. She said she believes all girls should take boxing classes so they are confident in their ability to defend themselves walking home at night or going out in the city.

“There is that double standard that girls are helpless in those situations and we are kind of taught to believe it too, but with boxing I don’t feel like I would ever be helpless and I don’t believe we should be taught that we are always going to be helpless in those situations because we’re women,” Cordisco said.

When she’s not in the ring, Cordisco said she loves to cook and would like to open a restaurant in the future. Her speciality is a homemade vodka sauce to go along with her grandmother’s pasta.

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