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Sonya Lamonakis

At 5-foot 7-inch and 220 pounds, Sonya "The Scholar" Lamonakis, from Greek origin, is the second-ranked heavyweight boxer in the world and a teacher at the STEM Institute of Manhattan, a public elementary school in Harlem, New York. Her score is (6-0-2, 1 KO).

Sonya Lamonakis was born in Greece and grew up in Turners Falls, Massachusetts, working long hours at her family’s grocery store and diner. She played field hockey and softball at Springfield College in Massachusetts and began teaching while studying for one of her two master’s degrees. Currently, Sonya teaches technology classes during the day and heads to Brooklyn at Gleason’s Gym every day after school for her training sessions.

Ms. Lamonakis took up boxing on a lark, at the advanced age of 27. After being invited to a boxing gym, she found she was immediately hooked, and within three months she was competing throughout New England, sweeping major tournaments.

She began training at Gleason’s and almost instantly established herself as the top amateur heavyweight in the city, becoming a four-time New York Golden Gloves champion and twice capturing the national title. Since turning pro in 2010, she has won five of her fights and had draws in two. She has never lost on the pro ring.

"The main thing is that she never comes back injured," Diana Diaz, the principal of her school, said. She allows Ms. Lamonakis some schedule flexibility when she is preparing for a fight. And fight results are always posted in the main office and delivered with the morning announcements.

"She’s not just strong and aggressive — she’s strong and aggressive and smart,” said Don Saxby, one of her trainers at Gleason’s. “Her aggression is premeditated."

"All Greeks are fighters,” she said with a laugh. “We’re Spartans. We have it in our blood."

(Using the article in the New York Times)

Sonya Lamonakis

Русская версия

Photos from Sonya's Facebook page

Sonya Lamonakis

Sonya Lamonakis

Sonya Lamonakis

Sonya Lamonakis

Traditional question to a female combatant: why have you chosen boxing?
Just because women want to be equal with men in every single activity, including violent contact sports? Or there are more reasons?

- That's the problem with people. They think the sport is violent. It's not. It's an art, a form of dance. You want to hit without being hit.

Other than this, why women want to be such sports? To prove something? Then what?

- Prove what? To who, myself maybe.

To make money?

- To make $?? I have a full time teaching job that pays the bills because is an expensive sport and women don't make too much money at all.

To become famous?

- To become famous, ha, there's so many people in the world you are really never famous.

Anything else?

- I box for the discipline it gives me, the confidence, the intensity, the workout, the thrill, the love, the emotions, the unity within the family of boxers, for all of it...

As far as we understand it, the fundamentals of boxing consist in inflicting as much damage to an opponent as you can while getting as little back as possible.
Why people like it – both to practice and watch so brutal action?

- Since the start of humanity we have fought. For many different reasons including sport. It has become a thrill that people look forward to and get a feeling from that makes them want to watch more.

Biologically, women are much more vulnerable and less protected from blows by muscle shield; they have more crucial organs in the zone undergoing blows – at the front of the body. Besides, face condition is much more important for them. Why they take a big risk to practice a sport allowing hitting their body?

- If you are not squared up and you use your arms to block body punches and counter then you won't be getting hit there. Truthfully, women don't aim for the breast; you aim for the ribs, and center of belly.

In the wild nature females of mammals almost never seriously fight other females of their species, while for males it is a routine to fight other males. Why women want to break these biological instincts?

- For the sport. Nothing more. For the feeling that engulfs you while participating in the sport.

Why men are so excited about combative women?

- We fight with the same drive, to be a fighter it takes a strong soul. Men get excited for the love of the battle, even better if it's women.

Why women's combat activities, unusual in the past, became so attractive and even arousing for men?
What is your opinion?

- It's new, sweaty, exciting, and can be women fighting are sexy; do men need any more reasons than one to arouse them?

We have published a few stories (claimed to be real) about boxing matches between a man and a much bigger woman. Would you imagine a real bout against a lighter man?

- Never, for sparring yes, in a fight no. Men are naturally stronger and faster. That would be a mistake unless I was fighting an untrained man. Who was green and off the street...

One of our interviewees, a female boxer said this (she didn't want to include the fragment into her interview and we published it anonymously): "[When fighting,] I feel an enormous burst of passionate aggressiveness and - I would venture to suggest - savage lust for a wild enjoyment. Like in a 'sex game', I thirst for a sweet physical satisfaction with thrashing her; this enjoyment is comparable only to sexual pleasure. I see a brutal crafty female rival before me and I crave for wiping her out and knocking her female substance out of her. Her breasts and her cute face literally enrage me and there is nothing more desirable at that moment than smashing her muzzle.” How would you comment this? Are such feelings possible or this is a fantasy?

- It's a little intrusive and she needs counseling...lol...she seems like she is in the ring for the wrong reasons. It's a sport not a battle for life or death.

"...you aim for the ribs and center of belly..."
What do you feel when hardly hit an opponent or inflicting her pain?

- Once I inflict pain I want to finish her off.

Who have inspired you to become a boxer? We have published a few articles about Amazons and Spartan women. Did they inspire you to become a fighter?

- The fight is in my blood, the will to survive is in my heart. Anyone who fights inspires me.

What is your goal in the sport of boxing? What achievement would you consider to be worthy of you?

- World Championship titles

Who would you name as the best female boxer of all the times?

- Not one in particular, Barbara Buttrick (the first female boxer), Dee Hamaguchi (petitioned to get women to fight in the NYC Golden Gloves at Madison Square Garden), Lucia Rijker (got Top Rank to put her on a TV card), Belinda Lacruente - she has over 50 pro fights.

Barbara Buttrick Dee Hamaguchi Lucia Rijker Belinda Lacruente

Why male heavyweights are the most famous among boxers while female heavyweights are not that well-known?

- Well, heavyweights have always been the big fights except for in the 2000's. Funny how U.S.A. can't get a male heavyweight in the top 5 but we have 2 females in the top 3 - me and Carlette Ewell. I'm working on changing that.

Had you ever fought in any forms before became a boxer? In your childhood? In the street?

- I didn't fight as a kid, in the street or school.

Female boxing has become an Olympic sport. What is your opinion about the fact that only three weight categories are accepted for the female Olympic boxing? Can any female boxer adjust her weight?

- Anyone can adjust the weight 90% is what you eat and the other ten is exercise... I am blessed as a Greek... we fall in love with food. I'm a heavyweight for that reason (kidding).

What do you think about mandatory skirts in female Olympics

- Skirts are great I wear them when I fight sometimes. The outfit doesn't make the fighter...

What is your favorite punch?

- Left hook

Sonya! Thank you very much for your intelligent answers and for your time! Enjoy both your professions and be the first!

June 2012

Exclusive of the Female Single Combat Club

Sonya Lamonakis' master punch by left

Lamonakis-GiGi Jackson
Against GiGi Jackson
Photo by Claudia Bocanegra, from Sonya's website

Against GiGi Jackson
Photo by Claudia Bocanegra
The original image received from Sonya Lamonakis - click at this image to see it

Lamonakis-GiGi Jackson
Against Alecia Stevenson
Photo by Claudia Bocanegra
The original image received from Sonya Lamonakis - click at this image to see it

Against Tanzee Daniels
Photo by RingsidePhotos.com, Sonya's website

Lamonakis-GiGi Jackson
Against Carlette Ewell
Photo by Claudia Bocanegra, from Sonya's website

Against Tiffany Woodard
Photo by Sal Acqusita
The original image received from Sonya Lamonakis - click at this image to see it

Sonya Lamonakis, the teacher
Sonya Lamonakis, the teacher
Photo from Sonya's Facebook page

"Ms. Lamonakis hits big ladies and knocks them down,"
said Shyanne Spencer, 8,
in describing what her teacher does during time off.

Sonya Lamonakis
Sonya Lamonakis just starts her daily training
Photo from Sonya's Facebook page

Coworkers greet Sonya Lamonakis, the teacher
Coworkers of Sonya Lamonakis greet her
The sign says "Were proud of our teacher" and "OPA" which means in Greek, party, or 'get down and dance'
The original image received from Sonya Lamonakis - click at this image to see it

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