By Xavier Porter | Brooklyn, NY | July 28, 2018
The country of Canada has produced some of the best fighters in the history of boxing. The list of great fighters and champions from this great nation is endless:
Former Undisputed Heavyweight Champion Lennox Lewis; current WBC Light Heavyweight Champion Adonis Stevenson; “The Ultimate Blood Guts Warrior” and three-division World Champion Arturo Gatti; former World Colored Heavyweight Champion and considered the greatest Canadian boxer of all-time Sam Langford; former Canadian Heavyweight and WBC World Heavyweight Champion Trevor Berbick; former WBC World Heavyweight Champion Bermane Stiverne; heavyweight title contender Donovan Ruddock; and former Lineal, The Ring, and WBC Light Heavyweight Champion Jean Pascal.
Now the country is looking for its next star to emerge and take the winning legacy further into the future. With women’s boxing on the rise, there’s a certain female boxer that’s laying in the shadows of these great Canadian fighters, on the hunt for her next prey.
Nicknamed the “The Lioness”, Deedra Chestnut is a four-time Canadian National Boxing Champion that has her sights set on winning the gold medal in the 2020 Olympic Games (Tokyo) and bringing more recognition to women’s boxing in Canada.
“My ultimate goal is to bring home the gold medal. Getting to the Olympics is an achievement in its own but I want a medal. I am preparing to fight on the international level. I’ve competed in Bulgaria, Puerto Rico, and England. I’ll be competing in a tournament in England next month. It’s going to take a lot of mental strength to win. No matter what the challenge is I will accomplish my goal.”
“Women’s boxing is a movement. The growth is unbelievable. It’s becoming more recognized throughout the world. It’s in a good position, but there are more things that need to be accomplished in the sport for it to be considered at the top. Women’s boxing is headed in the right path. I plan to bring positivity and be a motivation for all the young women that want to fight.”
Chestnut, an avid soccer player throughout her life, began boxing at the age of twelve during her off time away from the field. It was at this time that she fell in love with the sport and decided to hone her skills in hopes of fighting for her country in the Olympics.
“My father was a boxer. During the winter time I would go to the gym with him. I was around my father so much that I decided to try it out. Once I began hitting the heavy bag, I immediately fell in love with boxing.”
“I played soccer all my life, from three years old to eighteen. I had a full scholarship to play soccer at Texas Southern University. It was tough to decide to go forward with it. It was a challenge to convince my mother that I wanted to box. My father wanted me to box and my mother wanted me to play soccer. It was a big decision but I followed my heart. Both sports have brought the best out of me; they both taught me so much.”
“Although I started boxing late, I always told myself that I would be an Olympian and boxing is taking me there. I am committed to winning a medal for my country. There’s nothing more motivating than having a goal, knowing what it takes to achieve your goal, and conquering any obstacles along the way. I find my passion for boxing growing greater each and every day.”
For the full-time college student that loves to travel the world, Chestnut uses boxing to balance out her life.
“I enjoy learning from all cultures in life. At times I’m reserved, but I can also be sociable. I’m more like a mentor, that’s how I got my nickname. I’m nurturing, friendly, and very driven.”
“When it’s time to do business I’m ready all the way. When it comes to boxing, I push myself. I want to be the best. That’s my motivation. I am a woman of my word.”
“I am a strong, fierce woman that loves to box. I come from a place where I’m always around men so that has put my mindset to be greater than I can possibly be.”
Chestnut works hard in both school and the gym. She’s resilient and determined to achieve all her goals while helping and mentoring the youth along the way.
“I love to give back to my community and mentor the youth. I have volunteered at the Lennox Lewis league of champions in Jamaica. I was the first and only female boxer to work with and train the youth.”
“I spent a lot of time doing that. I plan to help train kids in the community on how boxing can better their lives. I enjoy coaching the upcoming talented fighters.”
“My ultimate goal is reach my full potential, to be the best fighter I can possibly be. I am truly confident in my abilities. I want to help pave the way for other aspiring athletes. I am 100% dedicated and motivated to achieving my goals. I will represent Canada on the international stage.”
To assist, sponsor, and support, you can follow and contact Chestnut at:
- Instagram: @theboxinglioness
- 4X Canadian national champion
- 2X Provincial Champion
- Arnie Boehm Champion (2010)
- Bronze Gloves Champion (2016)
- Brampton Cup Champion (2016)
- First female from London, ON to win a national title under the age of 16