Stanimira Petrova: “Each time I stepped out for another final match!”

Photo: BGNES

Stanimira Petrova is here to ruin myths – such as the one that boxing is not for women. In these times, lacking an adequate state policy in the sports field, she did take the world title at the up to 54 kg category. The first one for women ever in the history of Bulgarian boxing! That happened at the AIBA Women's World Boxing Championshipsin Jeju, South Korea, where the charming Bulgarian won the amateur title after 5 wonderful victories over strong opponents, medal winners among those. “I stepped out, one match after the other, as if it was the final one. Actually I went through 5 finals,” the champion says on her secret. Thus she earned her big dream – to hear the Bulgarian hymn from the top of the podium.

“I was very sure about my skills at this tournament. I just relaxed and the only thing left was to enjoy myself in the ring. Then, at the semi-final and the final, when I felt the support, coming from all my friends and relatives in Bulgaria, I did step out with the thought of playing for Bulgaria. I did want the Bulgarians to feel proud,” Stanimira says in an interview for Radio Bulgaria.

Moment from the final match: Stanimira exerts one of the decisive blows against European Champion Marcia Davide, Italy

The 23-year-old Bulgarian turned into the sensation of the tournament, as she won the prize after only a couple of years spent in this sports discipline. She picked up boxing as an optional class during her studies at the National Academy of Sports in Sofia. Actually it was the sport that her father had selected for her a long time ago. When Stanimira first stepped out into the ring, she realized she had found her vocation. Of course, success was grounded on some 15 years of taekwondo practice…

“If I hadn’t had the experience and skills, acquired with taekwondo the success wouldn’t have been that quick… That was where I had learnt the constant maneuver with the legs – to the left, to the right, backwards and upwards all the time – a dance in the ring, as they use to say. Taekwondo also gave me the timing, the feeling of distance and the right punching moment."

Being a woman, was it easy for her to get over that psychological barrier of punching somebody? “I find it difficult sometimes and I stop myself, but after all that is what we are up there for. You step out and literally do your job,” Stanimira says, underlining that she is another person outside the ring. She likes to draw, to visit concerts and to have fun, just like any normal girl at her age. Of course, sport comes first.

Arriving at Sofia Airport with personal coach Alexander Hristov - European and World Champion and Olympic Vice-champion.

“We train twice in the course of two hours at the hall, but that’s nothing,” the world champion says. “I do not spend only those 4 hours a day, thinking of boxing. I do it all the time, even when I sleep – sometimes my dreams are related to the ring…”

The young woman from Assenovgrad says self-discipline and self-control are the leading principles of her life. Those are essential for the ring, as “one has to be calm. Whenever he is calm, one can show the best of the skills gained. In moments of outrage you simply can’t think and the loss is almost certain,” Stanimira says in conclusion.

English version: Zhivko Stanchev

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