The Real Million Dollar Baby

437_lgBorn and raised in the Bronx, having a strict NYPD detective as your Father and surviving an abusive relationship. What all appears to be the making of a Lifetime Channel movie, could also turn into a recipe for success.

Maureen Shea managed to utilize those experiences as a training ground that catapulted her into becoming a well-known professional boxer.

Born and raised in the Bronx, having a strict NYPD detective as your Father and surviving an abusive relationship. What all appears to be the making of a Lifetime Channel movie, could also turn into a recipe for success.

Maureen Shea managed to utilize those experiences as a training ground that catapulted her into becoming a well-known professional boxer. With her Irish Father and Mexican Mother, Shea spent her adolescence traveling from the Bronx to Guadalajara, providing her with knowledge to adapt to different cultures and learning a second language that most children lack the opportunity to ever endure.

Maureen began to fall prey to the challenges a teenager faces residing in New York. She was tossed out of high school and by the age of 17, found herself in an abusive relationship with an older man. Fortunately she stumbled upon boxing and it quickly became the love of her life and evidently what she was bound to do with her life.

Shea ignored the looks and remarks she received from guys at the gym and simply continued training and improving her boxing. Like every fighter, you’re only as knowledgeable as your trainer is and having Hector Roca and Luigi Olcese heading up Team Shea, Maureen currently has a record of 13-2.

Most boxing viewers recognize Shea from her work as Hillary Swank’s sparring partner for the 2004 film “Million Dollar Baby”, in which Maureen adopted the fighting name “the real million dollar baby”. In 2007, she went on to appear as a coach for the MTV series “Made” where she invested weeks transforming a 17 year old ballerina from Tennessee into a boxer. You may even spot Maureen lending a hand to the PETA organization, as she has been a vegan for several years now.

“Pray as though everything depended on God, work as though everything depended on you.” – Is one of Shea’s many quotes she shares with her fans for their daily dose of Twitter inspiration. “Moe” is the name her fans gave her which she has daily interaction with on her Twitter and MySpace pages, seeming to really value their support.

The 28 year old was scheduled to fight Jenna Shriver this month, but was canceled due to medical reasons with Jenna. For updated information on Maureen, her website has updates – www.sheaboxing.com.

Shea had a bout with Olivia Gerula in 2007 that she won and sparked interest as being Maureen’s first match outdoors. It was held in Reno, NV proposing quite a climate change for her to adapt to. (I chose to inquire about that match due to my original line of questioning being focused on her fight with Jenna which was later
canceled.)

Congrats on your fight with Olivia, do you think you learned anything from that fight to benefit your future fights?
I learned to adjust to the altitude in Reno and in doing so carried out my game plan against a very competitive fighter.

What would you consider your biggest strength as a boxer?
My dedication to the sport.

Your weakness?
I don’t focus on the negatives or weaknesses. I am constantly striving to learn and improve.

What has been your best fight or biggest accomplishment in boxing thus far?
I’ve accomplished more than my dreams. Fighting in Madison Square Garden three times and being the kind of fighter or person that is an inspiration to people from all walks of life while also growing as a woman in the sport. Boxing has been a vehicle to transport me into the kind of woman I am evolving into.

You’ve made statements in the past referring to being involved in an abusive relationship and that it was boxing that saved you. Do you think in the future you might organize or instruct a self-defense class for battered or abused women in NYC?
I would do an awareness seminar to educate women in what the beginning signs of an abusive relationship are and what helped me spiritually, physically and emotionally to survive.

With your Father being in law enforcement, how does he feel watching his little girl grow up to be so tough and does he attend your fights?
Yes, he attends my fights. He doesn’t like that I box, but he respects my dedication and hard work and is proud of me. My Father knew I was tough, he just never dreamed I’d become a boxer.

Advice for up-and-coming female boxers?
Stay true to who you are and never be oversensitive. If you believe in something and believe in yourself, then follow your heart.

**See FighterGirls Media Page for video clips of Maureen Shea and other boxing videos.

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