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Local boxer scores first career pro victory

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MASSENA - After earning a majority draw in her first professional fight, Michelle Cook of Massena was eager to get back in the ring and score the first boxing victory of her career.

That victory came last Thursday by unanimous decision against Ivana Coleman, of Slidell, La., whose record fell to 0-5 with the loss.

While Ms. Coleman’s record may not seem impressive, Ms. Cook’s trainer, Atsiaktonkie, said that’s not a reflection of the fighter she is really is.

“She’s had tough fights,” he said. “They were all former champions and no one has never knocked her down.”

That all changed though in the third round when Ms. Cook scored a knock down, coming just seconds after Ms. Coleman’s best punch of the fight.

“They called a break and I let my guard down. Then she got me,” Ms. Cook said, adding she feels like she would have won the fight without the knockdown.

Ms. Cook said she realized she was on the verge of her first professional win shortly after the fight started. “She wasn’t hardly doing anything,” Ms. Cook said.

Atsiaktonkie said he thinks that’s because Ms. Coleman was trying to avoid Ms. Cook’s power. “In the video we watched, she was a hard charging, agressive fighter, but against Michelle she didn’t do any of that,” he said.

When asked if scoring a professional win felt any different than picking up an amateur victory, Ms. Cook said other than receiving a pay check, there really wasn’t much difference.

“It was the same feeing I always get after a win,” she said. It feels really good to win, and that’s what I go into the ring expecting to do. That’s what I tran and work hard for.”

The fight was scheduled to be fought at 117 pounds, but Atsiaktonkie noted Ms. Coleman came in five pounds overweight at the weigh-in.

“We took the fight anyways,” he said.

Although many fighters take time off between bouts, Ms. Cook said she is going to continue training and she’s already looking forward to her next fight.

“We’re going to step up and start training for higher level fighters,” Atsiaktonkie said. “I think she destined for big things, but we don’t want to jump the gun.”

Atsiaktonkie said a potential bout against UBF Intercontinental Super Bantamweight Champion Heather Hardy has been discussed. Ms. Hardy is currently 7-0 with two career knockouts.

When asked where they hope to be a year from now, Atsiaktonkie and Ms. Cook replied, “Fighting for a world title.”

“She’s good enough to fight at that level now, but I want her to keep getting stronger,” Atsiaktonkie said.

Ms. Cook may be found on Facebook by searching for “Michelle Cook Boxing.”

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