By Cary Shuman
Everett High School graduate Shayna Foppiano will make her professional boxing debut on Sept. 30 at the House of Blues in Boston.
Nicknamed “Hollywood” because of her movie star looks, Foppiano will compete in a four-round bout against Lamyra Geary of Philadelphia as part of an ESPN Night at the Fights show.
Though she was an Everett Pop Warner cheerleader and competed in track, softball, basketball and Powder Puff football (as the quarterback) at EHS, the 25-year-old Foppiano has found boxing to be her favorite sport.
“I’ve never loved anything more – to be honest,” said Foppiano. “I’ve been into sports since I was younger, but boxing was the only sport that I wake up in the morning for and what really motivates me. I just fell in love with the sport, despite people saying what I look like. For me, my looks aren’t forever, but something I’m so passionate about will be.”
Foppiano has been training for her bout at Greater Boston Fitness in Revere, a facility owned by former EHS football great Frank Nuzzo III. Her coach is the legendary Joe Lake, who trained former middleweight champion “Dangerous” Dana Rosenblatt and other successful fighters.
“I met Joe at the gym through a family friend, and he saw some potential in me as a boxer,” said Foppiano. “I did really well in some sparring sessions against other women at Peter Welch’s Gym in South Boston, and Joe and I decided to move forward and see where it goes. I feel very lucky to have Joe Lake in my corner. He’s an unbelievable trainer and mentor and like a father figure to me.”
Foppiano, whose favorite fighters are Katie Taylor of Ireland and Vasyl Lomachenko of the Ukraine, has been working out with the Ireland national women’s boxing champion: “I really appreciate having her as a sparring partner. She’s taught me a lot.”
At 5-foot-7-inches tall and 140 pounds, Foppiano is competing in the light welterweight division. She is excited about her pro debut.
“It’s been a long time coming. I’ve been training a very long time for this bout. I’ve seen video of my opponent. I know I’m prepared and ready for her,” she said.
Foppiano attended the Hamilton and Parlin Schools and graduated from Everett High School in 2010. She studied early childhood education at Bunker Hill Community College and has worked as a special needs teacher for five years at the Shore Collaborative in Chelsea.
Foppiano will have lot of friends and family who will be attending her fight. Among her biggest supporters are her mother, Karen Foppiano, who has been serving as publicist, and her boyfriend, Brett Ravenscroft.
“I’ll be there shouting the loudest,” said Ravenscroft, a bodybuilder who is assisting his girlfriend with her pre-fight diet.
Already generating buzz on the boxing scene because of her dynamic combination of skills and charisma, Foppiano wants to reign over the sport one day.
“My goal is to have a world title,” said Foppiano. “I’m well aware of the dangerousness of the sport, but I’m ready to get in the ring and compete for a world championship.”