By: Henry Deleon
Boxing Insider had the opportunity to sit down and catch up with former 3-time world champion “The Hawaiian Mongoose” Eileen Olszewski over the weekend at the Mendez Boxing Club in N.Y.C.
Boxing Insider – You have a fight coming up March 8th at the Amazura night club in Queens. How has preparation for this fight been?
Eileen – it’s been great. I’ve been sparring hard, working on my conditioning, running. Eating good, sleeping good. I mean it can be better but in the real world we have to work so you know how that goes.
Boxing Insider – According to boxrec.com you haven’t been matched with an opponent yet. Does it still remain like that or do you now have an opponent?
Eileen – We have an opponent. I believe she is from Hungary. We found out about her maybe about a month ago. So, we had time to properly get ready for her.
Boxing Insider – How long have you been boxing?
Eileen – I started boxing with Matthew since 1999. I started as an amateur. My first bout was in August 2000. So yeah, I been boxing since then
Boxing Insider – Since you’ve started boxing how much has women’s boxing changed over the years?
Eileen – I think it’s changed a lot and still has a long way to go. It’s kind of like how women’s tennis was back maybe 30 years ago when Billie Jean King had to pave the way for all these tennis players. They weren’t receiving the same kind of pay and it wasn’t equal. But it’s getting there it’s not quite there yet but it’s getting there.
Boxing Insider – How passionate do you have to be about this sport that despite the inequalities, you are able to stay consistent with it?
Eileen – well I can’t speak for other people, I can only speak for myself. I entered this sport purely because I love it. I entered it on a very late age, where most women would have already retired. And so even if I was at a superstar level, at the age I started a promoter wouldn’t pick me up because I started that late. So, given that I never thought I was going to get in this sport and be good in the amateurs and work my ranks through the pros and then become promoted and take the normal route where most of the men go where they would cultivate their careers, they would cultivate their records to get to that star status. I didn’t see my path leading down that route.
Boxing Insider – You mention an important factor age, how old were you when you won your first world title?
Eileen – I was in my mid 40’s
Boxing Insider – A lot of people believe that in this sport one ages rather quickly. And here you are living proof, that you can still win a world title at what people would consider a “late age”. What kind of advice can you give to someone who’s in a similar stage in life in where they found a late passion for something they now love, what can you say to them to motivate them or inspire them to continue going, to help them believe that age doesn’t always play a major factor?
Eileen – well that’s a bit of a tricky question, because you have to look at all the factors involved in each individual case. I can speak for my case where I had a serious extensive background in classical ballet training, I had come to NY to dance ballet. I already had that foundation, that mindset training of the day to day grind. So, I believe both my ballet background and Matthew’s training helped contribute to my success in the ring.
I also believe people have ring age, so although my biological age is higher than most people in the sport but since I started so late my boxing ring age is very young. I actually only have 14 years of ring age because I only spent 3 years in the amateurs and then I couldn’t get a fight for 3 years. So, I waited 3 years from my last amateur fight to my first pro fight. So, I had a slow start.
Boxing Insider – You mention about how difficult it was getting a fight for you at first. Was that because of your age and being female or was it just because they couldn’t find a proper match for you?
Eileen – it was a combination of factors. I was undefeated for 3 years in the amateurs. I had won 3 NY Daily News Golden Gloves. I had won 3 U.S. nationals, I had won 3 National Women’s Golden Gloves. So, I kind of swept everything. By the time I wanted to go in to the pros nobody who had less than 5 fights wanted to fight me. But girls who were on top of the game who had more than 20 fights, 15 fights were like “sure come on, let’s do it.” Actually, in my 5th fight I fought for the WBC title in Italy and I got a draw. So, I had to really step up to the plate real fast I didn’t have time to cultivate my career so my record kind of suffered for it but like I said in the beginning I didn’t come into this sport to get into a big promotion, it’s all for fun and spiritual for me.
Boxing Insider – What can we tell the people here reading this to expect come fight night march 8th?
Eileen – I’ve been told I’m an exciting fighter to watch. That I’m very entertaining so I want to entertain the people but my first priority is to get the job done. I just want shake off the rust get the jitters off it’s like no other sport. Boxing is like one of the hardest physically training sport but then again, the physical aspect is only like 25% its 75 % mental so if only 25% of that hard training is accountable for the physicality and the rest is mental it’s really hard it’s like no other sport, that’s why I love it so much.
The Hawaiian Mongoose will be fighting March 8th at the Amazura night club in Queens, N.Y. I have witnessed her in the gym and I can assure you that all those in attendance will be in for quite the show. It will be a night of boxing you won’t want to miss!