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Samantha Pill: From Toughman Competitions to Professional Boxer
By: Bryant Romero
Samantha “Leggz” Pill will put her undefeated record on the line when she takes on her biggest challenge to date against the respected Maricela Cornejo on Friday July 13 in what should be an interesting fight between two big women in the super-middleweight division. Like Cornejo, Samantha took up the sport of boxing late with not much of an amateur background. The-31-year-old found her passion for fighting through a toughman competition, which sparked a professional boxing career. Boxinginsider recently caught up with Samantha to talk about her passion for fighting, how she juggles boxing with a full time day job as an ER supervisor, being a wife, a mother, and what she would like to accomplish in the sport.
“Boxing didn’t’ come into late in my life,” Samantha said. “I grew up in a small town in West Virginia. I played varsity basketball, but didn’t do any athletics in college. I just went straight into nursing. I started working as a registered nurse in 2007 and I have been at the United Hospital Center since then. I got married later that year and had a couple of kids.”
Photo Credit: Samantha Pill Facebook Account
But it wasn’t until after the birth of her daughter that Samantha would take the first step that would spark her boxing career by entering a toughman competition that would get her hooked to fighting.
“I wanted to do the local toughman competition,” Samantha told me. “It was something that I was always interested in but I just never had the right time to do it. I met my trainer Keith Barr. January 2015 was my first toughman contest and I haven’t stopped since then. I pretty much just got hooked,” she said.
Samantha took the same path that Christy Martin did towards the professional ranks as Martin also competed in the local toughman competitions in West Virginia. Like Martin, Samantha found success in the toughman contest by recording 5 knockouts in 9 bouts with two championships. However, because her toughman fights were considered semi-pro bouts, Samantha had no choice but to progress forward with her career by turning professional.
“I’ve had no USA boxing matches, but I had 9 semi-pro fights with 5 knockouts on my way up before I turn pro,” Samantha said. “I had my first professional match in April of 2017 and now I’m 3-0.”
Working a full time day job, being there for her family, and still finding the time for a strenuous workout regimen for boxing hasn’t been easy for the 31-year-old. She admits it can be tiring juggling these different responsibilities which has affected her training, her home life, and with her passion still growing by the day for fighting, so far she’s found a way to make it work.
“It’s a little tiring. My house isn’t as clean as it should be. I haven’t gotten my new fence built. Some things do have to take a backseat and some sacrifices do have to be made.
“I still have to do my job and still have to be a mom and be here for my family, but my passion also is still growing and we just find a way to make it work,” Samantha said.
As for her next fight, Samantha is well aware of her next opponent and has even been fan of Cornejo watching much tape on her as well as the other big girls in the division to employ some of what they do into her style.
At 6 feet tall, she is towering for a woman that could pose potential problems for Cornejo with her size and length that she brings to the table. Whatever happens next Friday, Samantha envisions a tremendous fight between them and is confident of victory.
“I wouldn’t have been willing to take this if I didn’t know that there was something in me that could pull this off,” she told me. “I think we make a great match in general. With my size vs her size, she’s use to being the longer person, so maybe she’s has to make some adjustments to me.
“I’ll have to make some adjustments to her with her experience and she is also the tallest person that I have fought against. But I wouldn’t have been willing if I didn’t think it was possible. Even though I’m not able to do the things and train the way these other pro fighters are. Part of me knows they wouldn’t be able to do what I have to do either.
“If everything goes well, I would like to continue fighting for a few good more years. Just turning pro last year, I didn’t think we would be where I am right now getting ready to take this next big step. But I’m willing and I imagine the doors that it’s going to open. I’d be willing to go wherever,” Samantha said.