Marcia’ Steward doesn’t fight like an amateur.
In fact, if you’d watched him Friday in the Golden Gloves regional championships at Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kan., you’d never guess he hadn’t fought in an official boxing match until this week.
Now, he’s a Golden Gloves champion.
Steward won the men’s 132-pound amateur division with an impressive display of quickness, a solid right hook and an effective jab.
“Right now I’m just working on the hook. Working on the jab,” said the 26-year-old Steward. “I think I was working well on footwork tonight.”
During the third round, Steward introduced a ducking move followed by a powerful right hook to the side of his opponent’s head.
“I just tried to switch it up with different moves. Most of the time I go from left to right, I just tried to go underneath tonight,” he said.
A little more than two years ago, boxing wasn’t even something Steward thought about.
Inspired by his daughter, Steward joined Authentic Boxing Club on 11th Street in Kansas City and has trained there ever since.
“I like using my speed,” Steward said of the sport. “I like getting hit sometimes. It fuels me. I like it so much I don’t like it. It brings the aggression out.”
Born in Seattle, Steward lived in Washington and Illinois before moving to the Kansas City area as a freshman in high school. Now most of his family lives outside of the area, and many of his friends are deceased.
But Steward has persevered through life’s trials. Authentic Boxing Club acts as part of his family.
“I like the seriousness, the motivation, the drive, the determination,” Steward said of the club. “I like the family and team atmosphere. And the workout pushes your limits. Only the strong survive.”
Outside of the boxing ring, Steward works as a barber. He enjoys the creative outlet both the sport of boxing and the skill of his profession allow.
“They’re both art,” he said. “Cutting hair is my more mellow side. I’m far from a confrontational person. Boxing allows my aggressive side to come out.”
Steward has a goal of eventually turning pro, and he knows the work he’ll have to put in to do it.
“I have to be very serious about everything I do in my life and the steps that I take,” he said. “I have to take care of my responsibilities. When I leave training, there’s always something to be done.”
For now, he’s focusing on the Ringside Tournament in September, but the fruits of his hard work up to this point paid off Friday.
“Feels good to win the title,” Steward said. “I’m eventually trying to go on to bigger things. I’m working on my skill, movement, defense. Once I feel comfortable with my speed and defense, I’ll try to go pro.”