Athlete of the Week: Junior Olympic Boxing Champion Maliyah Schmid-Carey

Published: Jul. 28, 2022 at 2:59 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Anchorage’s 14-year-old boxing phenom Maliyah Schmid-Carey has been collecting wins in the ring left and right like her lethal punch combinations, but none bigger than the gold medal she picked up at the Junior Olympic Boxing Championships in Wichita, Kansas earlier this month.

“I was really happy, like really excited,” Schmid-Carey said. “It felt better than any other victory that I have ever had.”

Schmid-Carey reflected on her title at the Alaska Boxing Academy, where she spends much of her free time training. The feeling of victory is one Schmid-Carey is familiar with, because it is the reason she straps on gloves, puts in her mouthpiece, and steps into the ring no matter the opponent.

“I work hard to win, I work hard for victory, I like the feeling of winning,” Schmid-Carey said wearing her Junior Olympic Gold Medal.

But the win on the national stage was not only monumental for her promising career, but for the state and sport as well. Maliyah’s uncle David Carey is a former Olympic Boxer and head coach at the Alaska Boxing Academy, where he trains his niece.

”Not just for amateur boxing in Alaska, but for women’s boxing,” Carey said. “She is the perfect example that if you come into the gym — it doesn’t matter if you’re a boy or girl — if you come into the gym if you train hard, this would be good for a healthy lifestyle, but if you want to compete, it could give yourself a shot at getting a Golden Glove title or winning the Junior Olympics the way she did, and she is the first female boxer to ever come out of Alaska and do it, so she made history.”

Schmid-Carey and the Alaska Boxing Academy, aim to uplift the state and sport on bigger platforms.

”I feel like a lot of women, they’re not as valued in sports. So it’s like, for me to be succeeding like how I am and for me to keep going, it feels like I am really doing something for this gender this age, you know. Because I feel like women can do the same thing as men, if not better,” Schmid-Carey added. “Making it like this, it’s huge for Alaska.’

In the championship bout, Schmid-Carey was pinned against a southpaw, in unfamiliar territory for the boxing standout.

”You don’t know who you’re going up against and it really doesn’t matter, but I always say, whenever I get into the ring, I am not scared of the person that I am in the ring with, I am scared of my own fear getting in the way,” Schmid-Carey said of her mindset in the ring during her title bout. “As soon as that bell rings, it doesn’t matter if you’re scared or not you just got to start fighting, you got to fight.”

In the third and final round of the title fight, Schmid-Carey left her stamp on the fight, forcing two referee counts before she was awarded the victory by decision.

“I remember I felt like, ‘oh it is the last 30 seconds, and I was like okay I’ve got to get in there, I’ve got to make a mark somewhere in this ring,’” she recalled. “That’s just when I started going in and I stopped the fight, as soon as the referee started the fight again, stopped the fight again. Had to make a mark.”

Outside of her uncle, she says her favorite boxer is Mike Tyson, and enjoys playing basketball when she is not training. Schmid-Carey is scheduled to attend an Elite Boxing Camp in California in October.

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