She is known as the Knockout, and for good reason. Since blasting into women's boxing in 1997, Mia St. John has earned a reputation as a formidable fighter, with one distinction: She looks more like a movie star than like an undefeated (12 wins, including seven knockouts) featherweight. "Female athletes don't have to look like men," St. John says. At the age of six, Mia took up tae kwon do. She competed as an amateur and considered training for the 2000 Olympics before deciding she was too old. "The only thing left to do was go pro, but I traded martial arts for boxing, the sport that, thanks to [superstar boxing pioneer] Christy Martin, is the most recognized women's combat sport." After watching St. John in the ring, it's clear she has found her niche. "Ever since I was 12, I wanted to be Rocky Balboa. I live, eat and breathe boxing." Considering St. John's success thus far, it's natural that she has her detractors. "Most female boxers hate me. People say I'm successful because of my looks. They say the same thing about Oscar De La Hoya. They're jealous. But I don't care. My posing can only help give women's boxing the recognition it deserves."
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