The gloves are back on

Shayna Foppiano spars with Dennis Hickey as she gets back in the gym after the Covid-19 restrictions were lifted. (Photo by Joseph Prezioso)


With Covid-19 restrictions easing and national sports readying to restart, athletes everywhere have been taking back their routines.

For undefeated professional boxer and Everett native, Shayna Foppiano, that means getting back to the basics.

“It’s really, really nice to be back and pushing harder,” said Foppiano, excited that gyms are finally back open.

In her first week back, she pounded-out four sessions with trainer Joe Lake, each including a four-mile run.

“The same day it opened I could not wait to get in [the gym]. It’s the thing I love, being in that environment,” said Foppiano, who used some of that time to get into her first official sparring session since lockdowns with Revere Police Officer Dennis Hickey (above).

Shayna Foppiano takes a punch from sparring partner Dennis Hickey. (Photo by Joseph Prezioso)

It might sound strange to some that men and women go toe-to-toe, but Shayna hasn’t done it any other way.

“I always spar with guys. It’s uncomfortable, but I learn something from it every time. And It’s the same situation with other female boxers where they have trouble finding other ladies to fight so you’re sort of forced to fight guys,” said Foppiano, who’s been sparring with Hickey for three years.

“We have similar styles. We have to pick apart each other’s differences, which makes him a good sparring partner for me. If anything, it helps me be ready for the unexpected. It helps me trust my gut,” said Foppiano.

And it’s her gut feeling leading her straight back to the sport she loves most.

“There’s a newfound drive after having the time off. It made me realize how Important the sport is to me,” she said. 

With no official bouts lined up just yet, Foppiano and her team are hoping to find an open card soon and are looking into possibly landing a match on ESPN’s regularly scheduled Tuesday or Thursday night boxing showcases.

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