PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A Pittsburgh native is making major moves in the world of professional boxing.
Tika Hemingway is a name to keep an eye on in the coming years. She is originally from the North Side, but is now living in Florida looking to be the next big name in the world of boxing.READ MORE: Drivers Feeling The Pain At The Pumps As Gas Prices Continue To Rise Across Pittsburgh Area
“I knew I was going to be — not even a good boxer, a good boxer is an understatement,” Hemingway said. “I knew I was going to be a champion.”
Tika is a four-time national champion boxer on the amateur level. She just turned pro, and has already won her first fight.
“Basically, we are about to get a World Championship. Our goal is to dominate the professional game just like I did in amateurs and bring a World Championship back home in Pittsburgh.”
Hemingway has impressed some boxing legends including Roy Jones Jr., who is currently training her in Pensacola for her next fight.READ MORE: Allegheny Co. Council To Vote On Paid Sick Leave Bill
“I’ve gotten so much better already,” Hemingway said. “In amateurs, it’s a point system, it’s Olympic-style boxing. So you want to accumulate as many points as you can, as quickly as you can. But the pros are a lot different. Roy Jones is teaching me how to knock people out. You know Roy Jones’ style, so he is teaching me all of the tricks.”
Tika hasn’t made her mark yet on the professional level but she is on her way. Hemingway has left a lasting impression in Pittsburgh and she already has a permanent exhibit in the Heinz History Center.
“That’s a big accomplishment,” Hemingway said. “I am still alive…I am not dead and I am still here, so for that to be there, that only shows that I can get better and make more history.”
Hemingway wants to become a World Champion while also being a role model and mentor for future female boxers.
“I’m one of the pioneers, so I didn’t have anybody when I first started as far as females. I was the female, so I had to create everything. I created this, so now I want to make the lane easier [for females]. If I can show them the way — show them how to fix their character, have more integrity and give them more work ethic while giving them hope. Essentially I am a hope dealer.”MORE NEWS: 'Good Eat$ Downtown' Campaign Begins, Aimed At Bringing Business Back To Downtown Restaurants
Tika is hoping to schedule her second professional fight in the next few weeks.