Boxing is a Tool for Life. On International Women’s Day, and every day, we celebrate the strength within every Woman to Strike.
This year we spotlight two of the many incredible female employees at BOXRAW who are breaking the bias in the boxing industry and in life.
Senior Product Engineer
Ionela Radu is the engineering powerhouse, working alongside Founder and CEO, Ben Amanna, on BOXRAW’s market disrupting equipment offering. A driving force behind our patent protected engineering including Face Mask (featuring Micro-Fresh technology), Knuckle Guards (individual to the left and right hand), Sokudo Speed Rope (world's first Left and Right sided handle with an ergonomic design) and upcoming flagship Boxing Gloves (seven patented features).
Ionela now helps lead the design of BOXRAW’s innovative product engineering but she had to quickly develop her understanding of boxing at first.
"Before BOXRAW, I never had anything to do with boxing equipment or with the boxing world," stated Ionela. "So after my interview with Ben (BOXRAW CEO and Founder), when he handed me the patterns and asked me to “make him a glove”, I had to go through every piece of information I could find online or in books in order for us to build the world-leading boxing equipment."
Ionela moved to the UK from her home of Iasi, Romania at the age of 18 for university. Through leveraging both her degree and part-time work, she landed herself a role as a stylist for TK Max, which first sparked her interest and desire to get into the fashion industry.
"A few months after that I started a styling course in London which led me to meet some of the top fashion stylists in the UK," adds Ela, as she’s known to colleagues and friends. "Through these opportunities, I managed to get an internship with British Vogue, where I was working as a stylist assistant."
Ionela took on the challenge of starting from scratch in the boxing industry in her stride. She learned along the way and has now established herself within the company, working directly with CEO and Founder Ben on the engineering of all BOXAW equipment.
"What kept us going through all the early mornings and late nights was the fact that we both see failure as an opportunity to learn and evolve - not as a step back. And I think that is the difference between wanting something and getting where you want to be; the mindset."
Ionela, like many women in their own industries, has had to deal with gender stereotyping and people’s surprise at her ability to expertly engineer products.
"When it comes to women in engineering, as with lots of other fields, there is still a long way to go," outlines Ionela. "You can get in and succeed but you still have to deal with people questioning your merit to be there. When I tell outsiders what I do, I get funny looks or subtle comments implying that I am stepping out of 'women-friendly fields'.
"The funniest part is when people assume that I got my job at BOXRAW because I have a natural talent, instead of thinking about the years I have spent dissecting everything around me and learning how to make things more efficient. However, these comments are making me want to become even better and learn more."
Pioneering the way within her own field, Ionela is hopeful for even more success for all women.
"I hope that soon we will get to the point when engineering and other male-dominated industries will be more open and welcoming when it comes to women. We have incredible potential here and by including us , you gain access to new perspectives and new ways of fixing problems. Everybody wins."
VP of Partnerships and Operations
Krissy is the woman behind partnerships at BOXRAW, working on high-profile collaborations and building relationships that align with the BOXRAW values and overall mission.
She discovered a deep affection for boxing in an unconventional way. Initially, the passion in her life was forensics, working as a DNA analyst by day before boxing took a leading role.
"I love the sport. I would be lying if I said I was interested in the sport from when I was initially exposed," she admitted jokingly. "My boyfriend, now my husband, loves boxing and used to purchase all the big pay-per-views. And, essentially, because I was part of the family I was stuck watching and it grew on me. Over time it grew my love for the sport. It changed my life.
"I went from being a fully educated forensic scientist who focused on DNA, who then started to love boxing so much so that I initially got into the sport as a volunteer for an online boxing platform. That was my first taste of actually being involved in the sport. That allowed me the ability to get a credential to the first fight I worked."
Krissy’s relentless drive and passion for the sport saw her gain a key positions in high-profile boxing promotion organisations. Working the 2016 fight between Ashley Theophane and Adrien Broner in Washington, D.C, she boldly took the opportunity to introduce herself to Mayweather Promotions’ Nicole Craig (Director of Operations), Leonard Ellerbe (CEO) and Floyd Mayweather Jr (Founder) - which led to a role within the company.
Then contact with BOXRAW CEO and Founder, Ben, was the start of a future friendship and mission-driven bond. Initially coming together through Krissy’s support of an event celebrating women’s success within the boxing industry, she began building bridges between BOXRAW and high-profile fighters.
"I am essentially the woman behind partnerships," Krissy explained. "I enjoy working hand in hand with boxers, coaches, amateur boxers, influencers, women, children. And I think it just comes from the fact that I have the ability to be able to relate to everyone.
"Not only am I in the position where I can operate on BOXRAW’s behalf to seek out the most aligned talent and partnerships to jointly grow our impact, but I can directly relate and really understand where our partners are coming from."
Possessing such a passion for her role within BOXRAW and the boxing industry as a whole, Krissy is a prime example of how devotion to her craft and constant hard work pays off.
"I can now sit back and admire, not only how much I’ve achieved, but just knowing how much more I’ve got to accomplish," Krissy continued. "I know I’ve had to take away time that I could’ve spent with my children, with my husband and family, to devote to the sport of boxing, to devote to BOXRAW. But they understand, they know what’s important. They see the value, they know everything that boxing is to me.
"They know it means the world to me. They know BOXRAW is an amazing company and will grow to be great. They respect and love that, they know what the future holds. They know mummy’s working to be part of something amazing. Nothing comes easy, I’ve definitely worked my way from the bottom up."
Aiming to inspire other women within the boxing industry, and in other fields, Krissy is hopeful her journey can help encourage others to pursue their goals and achieve everything they desire.
"I just want to be able to say I helped accomplish something. That’s my mission, being part of the brand. I don’t have to be known, I’m not looking for fame, I’m focused on being able to help the world in the capacity that I’ve been brought here to do. I’ve put in the work and I’m succeeding and I wish that same success for every other woman who’s trying to accomplish things in whatever avenue or field they’re in.
"There are amazing women in this sport. I honour everyone who is out there breaking barriers and trailblazing in boxing. My slogan has always been ‘boxing gives me life’. It’s hard at this point to imagine when it wasn’t part of my life."