Quebec boxer Talia Birch hasn’t been doing this for very long, but from the outside, you’d never be able to tell.
She started to box as a way to stay fit during the pandemic, throwing her first-ever punch with her current coach, Jamaal Garner, in her basement nearly two years ago.
“He saw something in me, took me to the gym and we started training more and more,” said Birch. “It’s almost been two years since we started and I’ve had eight fights since then.”
Her hobby turned quickly into a passion.
In December 2021, Birch had her first fight at her home gym in Vaudreuil.
Her coach says he knew early on that she was special.
“I saw a natural power and the quickness to grasp information and I didn’t have to correct her as often, or much,” said Garner. “It was a fast progression.”
In her short two-year career, Birch has boxed her way up the ranks.
The undefeated athlete won the provincial boxing championship last year and made history at the Canada Games in Prince Edward Island last weekend, where she won the first-ever gold medal in her division.
And she’s only 17.
“For her to win it is so surreal,” said Garner. “Honestly the only word I can use to describe her is just magical.”
Though Birch and her coach are still on a high from her latest win, they’re already thinking about her next feat.
The national boxing tournament is this summer and after that – the Olympics.
“Hopefully, that’s the hope,” Birch said laughing. “I think I can do it.”