Fight Like a Girl

Boxing champ recruits ladies for her kick-ass new team.

Cleveland art
At 5-foot-9 and a solid 190 pounds, Rome Roman is an imposing figure in the ring. It’s fitting that the former Cleveland Women’s Golden Glove Boxing champ leads today’s Royal Brigada -- a martial-arts training class for women that doubles as an open call for Roman’s new female fighting squad.

The course instructs women on proven combat techniques -- from striking and kicking to body throwing and grappling. Roman will also share her effective high-protein diet, which ups both body mass and stamina. “She hardly has any body fat,” says promoter Kim Diamond. “She’s very muscular, and she’s working on building up her chest.” Later this year, Roman plans to send the martial-arts team across the country to take on other grapplin’ gals. “You have to be somewhat athletic and in halfway-decent shape,” says Diamond. “It’s about having strength, which you can develop.” Diamond estimates that training will last for at least six months.

The 34-year-old Roman learned how to use her fists more than two decades ago in a rough Brooklyn neighborhood. In 1996, she left NYC for Cleveland, where she trained as a boxer at the Rocky Marciano Gym. Since then, she’s mastered jujitsu, tae kwon do, kickboxing, and wrestling. “She grew up on the streets,” says Diamond. “She started fighting at a young age. She’s got the skills that she needs. And she’ll show you what she’s learned.”
Sundays, 3 p.m., 2007

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