WIBA Title to be Decided in Winnipeg
27 Mar, 2015
Local Athlete, Olivia “The Predator” Gerula, is Ready to Rumble
Olivia “The Predator” Gerula will be facing Simone Da Silva Duarte of Brazil for the WIBA World Boxing Title on April 30th, 2015 at Club Regent Casino & Event Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba. This 35-year-old fighter will be bringing a ton of experience and packing some powerful punches. She is at the top of her game and determined to win this (currently) vacant title.
Standing 5’3”, Olivia trains out of Winnipeg’s Elite Boxing MMA under the coaching of Kent Brown and Dejan Paunovic. Her 15-14-2 record has given her the opportunity to fight around the globe. The April 30th fight will be an action packed event that will bring the return of professional boxing to Manitoba as a sport to be reckoned with.
At 15, Gerula was a competitive gymnast and soccer player. After much convincing, her mom allowed for her to try a new sport in kickboxing. From day one, she was addicted to the sport. Training in martial arts, kickboxing and Muay Thai. Olivia made her professional debut in 1997 and has been moving full steam ahead ever since.
As a professional female athlete, Olivia often finds herself seen as a role model to young girls. As girls are up to six times more likely to drop out of sports by the age of 14 than are boys, she feels it is up to her and other high performance athletes to play an active role in paving the way for the next generation of athletes.
“I respect the fact that I am seen as a role model, it’s a standard I try to live up to. If I can motivate young girls or guys getting into the sport to stick with it, then it’s worth the effort,” says Gerula.
Less than six weeks out from her April 30th fight, Gerula’s training regime is in full force. Diet and nutrition are a big part of the process, as she needs to drop approximately 10 pounds for the April 30th bout. With a minimum of three hours training each day, Gerula actually gains weight in the beginning stages to ensure she doesn’t drop too much weight for the bout.
“I usually weigh between 135 – 145 because that is where I am happiest; life is a lot sweeter with a little ice cream in it,” says Gerula. “When I start to cut weight it gets me mentally prepared to battle while keeping me focused on the end goal.”
When fight day arrives Olivia will be focused and determined, allowing her to be as strong as she can be, as quick as she can be and as mean as she can be against her opponent.
As a personal trainer, a high level of physical activity is a lifestyle for her. When not training for a specific fight, she works out seven days a week, but not always boxing. She enjoys running, yoga, and weight lifting all in an effort to showcasing a true athlete in the ring.
With over 30 boxing fights under her belt, Gerula’s nerves are in control and an excitement is built with each day closer to her fight. She compares getting ready for a fight to baking cupcakes. “All the time and hard work that you put into the gym training and sparring is the batter – the cake if you will. The frosting with a cherry on top is the fight.”
As part of her training regime to get ready for a fight, Olivia gets in over 100 rounds of sparring in the six-week camp with various types of sparring partners, mostly men of all sizes and weight categories. On fight day she faces one girl the same weight as her for ten rounds. When she trains, she has a new opponent every 2-3 rounds that is fresh, and usually quite a bit bigger than her 5’3” frame. She finds training is much harder than the actual fight. Nerves don’t come into play for Gerula as she has already decided what the outcome is going to be.
“The thought is that you have done everything you can up until that point and the rest is there for the taking,” Olivia says.
It is all about thinking positive – she is already celebrating in her mind. Her birthday is the day following the fight and she sees this as her birthday present – holding the belt over her head. She sees no other outcome and trains herself so that she can be the best she can be.
Olivia is currently ranked first in Canada and eighth overall in the world in professional boxing. At one time holding the WBC Super-featherweight Title, Olivia feels women’s boxing doesn’t get the respect men’s boxing does, but nor does it get the same hype. She is hoping to give it a strong boost on the April 30th High Stakes Havoc boxing card presented by King John Boxing. Crowds should expect an exciting night that will showcase the incredible talent – both female and male – that boxing in Manitoba has to offer.
Olivia’s goal in the sport of boxing has been clear since day one – she wants to leave a lasting impression on the sport of women’s professional boxing. From her fights around the globe to right here in Winnipeg, she has been making her mark and hopes April 30th will be another opportunity to do just that.