NYPD's Nisa Rodriguez punches her way to professional boxing debut at Madison Square Garden

CeFaan Kim Image
Thursday, March 14, 2024
NYPD officer gearing up for boxing debut at The Garden
CeFaan Kim has more on the inspiring story of a young NYPD officer.

BROOKLYN, New York (WABC) -- A young NYPD officer, filled with dreams and a devastating hook, is inspiring kids as she punches her way to her professional boxing debut on Friday.

If you had to find someone to personify grit, Nisa Rodriguez would be it.

She's no stranger to adversity, and no stranger to punching right through it.

This terror in the ring comes with a rare one-two punch combo, along with a nasty uppercut and devastating jab.

But she's also got a giant heart. That's why they call her "sweet destruction."

"Growing up in the Bronx, 12, 13-years-old, I was always getting into fights. I was always in trouble," Rodriguez said.

So, she figured she would turn those hooks into something good.

She commuted more than an hour, one way, to the only free gym in the city. The NYPD Cops and Kids Boxing Program in Flatbush Gardens, Brooklyn.

"I was a teen. A young mom. Dropped out of school. I was coming here," Rodriguez said. "They encouraged me to get my GED. I went back to college. I was a teacher for eight years in Harlem."

Rodriguez said she lost a couple of kids during the school day from shoot outs.

"I was like, you know, I want to do something else," she said.

So, she went from teaching junior high, to joining the NYPD.

She's been an officer now for three years.

Based out of the gym in Brooklyn, she works with works with adolescents across the city, giving relief to victim's families of major assaults and homicides.

She's also an eight-time Golden Glove champ.

Pat Russo, the founder of the boxing program, says Rodriguez is a mentor, teacher and role model to the young kids in the program.

"She's a role model," Victoria Garcia said. "And it's amazing how she's a woman, she works at NYPD, and she does boxing."

"I can't tell when she's having a bad day because she comes with a great attitude every time," Andres Garcia said.

Rodriguez makes her pro debut this Friday at Madison Square Garden.

She's also training for the Olympics this year and hopes to qualify.

If she does, she would represent Puerto Rico.


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