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Local professional pugilist Cook returning to the ring in North Carolina


Professional boxer Michele Cook will return to the ring on May 17 in Charlotte, N.C. in a lightweight bout against Brittney Artis.

An Akwesasne boxer is planning a return to the ring on a professional card in North Carolina.

Michele Cook will fight in a 130-pound lightweight bout as part of Pretty Girl Promotions' Thursday Night Fights at the Grady Center in Charlotte, N.C. on May 17.

Her opponent will be Brittney Artis.

Cook, 25, says this will be her fifth professional bout, on top of 20 previous amateur fights.

"Really this fight was set up for me to get the rust out, because I haven't boxed in a couple years, so it's pretty much a tune up fight," Cook said. "I want to start fighting more often and work my way up to eventually winning a title."

Cook is a 2011 New York state amateur boxing champion, a title she won at a series of fights that year at Turning Stone Casino. She also has competed for a national title after winning a regional belt in 2013.

"That was a good win because they gave me the Best Boxer award," she said of the 2013 regional championship.

Cook said she is training daily in anticipation of her return to the ring in Charlotte.

"I'm eating really good and running hard, doing 3 hours of training every day," she said.

She has been into competitive pugilism for nearly a decade, which she began in 2010.

Michele Cook, above, has been training daily in anticipation of an upcoming professional match in North Carolina.

"Just one day my sister heard about it and pretty much all my cousins, my sisters, we joined up just to see if we'd like it. My sister ... wanted to lose weight. We ended up really liking it. I stuck with it," Cook said.

She credits boxing with maintaining a healthy and sober lifestyle.

"That's why I liked it and stuck with it, and it kept me clean. I've been sober since 2010. And my daughter, she helped me a lot too," she said, adding that her finance, Atsiaktonkie, with whom she has her child, is also her trainer. "That's how we met, is boxing."

Her daughter, Konwanihara, 6, comes with Cook to train in Gouverneur.

"Every time we go to Gouverneur for our sparring, she likes to train there with all the little kids, she's really getting into it too. She'll probably have a future in it," Cook said.

Cook is sponsored in the ring by Java Veterinarian Center and B & M Performance Cycles.


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