Jen Amato, PsyD Student

Clinical Psychology
And then one of my coaches said 'You're actually very good.'

A Champion Boxer and More

A little over two years ago, Jennifer Amato, a second-year PsyD student, began boxing, just to get in shape. In only her second fight, she won the New England Golden Gloves 112-lb. class. Three months later, she went on to defeat a three-time national Junior Olympic champion. This spring, she won the Golden Gloves againby default because there was no one else in her classand is on her way to the Women's National Golden Gloves competition in Florida July 7-12.

Her manager is urging Jen to turn pro. Amateur boxing is about throwing a lot of punches, she said. Pro boxing is more about power punches - fewer punches but making them count. And I have a lot of power for my weight. But I'm going to win the national before I go pro.

Busy Schedule

Jen trains twice daily, at a regular gym and a boxing gym, and travels to Rhode Island once a week to train with a pro fighter, ranked second in the nation in her weight class. But boxing and school are not her only responsibilitiesshe has a four-year-old son and works for the Nashua Testing Center.

It helped that her boyfriend owns Contenders Gym, a boxing gym in Keene. He was gone every night, so I would go down there and, after a while, I was there every night, she said. And then one of my coaches said 'You're actually very good.'

No kidding. Jen won her first fight, in the fall of 2012, by a TKO, and after winning the Golden Gloves, has fought nine times. Her record is 8-1.

She's also the subject of a documentary. One of the gym's coaches, who heard about Jen, her work ethic and her aggressive fighting style, also manages pro boxers, including Demetrius Boo Boo Andrade. He encouraged a filmmaker shooting a documentary of Andrade to also shoot one about Jen. It will focus on her roles as a mom, a graduate student, and a fighter.

She went after her PsyD because human behavior has always fascinated her. I also just wanted to learn more about myself, said Jen, who has an undergraduate degree in psychology.

And how does she manage to juggle so many obligations? Some days, she said, it's easier than others.