SAN MARCOS For boxer Rocky Ramos and his trainer of eight years, Kalina Fernandez, the road to the ring began with a little intimidation.
“He was scared of me and didn’t come near me, which I can understand cause I was in fight mode,” Fernandez said.
“She kind of had a mean face, or a serious face, and I was like I’m going to stay away from her!” Ramos said.
At the time, Fernandez was a twenty-six year-old fighter with her own aspirations. She took on the twelve year-old Ramos as a sparring partner and made an impact in their very first session.
“I gave him two black eyes, and he was wrecked about it,” recalled Fernandez.
“It was my first couple black eyes, but a year later I came back and gave her a bloody nose.’
Fernandez began donating her time to Ramos` career as he became the most decorated amateur boxer in San Diego. In 2012, the now twenty-six year-old from Vista stepped into the world of professional fighting. He still supports his ambitions by working as a groundskeeper for the Encinitas School District.
Fernandez has a career as high fashion make-up artist.
“Make-up and lipstick, that’s clearly different than boxing and shoes, but my roles in makeup have always been in coaching and developing people,” said Hernandez. “ It’s the same thing I do with my fighters.”
In the world of boxing, having a female trainer comes with its share of doubters, but for Fernandez and Ramos, it`s only made them stronger
“You know, it`s just a human thing. A man can be a trainer. A woman can be a trainer. There`s no difference. As long as they put in the work and they are teaching you it is enough,” said Ramos.
“It has taught me to not second guess myself,” added Fernandez. “ Which is something this sport will do to you no matter what. ‘There are still a lot of curve balls. But you know what they say, roll with the punches.”