Melinda Levasseur, a sophomore accounting major who transferred in the fall to DSU from East Tennessee State University, had high hopes that she would be a member of the Hornet soccer
Melinda Levasseur will seek her eighth victory in her March 19 bout at the Harrington Fairgrounds.
team. However for a variety of reasons, it just didn’t happen.
But she has a sporting pursuit to passionately fall back on – boxing.
Melinda "The Gem" Levasseur, a 5-foot 10-inch, 165-pound right-handed amateur fighter who competes in the middleweight and light heavyweight female classes, showcased her boxing skills on Saturday, March 19 in her Delaware debut at the Harrington Fairgrounds Exhibit Hall
In front of a packed Harrington boxing crowd, Melinda made quick TKO work of her opponent Tisha Himes of York, Pa. by sending her back to her locker room after only one round. Ms. Levasseur now has an amateur record of 8-1.
Boxing has become a significant enough passion for Ms. Levasseur that she is considering eventually turning pro. But her amateur boxing success aside, the sport of soccer has really been Melinda’s first love.
A soccer player throughout her youth, her involvement in the sport was disrupted during her senior year of high school in Johnson City, Tenn., when she suffered a torn ACL. Her rehabilitation led her to regularly working out in a gym, where she was introduced to boxing.
“I started using boxing to get back into shape,” Ms. Levasseur said.
Her sights, however, were still set on returning to soccer; but it never became a reality for her. Although she was offered a partial soccer scholarship at Milligan College, she was unable to pull together the rest of the funds to enroll at the time. Upon transferring to DSU in the fall 2010, she hoped that she would make the Hornet soccer team. But the combination of her late registration and some eligibility complications kept her off the team and ended any intercollegiate sports possibilities for her.
While she was working through those soccer aspirations, she moved her boxing activity beyond the gym and began taking on fights.
Ms. Levasseur began amateur boxing a couple of years ago and won her first seven fights. She went on to represent the Southeast Region in the 2010 National Golden Gloves. She lost her first fight in that Golden Gloves Championship in June 2010 in Hollywood, Fla.
That lone loss did not discourage her, but rather motivated her. And now that she has rebounded with her eight win, Melinda is now looking toward possibly turning pro at some point. She has become a fixture at the KOK Boxing Club in Bridgeville, Del., where she works out under the watchful eye of her trainer Tyrone Sabr. He said she is a skilled boxer who works hard in the ring.
Melinda's trainer Tyrone Sabr give her some sage ring wisdom during a recent workout.
“She has beautiful hands and feet, and she can think. I believe she can go a long way,” said Mr. Sabr, who has two sisters – Sharon (Lee) Beard and Sheila (Lee) Cooper – who graduated from DSU.
Melinda says she loves the way boxing challenges her athletically, as well as enjoys the work out and the dedication that the sport requires. “There is a great sense of accomplishment that you don’t get from anything else,” she said.
The daughter of Louis Levasseur of Johnson City, Tenn., and Lisa Marie Clark of Magnolia, Del., Melinda says she inherited the athleticism of her father. Her decision to move to Delaware to be near her mother resulted in her enrollment at DSU.
Melinda Levasseur (center) gets a victory pose with boxing promoter Bruce Hibbs (l) and trainer Tyrone Sabr after her March 19 TKO win.
Her boxing match will take place next to the Harrington Casino takes place where she also currently works part-time as a waitress. Her professional accounting aspirations relates to the casino.
“I want to get my CPA and work for a casino in auditing or forensic accounting,” Melinda said. She added that her desire to turn pro has been tempered by her priority to finish her degree. “I want to make sure I take care of my schooling first,” she said.
Although she didn't get much of workout during the less than one-round fight against Himes -- an opponent who found her to be too quick in the ring to handle -- Ms. Lavasseur was glad to re-establish herself in the ring.
"It was good to be back in the ring, as it's been around a year since my last fight," Melinda said. "It was good to have so much support from the casino, my family and friends."
Photos and article by Carlos Holmes