De Groot fights for a title

By Tom Donelson, BASN Staff Reporter
Updated: May 18, 2010

IOWA CITY (BASN) — Corinne Van Ryck De Groot is preparing to avenge her only loss to Shondell Alfred in Guyana on June 5. Going into their first fight, De Groot had her share of distraction.

The first thing, she had only one fight in the previous five years, that being a short demolition over Cantrell Sewell, who was a last second replacement. Then her training routine was disrupted when her trainer didn’t follow her down to Guyana for the bout and her old trainer, Eric Williams joined her at last minute.

She stated, “It was all chaos down there.”

The fight that followed was just as chaotic.

Alfred scored a flash down in the third round but De Groot knocked her down in the eighth round and then three times in the 10th. Except the referee called all four knockdowns slips and De Groot lost a decision.

De Groot told me, “On one occasion, the referee helped her up. I plan to go down and win by knock out. I won’t leave it in the hands of judges.”

The 40-year-old De Groot is one of those interesting boxers, who has already lived a full life and not just in the ring. Ms. De Groot was a police office in Ottawa before becoming a boxer.

While serving the local law enforcement in Canada, she learned kickboxing and she noticed that she was better with her hands so she went into boxing. Her father was a boxer in Guyana so there was past family history dealing with the sweet science.

She went to Florida under the tutelage of Ronnie Shields and between 1998 and 2002, she was s rising star in women boxing before new opportunities open up outside the ring.

She stated, “What I did was I took a little bit of time off from boxing because I had the opportunity to do some film work and some television work. Now my goal is to unify the titles.”

She joined a realty show, So You Want to Be Action Star, and won a spot against 13 other contestants to star in a movie with Billy Zane in an action film as a bounty hunter.

She became a stunt woman and an actor and if that wasn’t enough, she joined American Gladitors, where she got her moniker, the Black Panther. As a fighter, she moves like a panther, who stalks her prey before going into the kill. With natural quickness, she maneuvers her opponent before countering with precision.

Before Alfred, her two most notable win was her unanimous decision over WIBF champion Kelsey Jefferies. She outboxed Jefferies and bloodied her face with sharp accurate punches.

She was told by many pre fight, “Don’t take the fight, it’s too big step up.”

She added that her work ethic prepared her for this big fight. Her next fight was against JoJo Wyman as an undercard fight to the Lennox Lewis-Mike Tyson championship fight.

Wyman attacked but she could not penetrate De Groot’s defense and she became vulnerable to De Groot’s right hand hooks. Her quickness and accurate punches punished her opponent.

These two fights against two elite women fighters demonstrated De Groot’s star power and potential but a five year layoff to pursue other interest may have derailed a great boxing career, but Ms. De Groot is more than boxing.

Her lifetime goal is to inspire young women to career goals while avoiding the temptation of life just as drugs. Her experience as a police officer gave her experience about the darker side of life and her goal is to help others to avoid pitfalls that ruin one’s life.

She stated, “My passion and my heart is with young boys and young girls, specifically for young women hat are in disadvantaged situations. I do a lot of public speaking to kids and mentoring.”

“I want the kids to be able to identify with something when I come out and speak to them so they can say, this is where she came from and she made it to the top. I can do it too.”

Corrinne De Groot has her mind focused on winning her title and revenging her only lost. In many ways, she’s similar to another woman fighter — Chevelle Hallback, a fighter who De Groot respects.

Ms. Hallback is not just a boxer but a social worker who has dealt with other less disadvantaged. Ms. Hallback and Ms. De Groot view a larger world beyond the ring.

On June 5, Ms. De Groot world will be focused on a square ring in Guyana and the rest of her life will be place on hold as her goal for that night will be win a championship belt.

For five years, she pursued other interest at the peak of her boxing career but now she has a shot of returning to elite status in women boxing.