With the last glimpse of the sun setting through the small door to the physical education gym, students file in and ready themselves for the intense workout ahead of them.
As the clock hits 5 p.m., in her El Camino T-shirt and blonde hair tied back in a ponytail, Krysti Rosario, enters the gym, ready to give her class the workout they signed up for.
To get their blood pumping, she begins with a light warm up with some cardio and core based exercises. she then moves on to practicing boxing movements and proper fighting stance. This is the easiest the night will be as the intensity will only increase from here.
With their hand wraps tied on and gloves kept on with Velcro straps, the class begins to spar among each other as Krysti circles around the room wearing blue adidas gloves, looking to test her students’ skills personally.
Standing outside the gym, the roars can be heard echoing throughout the hallways as the workout begins to take its toll on the students’ stamina.
Former and long-time student of Krysti’s, Michael Medeiros, recalls his time as a student with her describing her class, “a lot of core strength training, cardio, and working on endurance. It’s more than just throwing a punch”.
Krysti continues to make her way around the room and critique her students.
While Krysti pushes her students to the limit, her class is never unbalanced and everyone remains on the same level; Krysti never allows a student to fall behind in her class.
“Her class is not just to teach you how to fight, she teaches you self-restraint. She gives you things to work on to make you a better person,” Michael added.
While Krysti has made an impact on students who have come through her gym in the past ten years, her athletic career began long before her time as a boxing instructor at El Camino College.
Women’s professional boxing has faced issues with gaining attention from network television broadcasters but has received strong support from the World Boxing community in Mexico City.
“There are more women’s boxers these days than ever before. Girls are actually starting to train when their younger than before,” Krysti says.
Hailing from Englewood, New Jersey, Krysti has had a prosperous athletic career, encompassing different sports including: track, cross-country, martial arts, kickboxing, and boxing.
Krysti began to do kickboxing in college and while she enjoyed it, it still was not quite what she was looking for.
Following the closing of her coach’s kickboxing gym, Gaucho’s Boxing, Krysti took this as a sign to transition into boxing, with her ultimate goal being to compete in the Olympics.
“I always wanted to go to the Olympics, and back then there was only men’s boxing, so I figured there would be women’s boxing added before kickboxing,” Krysti recounts.
After looking for a new gym to train at, Krysti discovered South El Monte Gym, a Southern California based gym, where she met her boxing coach, Ben Lira.
“You have to know one thing about Krysti: she is an adventurous, challenging girl. There is nothing she strives at more than challeneges,” Ben says, recalling his time with her as a coach.
Under Ben’s guidance, she went on to win the Everlast Women’s Nationals in 1998 in the 132-pound weight class.
In 2009, Krysti went on to test for the Amateur International Boxing Association (AIBA) to be certified as an amateur officiator.
After getting certified as an officiator, Krysti began to judge amateur boxing. As an officiator, Krysti’s job requires her to watch the bout, or boxing match, as an impartial judge to the competitors. She also works as an amateur referee, which entails different duties than being an officiator.
In 2011, Krysti went on to graduate from Cal State University Long Beach with a masters degree in kinesiology.
Currently, Krysti is a 2-star AIBA referee and judge, with 3-star being the highest level you can achieve. Krysti is one of three women in the United States who currently hold a 2-star rank.
In 2013, Krysti worked as a radio host on Real Combat Media Boxing Radio alongside Anthony Gonzalez for almost a year interviewing boxing legends and current champions.
“The radio show ran for one year and was internationally ranked in the top 10 among boxing podcasts.” Anthony related.
Currently, she is being mentored by Jack Reiss and Pat Russell, who are both well known figures in the boxing community. Both mentors have worked as professional referees for many years.
The major accomplishments Krysti has had over her career has more than proven her qualifications to become a professional referee.
Krysti’s current goal is to start officiating and refereeing at the professional level.
“When I step in that ring for the first time as a professional referee I am going to be so ready,” Krysti exclaims.