“Don’t get me wrong — my opponent hit me a few times,” she said. “But every time I would hit HER, she’d run from me. I ended up chasing her during all of our rounds.”
Smith was referring to her participation in July 12’s “Battle of the Badges,” an amateur boxing event at the Austin Convention Center. This event pitted her “blue team,” Travis County’s law enforcement officers, against a “red team” composed of Travis County’s firefighters.
Ultimately, the 5-foot-tall Smith, a 33-year-old sheriff’s deputy, won her match against Emergency Services employee Michelle Rabel by a 2-1 split decision.
Unfortunately, Smith said, hers was the only female boxing victory for the blue team.
“The firefighters ‘whupped’ our butts 11 out of 16 rounds,” she said.
Smith is all about tenacity. She prides herself on being one of five children raised by a single mother who battled adversity non-stop. She learned even more about tenacity training to play softball at George West High School.
Smith said she is an effective fighter because she’s not afraid to change directions when she needs to.
After getting her master’s in criminal justice from Texas State University, Smith started work for a pharmaceutical company.
But she did a career U-turn and went into the field of law enforcement working for the Travis County Sheriff’s Office. She has been there four years.
While working for the sheriff’s office, Smith met the man who would become her husband. He currently is a detective for the Travis County Sheriff’s Office. They have a boy, Ryan, who will be 2 in September.
Incidentally, this charity match is — somewhat — based on a technique also employed by South Texas-based Texas Department of Public Safety troopers when they went head-to-head with the George West High School Longhorns team.
The troopers and the Longhorns played one another in basketball and softball in George West in what up to that point was an unheard-of matching. In the process, hundreds of fans were attracted to the spectacle of the game and much money was raised for the Boys and Girls Club of Live Oak County.
This is basically the point. This spectacle event is employed in the hope of attracting a large audience to donate money to the charity.
And so it was with the July 12 Travis County boxing match event. Firefighters called out law enforcement officers to slug it out in the ring in USA Boxing-sanctioned bouts — about 16 of them.
The winner? Charity. Proceeds were split up between the Partnerships for Children, the Down Syndrome Association of Central Texas and two additional charities selected by the boxing teams: blue team – 100 Club of Central Texas and red team – Austin Firefighters Outreach & Relief Fund.
Despite the blue team’s losses, Smith seemed upbeat after the match because the event raised money for charity, because of her victory, and because she racked up a fairly inspiring nickname because of bravado and diminutive size.
“The coach kept calling me ‘The ‘Brave One,’” she said with a laugh.
Ben Tinsley is a reporter for The Progress newspaper in Three Rivers. He can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 361-786-3022. Tinsley can also be followed on Twitter at www.twitter.com/BenTinsley, Google at http://plus.google.com/+BenTinsley or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ben.tinsley.12.