DeKalb, IL — While super featherweight boxer Alycia Baumgardner is preparing to make a return to boxing, she’s also been front and center in ads for Adidas after signing with Ford Models in May.
“Everything that I do I’m doing for the future because I know that future me is waiting,” she told Vogue. “I’ve learned that if you work hard, you can accomplish anything [and] I’ve structured my life around that idea.”
Baumgardner, who turned pro in 2017, is preparing for her Aug. 14 comeback match against Vanessa Bradford. But, throughout the pandemic, she’s faced difficulties including a knee injury and required surgery.
“[Normally] there are no breaks in boxing. It is year-round, so lockdown gave me a little time to work on myself,” she told Vogue.
The 24-year-old fell in love with the sport at a young age as one of few girls involved. But at the same time, Baumgardner was deep-diving into high fashion via magazines and documentaries.
“I was viewed as a tomboy because I’m this girl who plays boy’s sports, but I’m a girly girl at heart,” Baumgardner told Vogue.
When she was younger, she was incredibly self-conscious about her muscles but eventually grew comfortable in her skin.
“As an athlete and a woman, I love the challenge of trying something new and learning,” she told Vogue. “Just as boxing was a sport to learn, modeling is the same; you have to practice being comfortable in front of the camera and posing.”