"Absorbing and brilliant! Over 22 years ago I shared the ring with Alicia Doyle...twice. Fighting Chance transported me back to relive those experiences from HER perspective. It was amazing! I highly recommend this book!"
– "Amazing" Layla McCarter, 8 time, 5 division Boxing World Champion & California Boxing Hall of Fame Inductee
"No punches pulled by the hard hitting Ms Doyle in her true life novelistic rendering of what it's like to punch her way to fame! A knockout!!"
- Ivor Davis, Investigative Journalist & Best-Selling Author of "Manson Exposed: A Reporter's 50-Year Journey into Madness and Murder"
“Alicia Doyle is a shining example of an individual who continues to fight to save herself from the dark side of life by mentoring troubled young children at KID GLOVES. She is their guiding light, a light that doesn’t often shine for them. FIGHTING CHANCE is exactly that, a chance to survive in the ring and in life. A must read…”
– Rod Holcomb, Producer/Director
“Alicia instilled what Kid Gloves Boxing teaches – the A.B.C Backwards: Conceive, Believe, Achieve. Building CONFIDENCE in all she does, Round by Round. A true role model for all.”
– Robert Ortiz Sr., owner of Kid Gloves Boxing
This is the kind of book you might start reading on a weekend morning and not put down until you've turned the last page. The writing is crisp and clean. The story is riveting. I don't know much about boxing, and I know even less about the history of women in the sport, but Doyle expertly weaves that context through her personal story. You end up knowing something about the sport and a lot about how its intensity reflects--and has shaped--the author's character. Doyle is fragile and fierce, grounded and searching, unique in her pursuits and universal in her fears. If you're young, this story confirms that there are infinite ways forward from the pain of an imperfect childhood. If you're not so young, it's a great reminder that the best things in life often require damn hard work. This book is one to devour--and then to share. - Joan S.
Alicia Doyle's book introduced me to a world I previously knew very little about, women boxers. I found it so intriguing and written in such a lively style that I found it hard to put down. I finished reading it in a couple of days. Much to learn here about what it takes to train as a dedicated amateur and then as a professional female fighter. The author wrote this book in a novelistic form she calls "a nonfiction novel," but it is mostly true and based on her own experience in this world, which she entered by chance as a journalist on assignment for a local newspaper. The story she found changed her life, as it will yours after reading about it. - Bonnie K.
You will need to sit down and be ok with being taken on an intensely personal journey with Alicia Doyle through her mind as she reveals the life struggles that made her into the incredible reporter she is today. Her intimate exposure of her boxing career will make you want to face your demons head-on, because, as Doyle puts it, "The only way out is through." This is an "easy read" in that you can't put it down until you're done. Share with the ones in your life you love and want to see do great things. - Trenton D.
I loved this book! I could not put it down. Alicia’s gifts, skill, and heart as a journalist shine on every page. This is an insightful memoir of a truly remarkable woman who has worked hard and fought for every ounce of the wisdom, strength and insight she puts out into the world. Told with sincerity, humor, honesty, grace, Fighting Chance is the memoir I am telling all of my friends and family about. - Lucia F.
I loved this book!!! It took all my little problems and made it disappear. Reading her struggles in life and fighting through it evolved so well. Loved watching her growth through boxing. - Anita G.
Compelling read about a journalist’s journey to learn the discipline of “the sweet science” and become one of the first female boxers in the U.S. I am not a boxing fan, but I couldn’t put it down. - R.V. Olivier
What a wonderful story! It was hard to put the book down! Thank you Alícia for teaching us that life is worth to fight for. What a nice story of resilience. Well recommended! -Rene C.
Boxing isn’t an easy sport. It takes a certain type of individual to stand face to face in a ring and physically assault an opponent. As many who have succeeded at boxing can attest, it is a worthwhile endeavor for those who can hack it because it often leads to self- awareness and tremendous personal growth. This was exactly the case with Alicia Doyle and her story is told in the pages of Fighting Chance.
This biography of sorts is all about a young woman with determination and grit- a woman with a promising, successful career as a journalist who happened to take an assignment with a youth organization known as Kid Gloves. It was here that Doyle developed her interest in boxing, first as a reporter and in a short time, as one of the individuals fighting in the ring. The book covers the training, the trainers, the boxing opponents, and of course the action in the ring, making you feel like you’re right there, absorbing the well- aimed punches, feeling the excruciating pain, and responding back with a well- placed jab of your own.
Boxing is this book’s main focus, but it goes much further than that. It’s also a coming- to- grips book about self- discovery and reconciliation. A troubled childhood, issues with bullying, and strained family relations were always there, coming to the surface from time to time while the boxing journey was unfolding. So much of the sport of boxing relates to life and the book ties the two together from one page to the next as Doyle grapples with family, fame, and her own past.
Fighting Chance is a different story than I expected. Having only minimal knowledge of boxing, I was expecting the book to end with a bang, with Doyle raising her hands in triumph as she is crowned world champion. But in fact, she ended her boxing career early after only a single fight at the professional level. While I was expecting something different, I found I didn’t mind. Yes, there is no knockout punch in the ring and strings of professional victories. But the victory in life is even sweeter; a cumulation of lessons learned and mental strength that far outweighs any physical victory achieved in a fighting ring surrounded by vocal spectators. For Doyle, her choice to exit boxing when she did was a win by decision, if there ever was one.
Boxing isn’t for everyone. Not many people have the courage to don a pair of gloves, step into a roped square, and duke it out with a person whose mind is set on inflicting as much physical damage to your face and body as possible. It takes a certain degree of bravery but standing up to life’s challenges outside of sports requires even greater courage and determination. Fighting Chance is all about the game of life and it shows how stepping outside of one’s comfort zone, however difficult and challenging it may be, can lead to victory and self- discovery in ways you never dreamed possible.
- B. Carey
With her expertise as a journalist, Alicia Doyle tells a gripping story of her personal struggle and growth. The tale is raw, revealing, deep and hopeful in ways that bring to mind Maya Angelou’s book, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.
It would make a great movie – especially because it does not have a fairy tale ending. And its insights can benefit anyone wrestling with the demons of their past as they try to make their life whole.
On the surface, it’s a book about her dive and impressive rise into the world of women’s boxing, as one of the pioneers before the sport was recognized in the Olympics. That in itself makes for a riveting story.
But beneath the surface lies an even more interesting process. The author tells us, “the boxing ring is a metaphor for life, a place where the fight starts inward, and once that fight is won in the mind, anything is possible.” At this level her story offers universal insights that anyone struggling with life’s challenges can learn from.
Alicia Doyle skillfully weaves in the story of her troubled childhood and youth, finding there the origins of the anger and resentments that boxing, in her adult life, provided a channel to fight through. In a fascinating way, it was her journey into boxing that eventually brought her back into touch with estranged parents and siblings, in a process of spiritual growth and healing that ended in letting go of anger, making peace with the past, and reconciling with family.
Looking back on her boxing career, Alicia writes, “boxing was a catalyst for my transformation – a sport filled with metaphors that helped me view my life differently. Boxing wasn’t about fighting in the ring. It was about fighting my self. … It was about knocking out my inner demons of the past, facing my memories in the eye, and remaining fearless no matter how much they frightened me. The hardest part was learning how to embrace my darkest pain and love the broken parts of myself…”
In one of many poignant moments, she writes, “I believe there are scars that make us who we are, and without them, we wouldn’t exist. I love the scars that made me, the pain that molded my character, the experiences and circumstances that created who I am.”
Coming full circle at the end of the odyssey, Alicia returned to journalism as a freelance writer specializing in good news, “writing about amazing people who overcome great odds.” She also returned to the boxing center in California where she was first introduced to boxing herself. She now serves there as a volunteer coach, mentoring boys and girls, helping provide them with a sanctuary, “a safe haven from their troubles, the place where I can give them unconditional love.” Truly an inspiring story, in so many ways. - L. Tuman
Alicia Doyle's book introduced me to a world I previously knew very little about, women boxers. I found it so intriguing and written in such a lively style that I found it hard to put down. I finished reading it in a couple of days. Much to learn here about what it takes to train as a dedicated amateur and then as a professional female fighter. The author wrote this book in a novelistic form she calls "a nonfiction novel," but it is mostly true and based on her own experience in this world, which she entered by chance as a journalist on assignment for a local newspaper. The story she found changed her life, as it will yours after reading about it. - B. Goldenberg