KALISPELL — Boxing is about as physical and intimidating as it can get when it comes to sports, especially the competitors, and that couldn’t ring more true when it comes to 10-year-old Olivia Owen who recently won the National Silver Gloves title for her age bracket.
"It was really fun," said Owen with a smile.
And after boxing at the competitive level ever since becoming eligible when she turned eight, Owen couldn’t be more confident in herself as she replied with a quick, "No," when asked if her opponents were tough, and an even quicker, "yes," when asked if it was easy for her to win.
Owen was one of 15 Montanans to compete in the event and she was the youngest to bring home a national title from what has become one of her favorite tournaments.
"Yes! One of my favorites," said Owen. She also said that it was the biggest belt she's won and plans on hanging it up in her dad's boxing gym.
Her dad, Jesse Uhde, owns Hard Knocks, a local boxing gym in Kalispell, and after training there with his daughter at least three times a week the last several years, he knows he couldn’t have been a prouder father watching the championship fight.
"Knocked her down, gave her a few eight counts and she dominated," said the proud Uhde with a smile. "But in between (the) first and second round the look on her face and she’s like, 'I got this,' that was worth it, and she slept with that belt the first three or four nights, couldn’t pry it away from her."
After her first major win at the national level, Uhde already has already set up other major tournament appearances for his daughter this summer in Oregon and Colorado.
"Awesome experience and that was the goal from the start with her," said Uhde. "So we’re just gonna keep pushing and try and win more."