“The Fighter from our Class”
A Project in Journalism 101
Dylan Jake Salas
I am Dylan Jake Salas, a student taking up a degree in Biology at the University of Oxford. In my Journalism class which I took up as an elective, I met this girl that stood out among my classmates. She looked like a girl from my country, the Philippines, with her light brown skin tone and snub nose. I was sure that she was a Filipina so with my outgoing personality, I approached her, “Uy! Kamusta? (Hey! How are you?)”. She replied, “Mabuti naman. Ikaw? (I’m doing well. How about you?)” I replied to her question appropriately as well. This started a wonderful friendship between us two and the reason why I wrote this as my project. Her name is Yasmin Jamil Casia and I was really fond of her, we talked a lot about things during class since the subject was relatively easy but I couldn’t help but notice that she always leaves the university early, however, I just shrugged it off. Even after she leaves we text quite often at certain time periods since there are times when she cannot reply since I she told me that she had two jobs that starts way past our last period. I, on the other hand, had no job but had a lot of free time to spend exploring things given my resources and money since I had a scholarship, my allowance was my “supposed-to-be” tuition payment which is quite a lot.
I found out a lot of things about her. In fact, we had a lot things in common. She was also a Grade School and High School Valedictorian just like me. Also, our current standing in our University is that of a Summa Cum Laude. She was also into sports especially fighting sports where we would spend most of our time talking about MMA or Boxing. Both of us have a scholarship, the difference is that she came from a really poor family and has “problems” with her father while I am from a well-off family. She had two jobs that are online jobs which is answering online surveys and online tutorial services that supports her stay here and to send money back to the Philippines. However, I still don’t understand why she has to go home early even if she lives near the University.
One day, she went into class with a bruise in her face. I asked her what it was and I found out that she obtained that from a sparring session and that she was a boxer, a glamboxer to be exact. I did not know exactly what glam boxing is until she elaborated the details which was like a notch down from professional boxing. So, I immediately asked her if I could come visit her train. She agreed and we both went out immediately after class, “That’s why she always leaves early” I thought to myself. We had to catch a train for London which is around an hour away. So I went with her to the gym, it was a simple gym but as I saw it, the people were training real hard like they were predators. So without any hesitation, I signed up as well in order to see her train every day. There I took up a lot of things quickly since I was really interested to know her more. I was mesmerized by her intensity during training that I quickly fell in love. So I became as passionate as her, but I know I couldn’t do fighting professionally since my affinity was in team sports, as a point guard in basketball and a midfielder in football, I’m not the type to be the one who gets the spotlight, I merely help the one people in the spotlight. So I guess it’s the same for her glam boxing career. I took a lot of information about boxing by sparring alongside her when I had the chance and learn about being a corner from her coach. I even learned how to be a cutman so I could be with her as she fights.
It was around months now and her debut fight was looming, I had grasp the sport and was invited to be at her corner for her debut fight. Fight day came and I was staring at her while she prepared for her fight against a girl that seemed to be quite a veteran relative to Yasmin with 5 wins and 2 losses. However, I was not worried since I saw her slowly turned into a beast with her loud punches and shouts as she hit those focus mitts. I was even intimidated by her, I never thought that this was the same reserved girl in class. She was like a predator waiting to be uncaged for her fight. When it was our time to go, I was the one who put on her boxing robe and said, “Good Luck”. She just smiled and said to me, “I’ll win this by KO in the first round!” and jokingly punched me. After that, we walked towards the ring and the announcer explained the rules and then announced the fighters. I was the once who placed her mouthpiece and said, “You got this!” When the fight started, I saw her rushing towards the opponent, she was really aggressive yet confident as she gave a lot of power punches in the early seconds that served as a wake-up call for her opponent. However, her opponent cannot hit her, she dodged gracefully while smiling that tells a lot about her skill in the ring, she moved like a veteran in her debut fight outclassing her seasoned opponent. I was in awe since I could feel her intensity while she smiled. Later that round, she landed a powerful right hook that spelled lights out for her opponent. She stood up the 2nd rope and shouted, it looked like she was a wolf howling for glory. She pounded her gloves loudly and repeatedly signaling that she had arrived in the glam boxing scene. I was proud of her and I hugged her after the fight.
Fast forward months later, we became closer and I became better at boxing since I became her main sparring partner for her fight against another veteran that seemed strong since she had 8 fights with most of them ending by knockouts. As a sparring partner, I was worried so I pushed her to the limit by using my power to try and knock her out, in the end, I was the one knocked down multiple times during our sparring session. It did quite piss me off since I thought I was good at everything but I guess I still had a lot to learn in boxing. However, it did put me in a state of relief that everything would be fine for her in her next fight. I believed that she’s a superstar in the making with her undying passion for this sport and raw talent being cultivated by her coach. In her next fight, the result was the same. She knocked out her opponent after playing with her for several rounds. After the fight, a reporter approached her and asked her if she’s available for an interview. She nodded and said, “Who’s next!?”
Dylan Jake Salas,
Thank you for your great story about this new, exciting addition to the IGL Featherweight Division. Although she will be fighting Lena Dumas who is a little older and more experienced it seems as though "Golden Fang" is not new to that challenge. I hope you got a good grade on your writing project. I look forward to reading more of your stories as I follow the career of Yasmin Jamil Casia. Good luck to her in this coming ring appearance. Your friend Griffy