Alisah McPhee is no stranger to being the centre of attention, the focal point of all the action.
Her day job as a teacher requires McPhee to command a room full of 12, 13 and 14-year-olds — never an easy task.
McPhee, formerly of Williams Lake, has taught for the past seven years, including the last five at an Abbotsford middle school.
And on Nov. 23, all eyes will once again be fixated on McPhee, only the attentive audience is not there to listen to her instruction but to watch McPhee trade boxing blows with her opponent, Winnipeg’s Judy Pereira at the Langley Events Centre.
The two women are the main event as they fight for the Canadian super flyweight championship title as the main event at Turmoil on 200th 2. This is the second event hosted at LEC and is presented by Bisla Martial Arts and Langley City Boxing.
The match is slated for eight rounds and caps of an exciting night of action featuring three pro bouts and a handful of amateur fights beforehand. The doors open at 6:30 p.m. with the fights beginning at 7:30 p.m.
READ MORE: McPhee wins professional boxing debut
So how does a teacher by day become a professional boxer by night?
For the 37-year-old, who grew up in Williams Lake, what began as a hobby has blossomed into first a stellar amateur, and now a burgeoning professional career.
This will be her seventh pro fight and McPhee sports a record of four victories, two losses and one draw.
The one constant for McPhee growing up in Williams Lake was sports, and especially soccer.
Not surprisingly, McPhee did not shy away from playing a physical brand of soccer.
“I have always been a physical player in everything I have done,” she said.
“I am not dirty, I just go in strong,” she quickly added with a chuckle.
And that tenacity in whatever she does is part of what helps her stand out, explained Jamie Allison, her coach for the past nine years where she trains, at Revolution Martial Arts.
“I definitely admire her for her work ethic,” Allison said. “And the fact she won’t give up — a lot of fight in that tiny woman.”
McPhee stands just five-foot-two and weighs 125 pounds.
With her youthful appearance, she resembles a high school student more than some intimidating boxer who was forced to turn pro earlier than expected as she began having difficulty lining up willing opponents.
And that is the beauty of boxing: it does not matter the shape or size of the athlete, all that matters is they train and put in the necessary work, which has never been a problem for McPhee.
“No matter what shape or size you are, as long as you work hard, you can achieve what you want,” she said.
That is also the message she hopes to model for her students, that sacrifice — whether that means saying no to a piece of birthday cake or treat the students have brought in — is worth it if it means chasing your dreams and goals.
As for how far the sport takes her, Allison said the sky is the limit if McPhee continues her current trajectory.
“She doesn’t know the word quit. She won’t stop,” the coach raved.
And while McPhee shines in the ring, she is just as special away from the sport.
“She has a huge heart. Just one of the best people I know,” Allison said. “And she goes the extra mile for the kids for sure.”
Turmoil on 200th 2 gets underway on Friday, Nov. 23. Doors to the LEC open at 6:30 p.m. and the first fight is slated for 7:30 p.m.
The cost is $40 for general admission. Tickets are available at www.ticketrocket.co/event/details/109873/turmoil-on-200th-live-professional-boxing.