One of New England’s all-time greatest female boxers, Boston lightweight Arika Skoog (1-0-1, 1 KO), is balancing her life as a prizefighter. She returns to action June 10th on “Fight Night at the Vets Club” card, presented by Granite Chin Promotions’ (GCP), at the Veterans Club in Bridgewater, Massachusetts.
The 29-year-old Skoog was a dynamic Olympic-style boxer who captured top honors at the 2020 USA Boxing Elite National Championship, as well as three times in the New England Golden Gloves Tournament. Fighting out of Boston, she trains at Nonantum Boxing Club in Newton, Massachusetts.
“When Arika’s trainer, Nico Gargaro, reached out to me about putting her on the show,” Granite Chin Promotions president Chris Traietti commented, “I was thrilled. All of Nico’s fighters come to fight, bring a crowd, and put on a show. I don’t expect things to be any different with Arika. She has a great amateur pedigree and comes from an awesome gym. I am honored to play a small part in her journey and hopefully becoming a champion.”
A 2020 USA Boxing Olympic Team alternate for Olympic bronze medalist Oshae Jones, Skoog spent most of 2020 traveling as a member of Team USA, after winning the USA Olympic Trials, resulting in a challenging transition period when she returned home to live.
She could have remained an amateur and taken a shot of making the Team USA Olympic Boxing Team and qualifying for the 2024 Olympics in Paris. “I came home and needed to get focused. I was almost 30 and needed to get my life on track. I needed to pay rent and loved boxing. It turned pro to balance my career and box. I needed to be more grounded for my future.”
Skoog, who faces Sarah “Switch Kick” Click (1-4-1, 0 KOs) in a six-round bout, earned her master’s degree in business from Holt International Business school in Cambridge (MA). She works for Wayfair, but soon hopes to join the Newton Fire Department having recently received her EMT license.
Arika never should have taken her second pro fight, last January in Boston versus pro-debuting Dupe Akinola, which ended in a four-round draw.
“Because of my resume (amateur background),” she explained, “it wasn’t easy finding an opponent. I ended up fighting a last-minute replacement nobody knew about. I didn’t know until between rounds, when the ring announcer said that she (Akinola) was 40-0 as an amateur (from Nigeria). I had a lot going on and didn’t want to take the fight. I’m not saying I didn’t want to fight a real fighter. I knew it wasn’t going to be pretty and I was lucky to pull out a draw. If it had been a six-round fight, I would have won that fight, and that’s why I wanted this one (coming fight) to be six rounds.
“I wasn’t used to two-minute rounds in the pros. I’m in a better place now. I’m a boxer who loves to fight on the outside, but the big difference in the pros is working from a closer distance, which will give me more power punching. It’s exciting.”
Although she still learning in the pro ranks, Skoog is determined to make a statement in her upcoming fight and develop into one of New England’s top female prizefighters.
“I want to be No. 1 in my division, especially in New England,” she concluded. “I want to turn the skills I developed in the amateurs into a pro style. I’m still learning in the pros. I want to showcase my skills and show the world what I’m capable of.”
Also slated to fight on the “Fight Night at the Vets Club” are former New England Welterweight Champion Mike “Bad Man” Ohan, Jr. (17-2, 9 KOs), of Holbrook (MA), unbeaten Lynn (MA).super middleweight James “Pitbull” Perkins (11-0-1, 8 KOs), and Scituate (MA) heavyweight Kevin Nagle (1-0,1 KO).
Card subject to change.
Tickets are priced at $60.00 (floor seats), $40.00 (standing room only), and $400.00 for ringside tables of 4 are available for purchase at https://granite-chin-promotions.ticketleap.com.