Tori Nelson wants to help women boxers gain recognition

(Photo courtesy Facebook)

Virginia's own Tori Nelson is fierce in the boxing ring, ranking number one in the U.S. and number two in the world for female boxing in her weight class.

But believe it or not, she's got a sweet disposition and a constant smile on her face.

"Why do they think all boxers are so mean and evil, we're not, at all," she says. "But that's what they think. But we're not, we're gentle people."

But in the ring she is anything but gentle.

"I've had my tooth chipped before in a fight, I've had my eye swollen so bad from a head butt, but it goes down, I got my tooth fixed, I had to, I smile too much," she says.

When she's not training or boxing, Nelson is a lunch lady in Loudoun County schools, and she drives a school bus.

"That's my softer side, I love children, they're our future, so you want to be positive and show them the positive," she says.

She has two children of her own, a 17- and 14-year-old.

Then to supplement her boxing, Nelson also works as a waitress at an IHOP restaurant. Boxing was never her life's passion. But she did fight as a kid.

"I'm the only girl of three boys and my neighborhood was full of boys, only girls there were older than me so if I wanted to play I had to play football, basketball and fight," she says.

Nelson now holds a belt once worn by Layla Ali and hopes to help women boxers get the recognition they deserve.

"I want to be a professional and I would want to be the world champion and by gods grace. I'm both," she says.