Former BHS Athlete Kaitlin Bishop Makes Boxing Debut by Winning Light Heavyweight Division in West Virginia Toughman Contest

By Julie Perine on February 04, 2018 via

A 2007 graduate of Bridgeport High School, Kaitlin Bishop has never been a boxer. Her younger sister Hayley has, for the past few years, fit that bill – twice capturing her division in the West Virginia Toughman and collecting various other victories in the ring.
But fate took a funny turn in mid-January when the older Bishop, a former BHS athlete, decided to give competitive sparring a try. After training for just days, she fought in the light heavyweight division of the 2018 Toughman in Clarksburg and after defeating three opponents, took the crown.
“My sister had been asking me to enter, but I was hesitant. I decided two weeks before the fight to start training. I work out, but boxing is an entirely different ballgame,” Bishop said. “I’m competitive and athletic and I wanted to do something that would challenge me. This was definitely it.”
Bishop trained with fighter, Keith Barr, who at his Fairmont business, Next Level Fitness, works with various amateur boxers in the area.
“He had contacted me earlier in the year about entering the Toughman, but again, I was hesitant,” Bishop. “I attended a few classes with him and also with one of my longtime friends, Eric Lopez, at Main Street Fitness. They both offered valuable advice in preparing me for Toughman.”
Barr said it was easy to see the Bishop girls are cut from the same cloth.
"I only got to spend a short itme with (Kaitlin), but what I can say is she's definitely Haley's sister," he said. "She's such an athlete and picked it up right away. I hope to keep working with her because I know she could easily win two more jackets. She's a very determined young lady, for sure."
In addition to the physical instruction, Bishop said her little sister’s support, advice and help was key.
“She has pushed me and given me the confidence to do something I never thought I would do,” she said.
There were four women in the light heavyweight division. Bishop first fought 19-year-old Savannah Holstein of Beckley.
“She had a great right hand and we went all three (one-minute) rounds,” Bishop said. “It was a great fight and a pretty even one in my opinion, once I reviewed the videos.”
In the championship round, Bishop faced Rose Moore of Clarksburg.
“From watching her fight the night before, I knew I would have my hands full,” Bishop said. “She is feisty and fearless, but super nice to talk to. We also went three rounds.”
Bishop’s feelings of hesitancy are gone. Now she has experienced the feeling of victory.
“It had been quite some time since I had done anything competitive, so it was a good feeling and a feeling that I had forgotten from my high school and college sports days,” she said.
Will she fight again?
“That is still up in the air,” she said. “I am grateful for the opportunity to fight, but I have no plans to do it again as of now. There are other events coming up, though, so we will see!”
Bishop currently lives in Quiet Dell and works as recreation coordinator for Clarksburg Parks of Clarksburg. After graduating from BHS - where she played soccer and basketball - Bishop went on to pursue a degree in art therapy/psychology at West Virginia Wesleyan College, where she was played soccer and golf. 

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