Georgia flyweight Sa’Rai “Warrior Princess” Brown-El is on a sensational run as she prepares to compete in the upcoming Youth World Championships, November 14-26, in La Nucia, Spain.
The 17-year-old from Marietta is a three-time National Junior Olympic champion (2017-19) who has also captured gold medals at the 2021 USA Boxing Youth National Championships, 2020 USA Boxing Junior National Championships, 2019 Junior Open and 2019 National PAL, among the many titles she owns.
She got into boxing at the age of 8 in Albany, New York, where her family was visiting, eventually leading them all to her uncle’s gym. Her father originally wanted her brothers to box, but Sa’Rai also wanted to get involved in combat sports. It was a natural transition for her, who is a legacy boxer because her father, mother and brothers have all boxed.
“Me and my mom went to find a pair of gloves after we were told there weren’t any left. I started hitting the bag and then I did mitts with my uncle. That’s where I fell in love with the sport and discovered I was naturally born to do this.”
She has excelled in every area on her remarkable roll, which she will attempt to extend at the Youth World Championships over the next two weeks.
“I am super pumped and ready to go to Spain for the Youth Worlds,” the ultra-confident Sa’Rai said. “My mindset is on gold. My manifestation and hard work will put me in top by the last day with the gold medal around my neck on that number one podium. It’s truly a blessing to be representing the USA.
“My biggest challenge is probably myself; boxing is 90-percent mental, meaning I have to have a mindset that nothing can be hard enough to stop me from reaching my goals. My short-range goals, right now, are to win the Youth Worlds and finish out the year making the Youth High Performance Team. Long range, I’d say, is to fight in the 2024 Olympics in Paris. Being world champ, looked up to as an inspiration to all and, most importantly, having proven to be the most feared female boxer.”
Brown-El believes USA Boxing has helped in terms of working against other styles at tournaments, in addition to benefiting from training with her elite stablemates, and under the guidance of world-class coaches, at the state-of-the-art United States Olympic and Paralympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
“I can show my skills and have learned many other skills and drills there (training center) to become a universal boxer,” she noted. “I’ve been able to go against every style there is in international fighting and be able to dominate every time. USA Boxing has taught me very valuable lessons: to be professional, disciplined and dedicated, because there are a lot of obstacles that come with it. For me, being professional is the only way to have a career in this sport.”
Winning at the 2021 National to be part of the 2022 Youth High Performance Team, thus far, are the highlights of her relatively young boxing career. To win that gold medal, Sa’Rai explained, she needed to push through injuries that nearly forced her to pull out of the tournament.
Brown-El has a high ring IQ. Basically, the sweet science is about hitting the opponent without getting hit, especially in Olympic style boxing. Her ring IQ is advanced beyond her years, using angles, constantly moving, and confusing her opponent with her evasiveness. And, Brown-El quickly adds, that doesn’t mean she won’t bang if needed.
“I love representing my country,” she concluded. “I want to show the world we are the greatest. Team USA will come out on top at the Youth Worlds. My message for U.S. boxing fans is to keep watching. The future of boxing is coming in hot!”