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Boxing hopeful makes it to the next round

Patricia Manuel was sharing a bed with her mother in a budget motel next to a highway in Toledo, Ohio, when she realized her life had just taken a defining turn.

Given the circumstances, it would be fair to assume it had been a turn for the worse.

But that assumption would be wrong.

A few hours earlier, Manuel had beaten Florida’s Lauren Fisher in the third round of the National Police Athletic League boxing championships, capping an unlikely comeback from a serious shoulder injury. More important, the victory qualified Manuel for the inaugural women’s Olympic trials in February, keeping alive her hopes of boxing in London next summer.

“It didn’t really hit me until, like, midnight,” Manuel said.

Read Kevin Baxter’s story.

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