hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

News

July 4, 2013

'That girl can really hit'

18-year-old packs surprising punch at city's new boxing club

When Tayler Provost stepped through the doors of Haverhill Downtown Boxing, she drew some quizzical stares.

But when she put on a pair of boxing gloves and stepped into the ring to shadow box, heads really turned. And when she started punching the heavy bag, mouths dropped.

“That girl can really hit,” said Ray Hebert, co-owner of the new club at the edge of downtown.

“She has a whistling right hand,” said his son, Raymond “Rocky” Hebert Jr., an assistant coach at the club.

Provost, 18, of Amesbury is the first female to join Haverhill Downtown Boxing. The club opened on June 7 and is located in a long-vacant storefront at the corner of Locust and Orchard streets, just a few blocks north of downtown.

“To have a girl boxing is amazing and a good thing,” Ray Hebert said. “I hope it will inspire other girls to try the sport.”

Hebert, 58, boxed in his youth in Lowell and his sons, Randy Hebert and Raymond Hebert, were both Golden Glove novice champions.

The elder Hebert opened the club with his business partner Derek Couture, a 2008 New England Golden Gloves champion. A nonprofit organization that relies on membership fees and donations, it also relies on a dedicated group of volunteers who want to teach the sport to children and adults.

Provost’s coach, former Golden Gloves boxer Mike Witham, said Provost is a 5-foot, 3-inch 140-pound dynamo who is in top physical shape and never quits punching. Provost has been a gymnast since she was a kid and now teaches gymnastics in Brentwood, N.H.

“I just like the sport,” she said of boxing.

Last December, she asked her grandfather Marty Provost of Sandown to find someone who could teach her to box. He put her in touch with Witham, who told her she could start in a week. Provost wasn’t satisfied and asked to begin training the next day.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
News
  • 140808_HG_HAND_CUTTING

    Attending a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Marjorie Goudreault walkway are, from left, Elizabeth Delgado, special assistant to Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera; John Dimitry, former NECC president, and his wife, Audrey; Steven Buturlia of Pelham; Kelsy Buturlia of Pelham; Barbara Goudreault of Haverhill; Christopher Goudreault of Haverhill; Mary Goudreault of Tewksbury; Bill Moynihan of Haverhill, chair of NECC's Board of Trustees; Julie Reynolds of Middleton, N.H.; Patrick Goudreault of Haverhill; Matthew Goudreault of Haverhill; Lynn Morton of Tucson, AZ; Ann Corey of Atkinson; and NECC President Lane Glenn.

    'She was passionate about what she believed' Posted 6 days ago 2 Photos
  • The city wants you Posted 6 days ago
  • 140811_HG_CRU_HOSPITALS

    Joseph Roach is the new CEO and President for Holy Family Hospital in Methuen and Holy Family Hospital at Merrimack Valley in Haverhill. He is standing in front of the hospital located in Haverhill. CARL RUSSO/Staff photo

    No, you're not in Methuen Posted 6 days ago 1 Photo
  • The Lamp Post Posted 6 days ago
  • 140725_HG_ASW_BEST MANICURE 2

    AMY SWEENEY/Staff photoRoyal Nails and Spa offers the best manicure, according to a vote by readers of the Gazette.

    More than just a mani-pedi Posted 6 days ago 2 Photos
  • 140717_HG_MSC_BURGER_3

    MARY SCHWALM/Staff photo The Lasting Room burger with hand-cut fries is a favorite of customers.

    Lasting Room burgers make for lasting impressions Posted 6 days ago 3 Photos
  • SCHOOL SUPPLIES3 [Duplicate]

    AP Photo/Yoobi Yoobi Pretzel Erasers make going back to school fun.

    Sharpening up for class Posted 6 days ago 8 Photos
  • FILE_HAVBEST_4

    Staff file photo Buffalo boneless ribeye steak is offered at Haverhill Beef Company on Merrimack Street. Here, owner Peter Carbone holds a tray of freshly cut pieces.

    Get far more than beef at Haverhill Beef Posted 6 days ago 3 Photos
  • HAVBEST_PBI_HEAVNLY

    PAUL BILODEAU/Staff photo Elaine Saragas serves coffee at Heav'nly Donuts.

    Best coffee brewing at Heav'nly Donuts Posted 6 days ago 1 Photo
  • HAVBEST_PBI_PENTUCKET

    PAUL BILODEAU/Staff photo Pentucket Bank President Scott Cote, left, and financial adviser Kevin McKinnon talk in the main lobby of the bank's Merrimack Street branch.

    Pentucket Bank is tops Posted 6 days ago 1 Photo

Photos of the Week
Stocks