By Dave Leval
She's only 10 years old, but Maliayah Schmid-Carey already does a lot of her talking with her hands -- because she's been boxing for two years.
"I love that you get to fight, and that you get to run a lot, and get to work hard," Schmid-Carey said.
She's about to face her toughest challenge, and it'll take more than talk: her first amateur fight.
"I feel pretty excited, pretty good, I'm in good condition," said Schmid-Carey, as she took a break from training at the Alaska Boxing Academy.
Schmid-Carey is one of seven fighters from the academy who will compete at the annual Tacoma Junior Golden Gloves Tournament. This is the 10th year David Carey, the academy's director, has taken a team to Washington.
"It's a really good starter tournament," Carey said. "There's going to be all experience levels there, and it's really a good tournament to take our youth to, to see where they are at and then move on to the national tournament."
There are some issues, Carey said, especially in trying to make sure his still-developing fighters are in the right weight class.
"It's kind of a balance to where do we want them to cut weight to get to a certain weight class," Carey said. "Or do we want to keep them where they're at, where they can still be strong and not have to starve and do a lot of weight-cutting?"
This year's squad features four champions including 14-year-old LJ Somvilaysack. This will be his sixth time in Tacoma and his goal is clear.
"If I compete, I want to go to the Olympics," Somvilaysack said.
Meanwhile, the aim is more modest for Schmid-Carey. She says a win in her first fight will do.
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