(DEC 5) I started training
in 1999 (two years after obtaining my Master’s in Civil
Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin) and competed
in boxing between 2000 and 2005. During this time, I won the San
Antonio golden gloves three times, won 2 silver medals (one at
USA Nationals, one at Pal Nationals), and 2 bronze medals (USA
Nationals). I competed on the US National Team in 2000 in a dual
meet with Russia (won the first fight while also braking my
nose; and lost the second fight while boxing with the broken
nose), and in 2005 at the World Championships in Russia (lost to
the Canadian champion). I am very honored to have competed with
some outstanding women boxers and have been part of an amazingly
talented National Boxing team. Most people have no idea how good
these boxers are.
While these accomplishments speak for themselves, I am also
proud of my career as a Civil Engineer. I was an engineer before
I was a boxer. All the training for boxing competitions had to
be done after work and on weekends. Also, the two weeks of
vacation given by employers were spent competing in boxing (not
your usual definition of vacation!).
In 2003, I passed the 8-hour Professional Engineering exam
(second 8-hour exam required to obtain the license), and
obtained my Professional Engineering license.
I have to mention that some of my motivation for success, both
in boxing and my professional career, had been reactions
received from people. The reaction I got from almost everybody
was “but you don’t look like a boxer!”. Or the looks and
comments (some very negative) I got when I went to work with a
black eye, busted lip, or broken nose. Even though some of these
comments were unpleasant to hear, I am thankful for them because
these comments made me work harder and get better, both in
engineering and boxing. See, becoming a Professional Engineer,
is a long and challenging road, but, the likely “brain damage”
(according to some people) sustained from boxing must have made
it even more challenging.
By the way, I don’t believe that boxing hurt my professional
career because of the thousands of punches to the head taken.
However, I find it interesting to think that, after all the
“brain damage” suffered, I was still able to pass a difficult
8-hour engineering test, the one test that all engineers hope
and strive to pass, the one test that defines their careers. I
think that means there is a good chance I still have some brain
I started my Civil Engineering consulting firm in 2009 (Neagu
Civil Engineering LLC, see website at
www.n-ce.com), after being
part of the massive layoffs in the construction industry. I am
still using my last few good brain cells to design water and gas
lines, storm sewers, detention ponds, roads, cell tower sites,…;
also to analyze likelihood and level of flooding near new
construction,…etc. I still run into prejudice (against women
engineers, and women’s boxing) from some people, but that’s no
problem, I still get things done, with or without prejudice.
Looking forward to watching more and more women’s boxing live
and on TV. In the meantime, youtube works well too.
My accomplishments in boxing
would have never been possible without, first and most of all,
coach Rudy Vasquez with Vasquez Academy. In addition, I also
received outstanding training at Richard Lord's Gym and Pan Am
Recreation Center in Austin Texas.
Anca Neagu, P.E.