Lately, Ronda Rousey’s star power has new fans paying attention to female fighters. But far from the world of UFC celebrity, women boxers still face an uphill battle — whether they’re seeking to play by the same rules as men, or just trying to find ways to make a living. In her portraits, photographer Brittany Carmichael captures their fierce dedication to the sport, in and out of the ring.
“I know a girl here who is a three-time world champion, and she is 51,” says Keisher McLeod-Wells, who goes by Fire. “We peak later than men do. As long as my body can do it I’m going to keep going after more titles. Those belts are addictive.”
Click through to see more of New York’s women boxers and read their thoughts on the sport.