She’s known in boxing circles these days as “The First Lady of Boxing,” a title she adores and considers “very humbling.”

You might have connected Rosie Perez with the Sweet Science from Spike Lee’s 1989 dramedy Do the Right Thing. Perez, in her film debut, played Lee’s flamboyant girlfriend Tina. In the memorable opening scene, she danced, and, dressed in full boxing garb, shadowboxed to Public Enemy’s Fight the Power.

But Perez’s love affair with the sport goes back to her childhood in Brooklyn, a harrowing upbringing she describes in her 2014 autobiography Handbook for an Unpredictable Life: How I Survived my Sister Renata and my Crazy Mother, and Still Came Out Smiling.

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