Sarah Bell of New Milford is scheduled to make her amateur boxing debut Friday night at the White Collar Boxing event at the Hilton Hotel and Executive Meeting Center in Stamford. And while this will be Bell’s first time stepping into the ring, the 30-year-old fitness instructor has always been a fighter.

“Long story short, I used to weigh 334 pounds — but I decided to do something about it,” she said prior to a training session at Champs Boxing Club and Fitness in Danbury Tuesday evening. “I got really into fitness and things like that. I had also battled with cancer, and working out was a way to combat the side-effects of that. So I got into the gym, lost the weight and worked my butt off.”


Bell, a 2004 New Milford High School graduate, weighs less than half that aforementioned total. She became so involved with working out that she became a personal trainer and now works at the Club 24 gym in New Milford.

“It’s been a rough journey,” she said. “It wasn’t easy. I also work, I go to school, I’m a single mom of a little boy. Honestly, I don’t feel like I have to prove anything to anyone except myself, but I also want to show my son that hard work and dedication will pay off if you stick with it.”

She’s living proof of that, and having completely transformed herself — her former high school classmates hardly recognize her, she said — Bell is now helping others do the same thing.

“I try to help people with their goals and not hurt themselves. I’m very big on form-first and things like that, so you will learn how to work out properly,” she said. “Plus, I’m not just some random trainer who got their certification off the internet. I’ve been there and done that, so I can actually help them get through it.”

Bell was recently bitten by the fight bug, and has been training at Champs for the last several months. In fact, she will be the first female fighter to represent gym, which has become a real hot-spot for up-and-coming local fighters.

“Boxing is something I fell in love with, and if anything, it teaches you discipline, motivation, perseverance,” Bell said. “You have to work hard and you have to want it.”

Bell’s determination has certainly impressed the folks at Champs.

“She’s all heart,” said Dave McDonough, a trainer at Champs who has been working with Bell. “I have a lot of respect for her, I really do. She’s a pleasure to work with. She doesn’t say no, she doesn’t give up, she doesn’t quit. She wants to learn, and she loves the sport.”

Bell knows nothing about the opponent she’ll be facing Friday night, and she’s fine with that.

“At this point, it really doesn’t matter who I’m fighting, it’s about me going in there and doing the best I can, knowing what I know and making it count,” she said. “Win or lose, it really doesn’t matter because I know how hard I worked to get here.”