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A ‘Dynamite’ Young Boxer From Hayward With Olympic Dreams

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"Dynamite" Daisy Bamberger looks directly into the camera as she drapes her arms over the boxing ring ropes while wearing boxing gloves.
"Dynamite" Daisy Bamberger looks directly into the camera as she drapes her arms over the boxing ring ropes while wearing boxing gloves.  (Pendarvis Harshaw)


“Dynamite” Daisy Bamberger stands inside the boxing ring by herself, shadowboxing.  The ring is surrounded by free weights, kettle balls, punching bags and framed photos from old tournaments. Daisy continues to go through her routine. It’s a routine that’s obviously working for her.

Daisy is 19, from Hayward and a highly decorated boxer. After winning 10 national championships and ranking number one in the country, she’s setting her sights on competing in the 2024 Olympics.

And the dream started right here, at Lightning’s Boxing Club. She’s been punching these bags since she was in elementary school when her father, Mario Bamberger, used to bring her to the gym while pursuing his own boxing career.

“The gym was like my babysitter,” says Daisy.

Now her father is passing the torch and training her to become the next big champion. As a product of Hayward High School, the same school that birthed legendary boxer Andre Ward, Daisy looks to carry on the East Bay Boxing legacy.
Outside of Lightning's Boxing Club in East Oakland Mario Bamberger and Daisy Bamberger pose for a photo in front of a mural of boxing legends.

This week on the podcast we hear how Daisy went from being teased in elementary school for being “overweight,” to laying the foundation for a run at Olympic gold and representing her town and her people.

Rightnowish is an arts and culture podcast produced at KQED. Listen to it wherever you get your podcasts or click the play button at the top of this page and subscribe to the show on NPR One, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, TuneIn, Stitcher or wherever you get your podcasts.

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