David Selwyn had no managerial aspirations when fate intervened in February 2007. A longtime physical education instructor in the New York City public school system, Selwyn dabbled as a boxing writer and also traveled regularly with ex-champions such as Emile Griffith and Iran Barkley.
However, the first time he laid eyes on flyweight Eileen “The Hawaiian Mongoose” Olszewski at the Hammerstein Ballroom in Manhattan, he was mesmerized. Not only was she a beautiful woman, she was the most naturally gifted female boxer that Selwyn had ever seen.
Selwyn thought that Olszewski beat the heavily favored Noriko Kariya going away. When Olszewski managed to just eke out a split decision victory, he realized that she desperately needed representation. It was apparent that she had been expected to lose to Kariya, who was developing quite a reputation on the female boxing circuit.
Within days he approached her and her husband, Matt, an undefeated professional kick boxer with a 26-0 record. Selwyn told the Olszewski’s that he couldn’t offer them a big contract or even a weekly stipend.
What he had to offer, however, was fair and honest representation. The trio came to an agreement earlier this year. They have been on a whirlwind journey ever since.
Selwyn has not only garnered Olszweski an abundance of publicity, he secured her a spot on the undercard of a John Duddy headlined show in Manhattan in May. Olszewski beat Kimberly Torres, who she had already defeated in her pro debut, by a six round unanimous decision and raised her record to its current 3-0 (0 KOS).
Olszewski is next scheduled to lace them up in an NABF title fight against an opponent to be determined on September 8 at the Osage Million Dollar Elm Casino in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Selwyn, who has worked hard to secure the date, said that while his job hasn’t been easy, it has been very rewarding. Also, he asserts, if not for Jill Diamond, the chairwoman of the NABF women’s boxing division, the road to a title might have been more circuitous.
“Jill has really helped get Eileen’s name around,” said Selwyn. “She supports me, she supports Eileen, and she is the greatest supporter of women’s boxing on the planet. They say that heroes come around when you need them. Right now, women’s boxing needs a hero. I think Jill fits the bill.”
With her immense talent, natural grace and engaging personality, Olszewski also has the potential to be a hero in her own right. Having trained as a youngster to be a classical dancer, she moved to New York from her native Honolulu, Hawaii, in 1992.
She landed a job with the Knick City Dancers, where she danced and performed stunt work during New York Knicks basketball games at Madison Square Garden. For the soft-spoken and deeply spiritual but and intensely driven Olszewski, that job was a dream come true.
Always a fierce competitor, Olszewski was introduced to boxing in the late nineties by her husband. What she liked most about it, was how difficult it was. There is nothing Olszweski cherishes more than a good physical challenge.
“It was a new horizon for me, a new chapter in my life,” she said. “I liked the fact that it was humbling in the beginning. Boxing kept me balanced and spiritually grounded.”
Before long, Olszweski, who was and still is trained by her husband, overcame the initial challenges of such a demanding new sport to become a three-time New York City Golden Gloves champion, a three-time national amateur champion, and a finalist at the Pan American Games.
All of this was accomplished while Olszewski was still working as a Knick City Dancer. Today she squeezes in her own workouts while working as a personal trainer for more than ten hours a day.
“It is difficult to imagine anyone who is harder working or with more talent and desire than Eileen,” said Selwyn. “She has everything it takes to be a well-respected champion and a spokesperson for any number of products or entities.”
Women’s boxing is still trying to find its way in the United States, but it has been picking up steam. The Fox network’s “Best Damn Sports Show, Period” recently broadcast an all female professional show.
In Germany, however, women’s boxing is enormously popular. Native born flyweight champion Regina Halmich is a bonafide sports celebrity, and teenage sensation Susianna Kentikian, who was born in Armenia, regularly attracts more than 10,000 fans to her fights.
“The Germans have a much greater appreciation for women boxers and pure boxing in general than Americans do,” said Selwyn. “I want to develop Eileen to the point where she will be as popular here in the United States as female boxers are in Germany.”
While Selwyn’s assessment of Olszewski might be self-serving, the opinions of others are straight from the heart.
“She is something,” said six-time world champion Emile Griffith. “She is a beautiful woman and a beautiful boxer.” She is one of the best woman boxers that I’ve ever seen, a star in the making.”
“Pure class, in the ring and out,” adds three-division champion Iran “The Blade” Barkley. “She and her husband are good people. They work hard, and I think the hard work will pay off for them.”
“I’ve heard people refer to Eileen as eye candy and boxing’s candy girl, but those types of nicknames denigrate all of the hard work she puts into learning her craft,” said Selwyn. “It’s great that she’s beautiful, but she’s a beautiful person inside and out. The level of dedication she puts forth with her personal clients is astounding.
“And the effort that she is putting into becoming the best that she can be in such a difficult sport is even more astounding. I feel blessed to be part of her team.”
Check out Olszewski’s web site: www.miyoko-k-o.com