Story and Photo
Spc. Marcus Fichtl
8th Military Police Brigade Public Affairs, 8th Theater Sustainment Command
KAPOLEI — Not all garages are created equally.
Amidst the discarded computer monitors and garden hoses in this garage, two silhouettes can be seen fighting.
One silhouette belongs to Coach Al Kekuawela and the other to his star pupil Fallon Farrar.
Farrar is a specialist assigned to the 71st Chemical Company, 8th Military Police Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, and she is also the armed forces female boxing champ in the 165-pound weight class.
Boxing isn’t just a way to stay in shape for Farrar. It’s a passion.
“My dad makes me want to box,” Farrar said. “Dad has always been my number one fan.”
Farrar was born into a basketball family, but she didn’t follow in her siblings’ footsteps.
“I tried basketball,” she said, “and my mom tried to get me to do ballet, but boxing finally won.”
At the age of 16, Farrar began her career in boxing at a local New Jersey gym.
A track scholarship led her to a small school in Kansas. From there, a yearning to do something important in her life led her to the Army. A fortunate meeting at one of Oahu’s boxing gyms led her to Coach Al.
As Farrar’s jab cuts the air and her head bobs dodging invisible punches during a shadowboxing drill, her feet are the workhorses, never touching the same spot twice in Coach Al’s garage.
Maybe her mom’s insistence for ballet was a blessing in disguise because instantly an observer can notice there’s more to her boxing than just jab and knockouts.
“Boxing is a game of chess,” said Kekuawela, “and Farrar is the checkmate.”
The sport of boxing is divided into short rounds of two minutes. The rounds are scored on the technical ability of the fighters on a scale of one to 10.
Farrar won her first round to become the armed forces champion with the score of 10-2.
Farrar immediately called Coach Al with a simple, “We did it coach.”
“Intelligence, power, and ring smarts is what sets Farrar apart from the rest of the competition,” Kekuawela said.
A powerful combination, Farrar wants to take the next step, the Olympics.
Later this year, Farrar will train at the Army’s Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., where she can pursue her dream of Olympic gold.
This dream, Coach Al bittersweetly jokes, will push Farrar past his little garage in Kapolei.
Farrar replies emphatically, “I’ll be back next year and you’ll still be my coach.”