The Student News Site of Shawnee Mission Northwest


The Student News Site of Shawnee Mission Northwest


The Student News Site of Shawnee Mission Northwest


A Legacy Built in the Ring

A boxer with dreams and hopes for the future.
Kara Simpson
8th Grader Callista Ndubuisi holds her boxing championship belts March 28 at Turner Boxing Academy. Photo by Kara Simpson

The bell rings. Two boxers rush to the middle of the ring. One in red and black and the other in white and pink. Eighth-grader at Trailridge Callista Ndubuisi, the boxer in red and black, throws the first — her opponent ducks and shifts to the right and then tries to deliver a heavy blow to Callista’s head. 

The crowd goes wild. The Ndubuisi family —  a family of 8, one of which goes to Northwest — cheer the loudest for Callista, but Callista Mbachu, her mom, cheers louder than any. 

“Keep going!” Callista Mbachu shouts from the crowd. 

Callista and her opponent are in the middle of their brawl, taking quick and defensive steps to quickly end the fight. Two minutes later, a bell rings ending the first round. 

“I’m going to beat you.” Callista said. “Either one of us is coming out on the street a winner or a loser, it’s 50/50.” 

The bell rings and round two starts. 

The boxer in white rushes to the center, throwing a jab at the lightning-fast Callista who swiftly rushes in. The two are locked in, Callista taking the charge, until the referee pushes in between them and points them back to their corners. 

“End it! End it!” Callista Mbachu shouts from the side. 

Callista listens as the referee counts down before giving them the to-go signal. 

She rushes from the corner to the center, staying back as her opponent throws jab after jab trying her hardest to hit the vanishing Callista. With one opening Callista pushes her opponent back, getting a jab and a hook out on her opponent with lightning speed. 

Her opponent is dazed and barely able to react to her punches. The match is stopped and Callista looks back at her family, with a smile of victory on her face. 

“I’ve coached over 17,000 young people in this sport in the last 50+ years and none of them tougher and more determined than Callista Ndubuisi,” Coach John Brown said. “More importantly, Callista is also one of the nicest and caring young person, I have ever had the pleasure of coaching”


Five years ago.

The sound of leather gloves hitting the heavy bag ring throughout the yellow painted room, blue padded mats lay across the floor, and a nine year old Callista walks back and forth across the wooden plank hallway.

“I remember the first day,” Callista said. “Coach Tyler made us walk up and down the hallway practicing our footwork. We had to start at our roots to build ourselves up.” 

Callista has been training for over five years now, she’s been walking up and down the halls of Turner Boxing Academy, trying her hardest to prepare to be the best. She’s been training non stop with her brother, Isaac Ndubuisi, a junior at Northwest and a boxer who has also won the national Silver Gloves tournament.

In her five years of training, Callista has won the tournament three times. Her first time winning Silver Gloves was not only her first tournament, but also her first real fight — a fight she won. 

“It felt so good, because coach was trying to prove something, that she could do better and come back and beat me. But she didn’t.” Callista said.

All this work, everything she and her brothers have done, is not just the product of pure chance — it is the effort of a dad who lost his own dream long ago. 

Titus Mbachu started his career in Nigeria. Being a strong amateur boxer with high hopes, Titus moved to Atlanta, Georgia, to become the greatest boxer alive. His first real fight in the states led him to Jacksonville, Florida, days after the fight Titus was permanently injured in an accident.

Titus had gotten into a bicycle accident that broke his shoulder. For six months, Titus was stuck in recovery pushing himself to get back in the ring, sadly after months of waiting Titus picked up his gloves one more time, where he discovered that it hurt to box, it hurt to pursue his dream.

Titus had lost his dream, but it was not dead.

Titus kept pushing his dream, taping and recording every fight he could get his hands on, fights on HBO, ESPN, and even some fights on DVR videos. Titus would favor fighters like Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield and Floyd Mayweather Jr. He kept these fights and held them dear to himself to one day show his children. A small action that would awaken his dream once again, but this time in the eyes of his children — Issac, Callista and Hudson. 


Callista, much like her father, has high hopes for her future — she wants to be the champion. She doesn’t want the fame and riches that follow that title. 

She wants the glory, the resolve and the confidence to be on top. Her dreams, fueled by not only her dad, but also by a pound for pound boxing champion, Claressa Shields, a boxer that Callista admires and adores like no other. 

“I want to be like her,” Callista said. “No. I wanna be better than her. And I also want to meet her one day.”

Callista, who is now an 8th grader walking through the hallways of Trailridge, will soon walk through our halls along with her brother. 

“If they know that , they just don’t like that but most like me.” Callista said. “They will come up to me and try to pull me down and try to fight me, knowing what I can do to them. So hopefully in high school it’s the same.”

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About the Contributor
Kara Simpson
Kara Simpson, Assistant Newspaper Photo Editor
Hi, I’m Kara Simpson and I’m an Assistant Newspaper Photo Editor. I am a sophomore and this is my first year as a newspaper staff member and my second year as a photojournalist. I joined the newspaper because I enjoy the process of seeing spreads come to life. My job is to take photos at a variety of events and around the school. I also select and edit the photos that appear in the Passage. Some fun facts about me are that I take care of my snakes and immerse myself in nature in my free time.

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