DeKalb teen has world championship dreams
Danika Thibault lands four kicks in a row to her opponent’s stomach at Combat Do, a musty, old-school gym in Cicero. Two streams of light beam down from the ceiling windows, illuminating the DeKalb freshman and her clearly overmatched sparring partner on the elevated boxing ring in the middle of the floor.
The 5-foot tall fighter unleashes a few powerful punches that keep the slightly larger girl on her heels. Every time she hits, she releases an audible gust of breath to maximize the force in each punch or kick.
It’s her power, her brains and her raw competitiveness that have her father, coaches and agent thinking she just might be a world champion kickboxer this weekend, when she heads to Orlando, Fla., for the International Kickboxing Federation’s world championship, where she’ll compete in the 14-15 flyweight division.
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