Jairo Escobar, Casey's full-time coach, spars with Casey in the ring to improve her strategy and work on some new boxing techniques at World Class Boxing Gym in San Francisco, CA. 

"There was once a man who went to a guru because he wanted to be great. The guru told the man to meet him at the beach the next day wearing shorts. The man showed up the next day all dressed up, and the guru told the man to go walk into the water. Confused, the man walked into the water and the guru followed him. The guru grabbed the man by the head and held him underwater until he almost passed out. He pulled the man out of the water and asked him what was the first word that came to his mind. The man replied, 'air.' The guru told this man that the secret to greatness is wanting something more than you wanted air in that moment. That story kept playing through my mind because I want my dream more than I want the air that I breathe.” 

The first time I met Casey Morton, I photographed one of her training sessions at World Class Boxing Gym in San Francisco. Within the hour I spent photographing Casey, I became captivated by her passion for life and boxing. Growing up as an at-risk teen in Hawaii, Casey managed to flee from her  environment to pursue a more positive lifestyle. Casey travelled from state-to-state and  put herself through college, worked as a motivational speaker for at-risk teenagers, and then finally found her love for the sport of boxing. 

For an entire year, Casey allowed me to photograph her journey to becoming a professional female boxer. Her decision to pursue boxing as a professional career shows that it is a long, solitary road to success. Being a woman trying to succeed in a man's world means Casey has to work twice as hard as all of her male peers and is confronted with double the dilemmas, doubts, and hardships. Casey has proved anyone can accomplish their dreams, making her a champion both inside and outside of the ring.

Casey's boxing glove is tightened in between a sparring session with another boxer as a part of Casey's training towards her boxing pro-debut at World Class Boxing Gym in San Francisco, CA.

Casey Morton is fitted with a helmet by her full-time coach, Jairo Escobar, before sparring with another female boxer at World Class Boxing Gym in San Francisco, CA. 

Casey practices warming-up with teenage male fighters she trains once a week at her boxing class at the Community Youth Center in Concord, CA.

In preparation for her pro-debut, Casey trains on a Hypoxico breathing machine, which teaches Casey how to pace her breathing while fighting so she does not exert all of her energy at once.

Casey practices training by herself at Undisputed Boxing Gym to improve techniques and practice self-discipline for her upcoming boxing fights. 

Casey takes a short break on the side of the ring in between a sparring session at World Class Boxing Gym in San Francisco, CA.

After doing a combination of different warm up exercises, Casey takes a moment to wipe off some sweat and listen to Coach Jairo's critiques at World Class Boxing Gym in San Francisco, CA.

Casey stretches out on an exercise ball at the Undisputed Boxing Gym in San Carlos, CA.  In addition to mitt-work, Casey's work-out regime includes a variety of aerobics and cardio. 

Casey takes a moment to re-adjust her sock, exposing her tattoo of her beloved dog Lola, whom still lives in Hawaii.

Casey awaits for her doctor to take her blood-pressure reading. This is one of many physical tests Casey must get in order to prove she is healthy for her pro-debut.

Every Friday evening, Casey goes for a run around the track at Cezar Stadium in San Francisco, CA. The majority of Casey's free time outside the ring is doing other exercises to help her stay in shape for her pro-debut.

Working to achieve her goals of becoming a professional female boxer leaves very little time for a social life. One of Casey's companions has travelled with her to Sacramento to show his support for her upcoming fight.

To ward off hunger pains, Casey drinks large amounts of water and meal supplements after her first weigh-in for her pro-debut. Boxers are restricted to very little food and liquid intakes the day before weigh-ins so that they can make their goal weight.

Some last minute eye-liner is applied before Casey leaves her hotel room to prepare for her pro-debut fight. 

Casey delivers a staggering punch to her opponent, Blanca Raymundo, during her pro-debut fight in Sacramento, CA.

On October 14, 2014, Casey Morton won her pro-debut fight against Blanca Raymundo, accomplishing her dream of becoming a professional female boxer.

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